Car Accidents in Bad Weather
While distraction on the part of drivers is a leading cause of car accidents, sometimes the elements can play a role in causing accidents. If an accident is primarily caused by bad weather, the ability to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim becomes a bit more complex. This is because the other driver may try to contest liability and point to the bad weather as the culprit of the accident.
However, it is important to realize that people driving in poor conditions must be extra careful, whether they encounter fog, rain, or snow. Drivers need to adapt to the road conditions. If they fail to do so, then they can be held responsible for an accident.
How Bad Weather can Cause Accidents
Visibility is important when it comes to driving on the road. Even on a clear sunny day, some drivers have trouble concentrating on the road. When the weather brings in a heavy storm, you can expect that the problem becomes worse.
According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 1.3 million car accidents were caused by bad weather within a 10-year period. This just goes to show that the challenges to visibility caused by bad weather play a huge role in the accidents that occur on our roads.
Negligence of Other Drivers
If bad weather caused an accident, is it possible to hold the weather accountable? Definitely not. However, you can hold a driver accountable for negligence if he or she acted in a way that made it more likely for the accident to occur.
For instance, on a clear sunny day, a driver can decide to drive at the speed limit. However, when fog or heavy rain diminishes visibility, it will be unreasonable to keep on going mindlessly at the speed limit.
The same thing applies during wet or icy conditions. The slippery nature of the road will make it a bit difficult to stop. So, during wet conditions, a driver is expected to reduce his speed considerably. Not doing so may amount to negligence.
You can also hold a driver accountable for negligence if he or she did not take adequate care of tires, windshield wipers, mirrors, and any other car part that would have been essential to preventing the accident.
Poor Road Maintenance
In addition to the negligence of other drivers, poor road maintenance can contribute to and even cause accidents after a bad weather event.
Local and state governments are responsible to make sure roadways are safe and properly maintained. In some situations you may be able to bring a claim against these agencies if a serious accident occurs because;
- overgrown bushes and trees block the view of a stop sign which in turn fails to control traffic
- a heavy storm results in traffic lights that are inoperable and not repaired in a reasonable amount of time
- a bridge is collapses or is damaged and remains in a state of disrepair for an extended period of time
If your accident was caused by poor road maintenance, you need to track the agency responsible for maintaining that road. When you do, you can hold them responsible for the injuries you sustained during the accident.
Your attorney will be able to put together an investigative team that will piece together the details of the accident and pinpoint the cause. If evidence points to poor road maintenance, you may have case against the government.
Injured in a Car Accident in Bad Weather? Houston Attorneys are Ready to Help
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury in an accident that occurred during bad weather, take action and schedule a time to speak to an experienced Houston car accident attorney. Contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today 713-221-6800 for a free, confidential consultation.