If you are involved in a car accident, the experience typically triggers physical pain, emotional suffering, and financial stress.
Many accidents happen in regular weather conditions, caused by the recklessness or distraction of other drivers. Even safe and attentive drivers are at heightened risk of an accident in bad weather conditions, though.
At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we often collect damages with car accidents occurring in bad weather since drivers must operate their vehicle safely in bad weather, reducing speed and maintaining control of their vehicle.
According to the Department of Transportation, over 20% of the 6 million car crashes that occur each year in the US are linked to bad weather conditions.
In Kentucky, poor road conditions are a major contributory factor to auto accidents. There are many situations where road quality may not be the main cause of the wreck, but conditions can inflame the aftermath of the accident.
There are many reasons for bad roads in Bowling Green, including:
- Heavy vehicles
- High volumes of traffic
- Bad weather (rain, ice, tornadoes)
- Irregular road maintenance
- Storm damage
- Narrow and curving roads
What Is the Legality of Driving in Poor Weather Conditions?
As a Bowling Green motorist, you are expected to account for existing weather conditions, making adjustments to driving accordingly.
If you make mistakes like driving into a rainstorm, stopping too quickly, and then hydroplaning through a stop sign, causing other vehicles to collide, you are likely to be found liable for the wreck.
While you are not in control of the weather, you can choose not to drive in adverse weather conditions. If you decide to drive in poor weather conditions, you also have the power to drive more carefully than normal, allowing for changes to road traction and visibility to minimize the likelihood of causing an accident.
From a legal standpoint, you are responsible for the car accidents you cause in Bowling Green, regardless of the weather conditions.
As a motorist, you have a duty of care to other drivers to avoid causing a collision. You must maintain an appropriate level of care for the weather conditions at hand. This means your duty of care needs to be higher in bad weather conditions.
If you notice a few spots of rain and the roads are not yet wet, driving at or around the speed limit should be safe. In hard rain, though, visibility is decreased substantially, and you should consider driving below the speed limit. Whenever the road conditions are sub-optimal, you should always be ready to lower your speed accordingly.
If you are involved in a car accident where bad weather plays a role, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney to help you avoid complications and to get the compensation you deserve.
How to Determine Liability in a Weather-Related Bowling Green Car Accident
To determine liability for a Bowling Green bad weather car accident, you must show that the other driver was negligent. Negligence is a term used to express the improper caution exercised by another driver, in this case due to hazardous weather conditions.
A driver can be found negligent in the following cases of driving in poor weather conditions:
- Driving too quickly for the weather conditions
- Driving while aware of unsafe weather conditions
- Failing to use headlights when visibility was poor
- Turning quickly on slippery pavement
- Leaving an inadequate stopping distance between cars
You may also be found negligent as a result of poor vehicle maintenance, including:
- Weak brakes
- Worn tires
- Malfunctioning lights
- Damaged windshield wipers
Even if you are prepared and driving safely, you could still find yourself involved in a car accident. You can’t control the weather conditions, and you can’t control the actions of other drivers either.
If a car accident occurs when weather conditions are bad, insurers and attorneys need a method of establishing whether the driver is at-fault. The following variables come into play:
- The distance between vehicles
- The speed relative to the weather conditions
- Whether the conditions were expected or unexpected
- If the accident was avoidable
In most accidents where bad weather is a factor, the at-fault driver can be held liable, given that they could have acted otherwise and prevented the accident.
Is It Possible for a Bowling Green Car Accident Claim to Be Denied Due to Bad Weather?
To recover compensation, you need to prove that the other driver was negligent, and also that this negligence caused the car accident. Beyond this, you must prove your injuries were directly caused by the accident.
If the insurer proves that bad weather caused the wreck, you and the other motorist will both be held responsible for damages.
Proving negligence can be tricky, so consider consulting an experienced attorney.
When Does Inclement Weather Mean a Driver is Not At Fault?
In some rare instances, a driver can prove a lack of liability or fall back on an Act of God defense. These scenarios involve unusual and completely unexpected weather conditions leaving the driver with no way of avoiding an accident. If you were driving and then suddenly shunted into incoming traffic by a tornado, you may not be liable for the ensuing multi-vehicle pileup. There is no meaningful way for a driver to avoid this type of accident.
Ultimately, a driver can be declared at fault for a car accident even when bad weather is deemed a contributing factor. Use more caution when the roads are slick.
If you are injured in a bad weather car accident in Bowling Green, you may be eligible to collect damages if the other motorist failed to exercise due care. Kentucky’s statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident to sue for damages.
Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers will perform a thorough investigation to determine fault in a Bowling Green bad weather accident, including taking pictures to preserve evidence and gathering witness statements. Our attorneys have been representing car accidents victims for over 46 years and can get you the settlement you deserve. Call or click today for your free case evaluation.