When you’re in an accident, there are a variety of factors that come into play determining fault. These include speed, the mechanical state of the vehicle, the arrangement of vehicles in the accident, road conditions, and yes, weather.
Many drivers involved in accidents claim that the weather was the defining factor and that they aren’t responsible for the incident. How can this be determined for certain, though? Learn how insurance companies consider the weather in an auto accident, and how if you’re hurt in one, a car accident attorney can help.
Accidents and Negligence
The key factor in every auto accident is negligence. It’s important to determine which driver was at fault, so the injured parties can seek compensation. Negligence means that someone acted in a way that runs counter to what any reasonable person would do in a similar situation, or failed to act as a reasonable person would. For example, if you’re driving 70 mph in a zone where the speed limit is 30, you’re not acting in a reasonable and responsible way and thus could be considered negligent.
Weather and Negligence
Weather can be an important factor in determining negligence, or lack thereof, in a car accident. Determining if road conditions due to weather resulted in an accident really depends on a number of circumstances including how severe the weather is, and how sudden the conditions arose. Even if the roads are slippery and icy, if it can be shown that a driver went out knowing the conditions, negligence might be more difficult to prove.
To provide an extreme comparison, if there is nothing more than a very light mist of rain which doesn’t affect visibility and isn’t creating slick road conditions, it’s unlikely weather can be found to be a factor. If on the other hand, someone is driving and a sudden torrential downpour erupts with heavy winds and blinding rain, an accident could result from these conditions that are no fault of the driver.
Insurance, Juries, and Negligence
Whenever an accident occurs, there’s a possibility that one or more drivers are going to file a claim for damages. If the weather could be a factor, insurers will look at all of the relevant factors. Were the cars driving too fast for conditions? Did they fail to leave enough room to react to unforeseen circumstances? Were there any factors that showed one driver was acting unreasonably? If so, there is a case for negligence.
Car Accident Attorney
Especially in cases of accidents involving bad weather, seeking compensation for an injury claim can be very tricky. Insurance companies will try a range of tactics to avoid payouts, and it’s vital to know how to challenge these tactics and get the compensation you deserve. The best way to do this is to secure the services of a qualified car accident attorney.
An attorney can protect your rights, prove negligence and get you the award for damages you deserve including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. If you live in the Winston-Salem area and have been in a potentially weather-related car accident, we can help. Reach out to Lewis & Keller for a free, no-obligation review of your case to determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to under the law.