Determining fault in a car accident can be difficult, especially during bad weather conditions. Fault still requires some form of negligence; after all, you can’t file a claim against the weather. Learn more about how liability is determined in a bad weather accident.
Weather-related crashes affect millions of Americans every year. In accidents influenced by bad weather, it can be difficult to determine who is liable. Adverse weather conditions can make driving difficult for even experienced drivers to control their cars.
When it comes to determining fault, inclement weather such as a storm can interplay with human negligence, resulting in liability, and ultimately, financial responsibility for any losses. In such cases, the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney may be needed to determine what types of damages are available to the injured party.
At Pierce Skrabanek, we have extensive experience dealing with complex car accidents. As Texas residents, we are intimately familiar with local driving conditions that might affect the outcome of a car accident case. Contact us at (832) 690-7000 for a free consultation where we can discuss your options regarding financial recovery.
Read on to learn more about your legal rights if an accident happens due to weather conditions.
Damages in a bad weather car accident case will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of injuries and the degree of liability of the other party. Crashes that occur in poor weather often result in more severe injuries. In such cases, damages may be extensive and can cover:
Again, the amount of damages available can depend on who is liable, and how egregious the violation is. These types of determinations are best handled by a lawyer who has experience in calculating damages for car accidents.
Various parties can be held liable in an accident that happens during bad weather. When it comes to liability or fault, it’s important to understand that bad weather conditions alone don’t always mean someone is to blame. In order to be held at fault in any car accident, it must be shown that the driver was negligent.
Proving negligence involves proof of the following elements:
Thus, a crash in bad weather may result in legal liability if the driver was somehow negligent. During a storm, examples of how this may look like may include:
Thus, if there are any actions or precautions that a person failed to do while driving under dangerous weather conditions, they might be held liable for damages.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates there are more than 1.2 million weather-related car accidents every year. A qualified lawyer can help determine whether an accident was caused purely by weather or if someone needs to be held liable for negligent driving as well.
Besides drivers, other actors can be held responsible for car accidents that occur in bad weather or are influenced by the weather:
Bad weather can make already dangerous road conditions even more hazardous. For instance, a missing guardrail on a highway can create a rollover accident if a car loses control on wet or icy roads.
Damaged roads (potholes), fallen trees, broken stop lights, and obstructed traffic signs are all items that need maintenance. Failure to clear or repair such items, or repairing them in a way that is incomplete, can lead to an accident. Liability in such cases may rest on the city or local municipality, or with contractors who work on such projects.
Road maintenance crews can also sometimes cause accidents in bad weather. This can happen for instance if they redirect a road during a storm in a way that creates more danger for drivers. Road maintenance trucks and vehicles can also be involved in an accident.
Harsh weather conditions can often stress the vehicle and put their safety mechanisms to the test. For example, slick roads require properly working brakes. If there is a defect with the braking system or other safety mechanisms, the car manufacturer can sometimes be held liable.
Such cases may result in class action lawsuits if many people are injured by the same defect. Significant compensation can be available in such lawsuits, but they generally require a lawyer to handle them.
Various types of weather conditions can make driving more dangerous and contribute to car accidents. When combined with negligent conduct, such weather conditions can create more hazardous driving conditions than normal. These can include:
As mentioned, liability must be traceable to the other driver or party’s negligence in order for legal action to be taken. When it comes to bad weather, failure to account for the types of weather above may be considered in a lawsuit. Proving negligence in a car accident is a complex matter that generally requires the help of an attorney.
In a car accident, fault and liability boil down to negligence, regardless of whether poor weather conditions were involved. A driver who is found to be negligent will be held financially responsible for the damages the crash caused to you or your family.
A qualified, experienced car accident attorney is needed to help determine fault, especially if bad weather was a factor in the crash. If you or a loved one were involved in such an accident, contact the lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.
Our car accident lawyers have returned significant case results for clients, including a $117 million recovery for a car accident involving an ambulance — the largest personal injury verdict in Louisiana history.
Hiring a lawyer is the first step on your path towards achieving a better quality of life. At Pierce Skrabanek, we devote our undivided attention to each client, and all communications are held in the strictest privacy. We are ready to guide you through the process and support you at every step of the way. Contact us by filling out the form or calling us directly at (832) 690-7000.
3701 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX, 77098
Phone: (832) 690-7000
Fax: (832) 616-5576
The attorney responsible for the content of this web site is Michael Pierce.
Disclaimer | Terms & Conditions