Proving Fault in Inclement Weather Accidents

December 18, 2020

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a new car accident happens about once every minute. This equates to about 5.25 million yearly accidents across the United States, and over 37,000 people die every year in auto accidents in the US alone. While car accidents can happen at any time, the chances of a wreck are increased exponentially when inclement weather is involved. Nearly 22% of auto accidents each year occur in bad weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, heavy winds, or ice. On average 73% of weather-related accidents occur on wet roads.

Between 2007-2016, approximately 1.2 million crashes were recorded and attributed to inclement weather conditions, of which, 5,376 died of their injuries. These are troubling statistics, but even more concerning is that many of these accidents could have been prevented by safer driving skills and exercising greater caution.

In order to recover losses following a car accident, you will need to first show that the other driver acted negligently. Negligence is defined as the failure to act reasonably under the given circumstances, resulting in damage or injury to another. In general, all drivers owe other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others a legal duty to act reasonably, drive safely, and exercise caution. When the weather conditions are not optimal, it is even more important that drivers take extra precautions to protect the safety of others.

Common Ways Drivers Can Act Negligently in Bad Weather:

  • Driving Too Fast For Conditions
  • Reckless Driving
  • Aggressively Weaving Through Traffic
  • Driving with Worn Tires
  • Failing to Use Headlights
  • Following Too Closely
  • Failing to Remove Snow, Ice, and Other Obstacles from Windows

Bad weather accidents can be complicated, as often defendants will try to blame the conditions instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. Bad weather may be referred to as an “Act of God” or the defendant may argue that it’s a no-fault accident. Even during periods of bad weather, drivers still have a responsibility to act and react appropriately and still have a legal duty to protect others.

In some cases, the weather may be so bad that the police are unable to respond to the scene. In these cases, you may not be able to obtain a full police report, but you should still exchange information with the driver, collect the driver’s license plate information, notify the police to file a report, obtain witness information, and take photographs. This information will be important if you later need to file a claim or recover damages and prove fault.

Seek Help From An Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident, regardless of the weather conditions, you should contact an experienced attorney to help you receive compensation for your injuries and any financial losses. The lawyers at Saladino & Schaaf have decades of experience helping accident victims receive the compensation they deserve for car and truck accidents. Contact us for a free consultation or call us at 270-444-0406 (Paducah, KY) or 270-753-1529 (Murray, KY) to find out if you are entitled to compensation.




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Inclement weather poses risk for drivers




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