While insurance adjusters and courts can take into account bad weather conditions, the truth is that drivers can still be held responsible for damage they cause in an accident.
Proving Negligence Is Important
The most important factor in a car accident case is whether the defendant in an action was acting reasonably given the circumstances. Even in a case involving bad weather and other hazardous conditions, a driver has a duty to drive safely on the road. If a person does not use proper judgment, or drives in a manner that shows with reckless regard for self and others, they can become liable due to negligence.
Driving Defensively Prevents Most Accidents
In bad weather, there are several types of drivers that can cause accidents, so you really need to step up your defensive driving skills. One is the reckless driver that drives the speed limit or faster regardless of road conditions. Many times a driver of a four wheel drive vehicle mistakenly believes they do not need to adjust their speed as much as the other drivers do.
Another is the overly cautious driver who drives too slow and blocks the main lane in use, causing other drivers to try to go around them at their peril.
Oftentimes bad weather hits around holidays, so you need to look out for the impaired driver as well. Finally, there is the inexperienced driver, who just does not know how to handle the changing conditions.
If visibility is bad, you should pull off the road until it improves. Strong winds can also affect your ability to stay on the road and in your lane. These things will also be affecting the other drivers, so be vigilant.
Determining Liability by Insurance Companies
It may be hard to prove an overly cautious driver caused an accident, but an inexperienced, reckless, or impaired driver can still be found negligent.
Usually, if it can be proved that an insured person was driving faster than the weather conditions warranted or following too close behind your vehicle for the slick roads, even if they were driving at or under the speed limit, the insurance company will pay up to avoid a lawsuit.
However, if the other driver was doing all they reasonably could to drive safely at the time and still slides into you, an insurance company might fight being held liable. They could fight it on the grounds of it being an "unavoidable accident" in which no one was acting negligently or maliciously.
If your car and the other car collide due to losing control of your vehicles, a shared fault may be determined. Sometimes one driver may be found to be more liable than the other in these situations, and the insurance company may offer a percentage of the amount that would cover some of the repairs.
Acting Wisely in an Accident
If you are in a bad weather accident, you should still do what you can to gather evidence of what actually happened and avoid being unfairly blamed for it. So don't admit any guilt to the other driver or the police. You should use your cellphone or a camera to take pictures or video of the scene and road conditions, obtain names and addresses of witnesses, and get prompt medical care if you need it. You should also get a copy of the police report.
If the other driver was negligent in some way and your losses and injuries are significant, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. An experienced attorney like Irene M Rodriguez PA can often help you get better settlement than you could on your own.Share