According to the Federal Highway Administration, bad weather causes more than 1.3 million crashes in the United States each year. These auto accidents result in more than 6,000 deaths and 480,000 injuries every year. Texas and Louisiana are at a particularly high risk of car accidents in bad weather – typically due to hurricanes and heavy rain.
Even under the most terrible of conditions, the at-fault driver may be held liable. Their insurance company may try to deny responsibility, claiming that the weather conditions caused the wreck. But if the defendant failed to take necessary safety precautions, such as using headlights, lowering speed, and removing obstructions from their vehicle before driving, it can be proven that they acted negligently.
Photo credit: National Weather Service
Can My Car Accident Claim Be Denied for Bad Weather?
It can, sometimes simply because the weather itself caused the accident conditions and no one is truly at fault. Very often, however, insurance companies will try to use bad weather as an excuse to deny valid car accident claims.
In order for you to recover damages from another driver for a car accident, you have to prove that the other driver was negligent in some way and that their negligence resulted in the accident. You must also prove that your damages and injuries were caused by the accident. If the insurance company can prove that inclement weather caused the accident, then each driver would be responsible for his or her damages.
Drivers’ Duty of Care
Each driver has a duty to other drivers on the road to maintain control of their vehicle to avoid a collision. For car accidents in bad weather, the key is to prove that the driver failed to maintain control of the vehicle due to the driver’s negligence, instead of the weather. Drivers must exercise a level of care that is appropriate for the road conditions. If you’re driving in bad weather, you must exercise an even higher level of care because of the inclement weather.
Some of the ways a driver can be negligent in bad weather include:
- Not using windshield wipers or lights
- Driving with worn windshield wipers or worn tires
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Impaired driving
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Failing to obey traffic signals or road signs
Contact Shamieh Law
Weather is just one of the many aspects we look at when determining which driver is responsible in an accident. Our legal team has experience handling car accidents in bad weather and fighting insurance companies for fair and just compensation for accident victims.
If you or someone you love is a victim of a car accident in bad weather, call an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 214-888-3333 to schedule a consultation.