Car accidents are disastrous and stressful situations that can occur to anyone at any time, sometimes without a moment’s warning. The state of Texas is certainly no exception to that. However, if you have been in a car accident and bad weather was an issue, you might wonder how you can get a lawsuit started. It’s important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to help you every step of the way. Your lawyer knows how bad weather can affect the roads and impact liability in a car accident.
How Can Bad Weather Impact Liability in a Car Accident?
In many cases, when a car accident occurs, there can be many factors that determine fault. Of course, if there was bad weather, such as a blizzard or heavy rainstorm during the time of the accident, it’s yet another component that a car insurance company or a jury will use to determine whether someone was at fault for the accident or if they acted negligently. A skilled car accident lawyer can greatly help in such a case if you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident that took place during bad weather.
Negligence as a Factor
One of the biggest factors that lead to a car accident is negligence. It means that one party was at fault for the accident taking place because they did not use the proper care or caution that they should have used. When a person gets behind the wheel, they have an obligation to use a reasonable duty of care to ensure that they and others on the road, whether other drivers, passengers or pedestrians, remain safe. It is important to note that negligence can take many different forms. It can mean that the driver did something they shouldn’t have while driving, something a reasonable person would not have done in that situation, such as speeding, passing another vehicle from the right or texting while driving.
Many times people drive during poor weather conditions the same way they drive on clear days with dry roads. They don’t properly reduce speed and increase their following distance, and they often overestimate their braking ability. Visibility can be a huge issue in bad weather as well, and many drivers often think they don’t need to use their headlights in the rain because they can see. What they fail to realize is that the headlights are not for them, but are for other drivers to more easily see them.
In general, liability for car accidents is always based on negligence. Whether an insurance company or jury gives leniency to a driver after an accident that occurred in bad weather depends on the circumstances.
Bad Weather and Liability
Weather is only one factor that can determine whether a driver was negligent in leading up to a car accident. There are numerous other factors.
In addition to the weather, the following situations are taken into account when the court or an insurance company makes a determination regarding whether a driver was negligent. Those include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Driver experience
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Problems with the vehicle, such as faulty headlights or windshield wipers
- Road conditions
For example, if you were involved in a car accident when it was only drizzling and the road conditions were normal but you were struck by another vehicle because the other driver was speeding, the weather wouldn’t be a factor when determining negligence.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
When there are bad weather conditions during the time of a car accident, it’s more important than ever to have a skilled car accident attorney on your side. The insurance company may try to lowball you when compensating you for your injuries and property damage. It may even blame you at least partially for the accident. Your lawyer has knowledge of these tactics and the experience to deal with the insurance company so that they can get you the best possible settlement for your case.
Also, it’s important to remember that weather conditions are never an excuse for poor driving. Every driver has a responsibility to act responsibly behind the wheel.
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