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Bad Weather Car Accident Claims

Posted by Jason English | Aug 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you have questions about bad weather car accident claims, reach out to a personal injury attorney at Jason English Law.

Even the most capable and cautious drivers could be involved in an accident during poor weather conditions. In certain situations, the driver might have felt that weather played a part in the car accident. It can be challenging to determine fault during bad weather, even when looking at the facts. However, blaming the weather may not hold up in court, especially when making a determination of liability. Bad weather car accident claims occur when an individual does not exercise their duty of care on the road. If you suffered injuries or damages resulting from an accident in poor weather conditions, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Jason English Law by calling (512) 454-7548 today.

Driving in Bad Weather

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, a car crash occurs every 56 seconds on the roads. Drivers must exercise caution while behind the wheel, especially during inclement weather. However, bad weather is not an excuse for an accident. For example, if the driver hits the road in a rainstorm, but hydroplanes on the surface and hits several cars, that driver could still be legally liable for the accident, and any injuries and losses that occur. Ultimately, when an accident occurs, drivers may be liable for damages, even if icy or wet roads were the source of the accident.

Exercising Reasonable Care

Drivers have a serious responsibility when operating a vehicle. That individual must take "reasonable care" to avoid causing any accidents on the road. In some circles, this responsibility might be called "duty of care," which doesn't change with the weather. Each driver should use safe driving behaviors to prevent an accident. For instance, when there is a downpour, the driver must slow their speed in the vehicle. All drivers are responsible for adapting their driving to the current weather conditions.

A few safe driving habits include:

  • Slowing down in inclement weather
  • Using the windshield wipers in the rain
  • Attaching tire chains for icy or snowy conditions
  • Turning on headlights during fog

Often, attorneys or insurance companies attempt to determine liability depending on what the driver did in response to the weather conditions. For example, if another driver hit someone while not using their windshield wipers in the rain, the driver was not exercising reasonable care on the road.

The driver could be liable for those bad weather car accident claims by not exercising reasonable care. All accidents have unique and specific circumstances. Learn more about driver liability in bad weather and all of your legal options after your accident by calling the experienced legal team at Jason English Law.

Determining Liability

While most accidents on Texas roads occur on clear days, rain accounted for over 14,369 accidents in 2020 per the Texas Department of Transportation. In every case, attorneys and insurance companies must determine whether the driver was liable for the crash. Most times, the lawyers will examine whether:

  • The rate of speed was reasonable under the specific weather conditions.
  • The driver followed a safe distance behind other vehicles.
  • The weather was an expected event, not an unusual occurrence.
  • The driver could have taken action to avoid an accident.

In most situations involving weather-related accidents, the driver at fault is liable because they had the responsibility to take action to prevent a crash.

Act of God Defense and Lack of Liability

A driver may be able to use an "Act of God" defense to help prove their lack of liability. In these rare circumstances, the driver can blame the weather for an accident by proving that an uncontrolled and extraordinary force of nature, known as an Act of God, caused the accident. Despite the driver's efforts, their actions could not prevent the accident. For example, if a driver was pushed into traffic by the winds of a tornado, causing a vehicle pileup, that driver may not be at-fault for the accident. The tornado is determined to be an Act of God, meaning the driver could not do anything to avoid hitting other vehicles.

In any weather-related crash, the driver may be declared "at fault" for an accident, even if the weather was the contributing factor. Drivers must use caution on slick roads or during other unsafe weather conditions. Once liability is determined, the crash victim could have options to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver. Remember, Texas is an at-fault state for vehicle accidents, meaning the completely or partially responsible driver must take legal responsibility for the accident.

Proving Unsafe Driving in Bad Weather

In any accident, tangible evidence may help prove an accident claim. In the cases of a car accident in inclement weather, the importance of evidence is vital to the claim. The at-fault driver may blame the other drivers on the road, often noting they may have been reckless on the icy or wet surfaces. Finding witnesses can also be challenging, but they may make or break a case. Many eyewitnesses have difficulty reporting the details because the snow, rain, or wind obscured their view of the accident.

In some cases, the reports from firefighters, police officers, and EMTs who arrived at the crash site can also provide reliable pieces of evidence for an accident claim case. These professionals note what they saw based on the findings and note it in an official report. No matter the weather conditions, get a copy of the accident report from law enforcement. It could go a long way to help prove who was at fault for a vehicle accident in the inclement weather.

Consider Visiting with a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Bad weather car accident claims can happen at any time. Being prepared for the weather can help reduce the chances of ending up in an accident. However, even with a bit of caution, you could find yourself in an accident with a reckless or negligent driver. Crashes could lead to injuries and damages, but you may be able to recover some of those costs from the liable driver. Speak to a compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyer at Jason English Law to learn more about your potential compensation claims. Schedule a consultation by calling (512) 454-7548.

About the Author

Jason English

Jason English grew up in his dad's personal injury law practice in Tarrant County, graduated from Texas A&M before getting his law degree from St. Marys University School of Law. Initially he worked in his father's firm on personal injury, wills and probate, as well as, family law cases. Soo...

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