Who Is at Fault When Weather Causes an Accident?

When you are on the road, you must drive safely to ensure that no tragic events happen while you are at the wheel. Although you take all the necessary precautions, accidents sometimes happen due to conditions you cannot control. 

Stone Mountain Personal Injury Attorney Pendergrass warns drivers about the dangers that poor road conditions and bad weather present to the unsuspecting driver. Rain showers, heavy snow, or intense storms can affect your ability to drive responsibly.  

When you are involved in a car accident due to bad weather conditions, you might wonder who is liable for the damages. In certain circumstances, you might be found at fault and have to compensate other drivers for their losses. If you think this decision is unfair, these three points will help you better understand your circumstances.

Types of Weather-Related Accidents

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, there are over 5,891,000 vehicle crashes annually. Nearly 1,235,000 crashes are related to poor weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, and severe crosswinds. These factors contribute to unsafe road conditions by creating slippery and icy roads, reducing visibility, and leading to loss of vehicle control. 

When you are involved in a car accident due to bad weather conditions, you and other drivers might suffer extensive injuries that require a lengthy recovery period to heal fully. You might not accept fault for the damages as some weather conditions are unpredictable, preventing you from causing an accident. 

How to Determine Liability?

There are very few circumstances that will absolve a driver from liability. While dangerous weather conditions can trigger the accident, drivers are responsible for driving safely during all weather conditions. Usually, the individual who lost control of their vehicle will be considered liable for the damages. Suppose multiple vehicles lose control due to poor weather and road conditions. In that case, all the drivers will share the fault and be responsible for their damages. 

Some actions prove the driver’s level of negligence while on the road. Suppose the driver delayed maintaining their vehicle and drove with worn tires, defective breaks, malfunctioning lights, or ineffective windshield wipers. In that case, they will be liable for the damages.

Furthermore, a driver’s actions are essential when establishing fault. If you are driving at an unsafe speed, do not leave enough space between vehicles, or do not use headlights in poor visibility conditions, a judge might find you responsible for the accident. 

What Should You Do After an Accident?

A qualified lawyer will advise you not to admit fault at the accident scene. You might not be aware of the circumstances of the accident, and accepting fault might hurt your case. You should always seek medical care after a car accident, whether you are in pain or not. If you feel well enough, you should take pictures of the scene to capture the circumstances of the accident. 

All this information will help the investigators determine how weather conditions contributed to the car crash. Contacting your insurance company immediately after the accident will help your claim. If you are unsure how to proceed, contacting your attorney might help you understand the situation. They can give you valuable advice and represent your interests. Seek legal advice without delay!

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