When you’re in a car accident there are a number of factors that go into determining fault. These include the state’s fault laws, the exact circumstances of the accident, the reports of the people involved and any eyewitnesses, police, and first responders, and more.
Yes, another of the important factors that are taken into account in determining car accident fault involves the weather conditions. Learn how insurance companies and juries judge fault in car accidents involving bad weather, and how a Nashville car accident attorney can help.
Car Accidents and Negligence
Negligence is an important factor in every accident case. In fact, it’s the key factor upon which a determination of fault and awarding of damages is based. Negligence is, in essence, another word for acting irresponsibly. It means that a person wasn’t paying attention to (or didn’t care about) the ways in which a reasonable person would act in a given situation, and something unfortunate or tragic happened as a result.
In a car accident, the negligent party is also considered to be “at fault” for the accident when it comes to determination of damage awards. The injured party is entitled to compensation for the damages suffered by the negligent party, but first, negligence must be proven.
Bad Weather and Negligence
There are many factors that come into play when determining negligence. These include speed, road conditions, visibility, the degree of distraction, the presence of drugs or alcohol, and a number of other things, including the weather. The key question when considering the weather in negligence is, was the weather actually a factor?
Consider these two contrasting examples. In example one, the roads are clear, and a very light drizzle has just begun. The roads aren’t really wet, yet, and the rain isn’t heavy enough to really obscure vision. In the second example, there’s a heavy sleet storm going on, it’s tough to see, and the road is covered in a sheet of ice. In both examples, one car strikes another. In the first example, the weather is not likely to be deemed a factor. In the second, weather may well be the root cause.
Driver Behavior and Weather
When the insurers and jury look at an injury case, they will consider not just the weather conditions, but whether the drivers were behaving properly for those conditions. In the example of the sleet-covered road, a driver doing 50 on an ice-covered roadway may still be considered negligent. Meanwhile, a driver doing 20 or less, and behaving carefully but who still loses control on an ice patch could argue the weather caused the problem.
Nashville Car Accident Attorney
When you’re involved in an accident, you need help proving fault and negligence so that you have the ideal chance of getting the maximum settlement under the law. No matter how responsible you are, sometimes other drivers’ behavior results in the unthinkable. A qualified Nashville car accident attorney can be your best ally in the fight to get compensated for your injuries.