How Bad Weather Can Impact Liability in a Car Accident
As reported in one article published recently by the Orlando Sentinel, 2020 has been a nonstop record-breaking year when it comes to the number of tropical storms and bad weather. In fact, the total number of named storms this year – which recently hit 23 – is the most ever to make continental US landfall in an Atlantic hurricane season on record. With such an unusual year of weather conditions, this is a good time to remember the significant role the weather plays in relation to many things, including traffic accidents. And if you do find yourself involved in a car accident that happened during inclement weather, you should be aware of how this can impact your personal injury claim.
How Does Weather Affect Road Safety?
Unfortunately, bad weather can significantly impact driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation has published data that shows weather plays a role in approximately 21 percent of vehicle crashes. Of these weather-related crashes, the overwhelming majority happen on wet pavement and during rainfall with 70 percent occurring on wet roads. And on average, almost 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
Bad Weather and Accident Liability
As a driver, you undoubtedly know that driving through inclement weather is more challenging than driving on a clear day. You may also know that anyone who climbs behind the wheel of a car has a duty of care to maintain control of their vehicle and take all necessary steps that any other reasonable driver would take to avoid an accident. When this duty is breached because a driver does not practice the level of care that the situation calls for, then this may mean liability is triggered due to negligence. Drivers who are considered liable, or responsible for causing an accident, can be held accountable for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, hospitalization costs, and other related damages.
However, the weather is just one factor that is evaluated when determining driver negligence and liability. Other factors that can contribute to whether liability is triggered include:
- The speeds of both drivers
- How clear visibility was
- Any intervening actions by third parties
- Whether either party was driving while distracted, impaired or fatigued
If you have been involved in an accident during inclement weather, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer who handles auto accident claims as soon as possible in order to ensure that you know and understand your rights.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
You may be entitled to compensation for your harm if you were injured in a car accident during bad weather. One of the first things that you should do after obtaining medical assistance is consult with knowledgeable lawyers who are well-versed in dealing with auto accident claims. As the experienced and skilled Orlando personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for the harm that they cause. We fight hard for the rights of our clients and we strive to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their injuries, damages, and losses. Please contact us today for a no-cost consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Miami, Ocala, Bradenton, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.