How Is Fault Determined When Poor Weather Causes a Wreck?
Drivers are supposed to remain focused on the road. This means they’re looking ahead, their hands are on the steering wheel, and they’re not engaged with anything else that could be a distraction. This is usually what it takes to be safe on the road. However, sometimes the weather affects the road safety and there are some situations when drivers don’t remain in control of their vehicles because of it. Unfortunately, it typically results in devastating accidents. If you’ve been wrongfully injured, you can file a claim with the help of a Biloxi car accident lawyer. Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law fights for Mississippi residents and will do everything possible to defend their rights to fair compensation.
You may be wondering about how fault applies to an accident when it happened because of poor weather. First, you need to know how weather changes the road conditions and what drivers are supposed to do about it.
What Poor Weather Makes the Roads More Dangerous?
The winter months typically bring worse weather conditions. Snow and ice make the roads slippery and more likely for vehicles to slide. If they’re hit at high speeds, the car can skid out of control. Also, it gets dark quickly in the winter time, meaning more people are driving with less visibility, so they can miss things happening on the road.
But winter isn’t the only time that drivers need to remain extra cautious. Rainstorms can also make the road just as dangerous. The rain makes the pavement slick, which reduces the amount of grip tires have on the road. Pouring rain reduces visibility as well.
It’s important to note that poor weather doesn’t make someone who causes an accident not at fault. They’re still responsible for driving safely and not causing unnecessary injury or harm to others around them.
When looking at fault, an insurance company may look at several factors. They may question if the driver was responding in a reasonable way to their conditions. While the conditions of the road worsen, the drivers need to keep a few things in mind. The speed limit may be a high number, but that’s for when road conditions are good. They need to go at a pace where they remain in control of the vehicle. This could take traveling on a highway that’s usually 70 mph to a 10 mph crawl.
Since there isn’t a set speed limit for how slow you need to go for the weather, people may be traveling at different speeds. Some drivers may start tailgating other cars that are going a bit slower, but it’s important to remember that those drivers are at a pace where they can stay in control. Also, if someone is tailgating and the car in front of them stops suddenly and they rear-end them, then the person tailgating is at fault.
Slowing down may not be enough. There could even be situations where there isn’t a slow pace that was safe and it could be determined that they should have pulled over.
Using windshield wipers and headlights are also crucial. If it’s discovered that you should have been using windshield wipers and headlights but did not, this could be seen as negligence. As always, drivers are supposed to maintain their vehicles. So if they have worn tires, worn wipers, or a headlight is out, then they can be held liable for the accident.
Another factor that insurance companies will take into account is if the weather event was known. Drivers are responsible for knowing when it’s safe to drive or not. If they’re driving when there were multiple reports for a blizzard or ice storm where people were encouraged to stay inside and they went out anyway even though they didn’t need to, it could be used against them.
When You Need a Reliable Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting into an accident during poor weather conditions can get complex because the other party may try to assign some of the fault on you. If you’re not at fault, then you deserve to recover 100 percent of the damages. The other person’s lies could potentially harm your ability to get the compensation you deserve. Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law will make sure that your claim shows that you were a victim in this situation and the other person needs to be held accountable for their actions. You can start your legal journey by giving us a call today.