When an accident occurs in bad weather, many people like to blame the elements, such as the rain, the wind, and ice, among other things. However, the mere presence of inclement weather will not absolve you of liability after an accident. There are other factors that the court will look at when apportioning blame. Here are a few examples of such factors:
The government expects you to drive reasonably, especially when the weather is bad. There aren't clear instructions on what you are supposed to do, or what constitutes this reasonableness; it all depends on the situation.
For example, if you are driving on a highway with a 70 mph speed limit, reducing your speed to 60 mph may not help you much if the road is too slippery, and visibility is almost zero. In such a case, your driving may be deemed to be unreasonable even though you were going under the speed limit.
Condition of the Car
Your car's mechanical condition may also determine your liability for the accident. Handling a car in inclement weather is not easy, and the car needs to be in the best condition possible to prevent crashes. For example, the tires should have good tread depth, the windshield wipers should be working efficiently, and the headlights should be properly aligned.
These are some of the things the adjuster, accident investigators or even the jury will look at. You will bear the responsibility (or at least some of it) for the crash if your car wasn't in a good condition when the accident occurred, and the fault led or contributed to the crash.
The Road Conditions
Lastly, the condition of the road may also come into consideration. As explained above, poor weather makes it difficult to control a car even if the road is in good condition; it's even worse in poor road conditions. For example, fallen trees blocking the road, potholes filled with water (making them difficult to notice), poorly marked roads or even the absence of road signs may all interfere with your driving. Such things may reduce your liability for the accident if they are found to have contributed to the accident.
In the end, the courts will always find somebody to blame when an accident occurs in bad weather. Fortunately, bad weather may not absolve you of all the blame, but it may reduce it. An experienced auto accident attorney can prove how these factors contributed to or did not contribute to the crash, as the case may be.Share
19 October 2015
After you have endured a traumatic, life-changing car accident, it can be hard to transition back into your everyday routine. As friends and family members chat about upcoming outlet mall sales or holiday plans, you might be secretly worried about how to pay your medical bills or forget about that wreck. Fortunately, dealing with your car accident case proactively by working with an attorney can really help. After I was involved in a car accident a few years back, my attorney stood by my side and helped me to argue for what was rightfully mine. I made this website to teach others what to do if they are involved in an accident.