Who is Liable For a Car Accident Due to Weather?
On Behalf of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa | January 32, 2023 | Car Accidents
Car crashes happen year-round on Florida roadways, regardless of the road and weather conditions. But it is vital to know the additional hazards you may face while driving in inclement weather and how they can factor into establishing liability if you get into a crash.
How Weather Can Negatively Affect Driving
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), weather causes or contributes to approximately 21% of all motor vehicle accidents. Experienced drivers know full well that driving in the rain or inclement weather conditions is more difficult than driving on a sunny day. Some of the most common ways that inclement weather can affect driving and result in more car crashes include:
- Losing control of the vehicle due to hydroplaning
- Impaired visibility because of the rain or snow
- Driving too fast for the weather conditions
How Liability is Determined in Car Accidents That Involve Weather Conditions
All drivers who get behind the wheel take on an implied legal duty of care. This means they have a responsibility to always remain in control of their vehicles and take reasonable steps that other drivers would take to prevent a crash. In this light, all drivers must adjust their driving maneuvers to take into account the given weather and road conditions.
To illustrate, if it’s not raining or the rain just started pouring, it’s fine to keep traveling at the posted speed limit. However, if it’s raining very hard, visibility and tire traction will be significantly reduced, which means that drivers must lower their speed to help ensure that they remain in maximum control of their vehicles.
But the weather is just one of the various factors that must be considered when establishing negligence and liability in motor vehicle crashes. Most importantly, other factors include whether, during the crash, one or both of the drivers were:
- Driving above the posted speed limit
- Driving with old or worn tires
- Not using windshield wipers
- Driving without the headlights on
- Driving distractedly
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not following road signs or stop lights
- Engaging in any dangerous or reckless driving behavior
- Breaking any traffic laws
Ultimately, all these factors will be taken into account when investigating the car accident to determine whether one or both drivers failed to uphold their legal duty of care or violated a traffic rule. In this situation, you can’t just take the word of the other party, their insurance claims adjuster, or their lawyer. You should work with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer that can collect all the necessary evidence to make sure that you’re not wrongfully blamed for the accident.
Get Legal Guidance From a Skilled West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Now
If you were injured in a car crash and weather played a significant role in the accident, contact Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa right away. Our lawyers can prove liability for the crash to ensure that you receive fair compensation from the liable party. Please call 561-478-2500 or complete our online form to schedule your free case evaluation with our West Palm Beach car accident lawyer now.