While many accidents happen under normal weather conditions, inclement weather can make roads even more dangerous. Rain, ice, and snow can create slick driving surfaces, and fog can make it difficult to see. Even sunny days can cause dangerous conditions with a heavy glare on your windshield or mirrors. Many drivers believe that the driver is not at fault in accidents caused by bad weather, yet most insurance companies disagree.
If you were injured in a car accident during inclement weather, an experienced car accident attorney can help you determine who was at fault and help you pursue your claim.
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How Liability is Determined in Weather-Related Car Accidents
Though many drivers may want to hold the weather accountable for a car accident, the driver is still at fault in most cases. All drivers are expected to stay off the roads if weather conditions are too hazardous to drive safely. If a driver chooses to operate a vehicle during inclement weather, they are expected to take extra precautions. Driving under the speed limit, using hazard lights, or pulling over if visibility is too low can help avoid accidents.
In order to determine liability for any car accident, the other driver’s negligence must be established. Some examples of negligence during inclement weather include:
- Driving despite knowing the conditions were unsafe
- Driving at an unsafe speed during the weather conditions
- Turning too fast on slippery roads
- Failure to leave enough distance between cars
- Not using headlights during weather conditions that cause poor visibility, such as fog
- Worn or bald tires
- Damaged brakes
- Damaged or inoperable windshield wipers
Additionally, risky driving behaviors that would be unacceptable during clear conditions, such as drunk or distracted driving, could also be a source of negligence during poor weather conditions.
The Importance of Evidence in Weather-Related Car Accidents
Collecting evidence is critical for proving fault in a car accident. Photos are critical pieces of evidence for weather-related crashes because they can show the weather conditions at the time of the accident long after they have subsided. You can also gather testimony if any others were around to witness the accident. Make sure to gather their contact details if you can.
A car accident attorney can help you collect additional evidence to help your claim, such as police reports, weather reports, and additional witness testimonies. This evidence is likely vital to your potential claim.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover from a Weather-Related Car Accident?
If you are less than 50% responsible for an accident in Texas, you may be eligible to collect damages. You must also prove that any injuries you sustained due to the accident were caused by a negligent party, such as an unsafe driver. Partnering with a skilled car accident attorney can help ensure you can prove negligence and collect the damages you need. Some examples of damages you may be able to recover include:
- Costs of current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or permanent disabilities
- Mental anguish
Your lawyer can help you determine which damages you are entitled to and ensure that you are compensated fairly.
Speak to an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney
The unpredictable weather conditions in the Lone Star State make weather-related accidents all too common. If you have been injured in a weather-related car accident, it is essential to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Sutliff & Stout, we believe that competent legal representation is a fundamental right. We are committed to providing our clients with a personalized approach to legal services to build the most substantial claims possible. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our highly qualified legal team, call our office at (713) 987-7111 or complete our contact form today.