Weather-Related Car Accidents — Proving Negligence
Bad weather can strike any time of the year. Common weather hazards — including heavy rain, black ice, and dense fog — are often the cause of car accidents.
If you get into a car accident and poor weather conditions played a part, how much blame do you prescribe to Mother Nature and how much to the other driver?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes occur on Texas roads about every 56 seconds. More than 10% – nearly 60,000 crashes – are due to poor weather conditions.
Despite dangerous driving conditions created by bad weather, driver negligence could prove to be the ultimate source of an accident.
In order to receive compensation for medical bills, missed work, pain, suffering, and vehicle repairs, you must prove that the other driver was negligent.
Determining Negligence In A Weather-Related Car Accident
In a weather-related accident, the responding officer, the insurance company, and the court determine fault based on road conditions and the drivers' actions.
How fast was the driver going?
Were the windshield wipers and headlights turned on for clear visibility?
What condition was the vehicle in?
In poor weather, drivers may be held responsible if they lose control of their car - even if they drive slower than the speed limit. If the vehicle was in subpar condition, an engine failure or a flat tire could have caused the accident.
Damage Compensation In Texas
States differ in their laws regarding compensation for damages.
In order to sue the other driver in Texas, you must have been 49% or less responsible for the accident. In other words, if you're found at least 51% responsible, you won't be entitled to compensation.
Additionally, you must show that your injuries were caused by a negligent driver. If the insurance company can establish that bad weather ultimately caused the accident, each driver is responsible for his or her own damages.
Drivers are expected to drive at a speed appropriate for the weather and be ready for the extra stopping distance required.
If visibility is poor, pull over and wait.
Your car should also be well-maintained, with appropriate tires and the lights and wipers functioning properly.
Regardless of the weather, you must take the necessary precautions to stay safe on the road. Unfortunately, accidents still can and do happen. When you're injured in a road accident in Texas, you should consult with a lawyer who will determine if you're eligible for a personal injury claim.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident due to poor weather conditions, our Texas car accident attorneys are prepared to help you. We have an extensive car accident practice that has enabled us to help accident victims successfully. Contact VB Attorneys for a free and completely confidential case evaluation. Call 713-224-7800 or complete this contact form.