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Who is liable for a bad weather accident?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2021 | Personal Injury |

All of us have experienced at least one time how terrifying it feels to drive when the weather is bad. Sometimes, the weather doesn’t allow drivers to see the road ahead clearly, not even by turning the windshield wipers to their maximum power. So, what happens when someone gets into an accident when the weather is bad? Can a driver be held liable for something they could not control? In some cases, they can.

When a driver is liable

Heavy snow, fog or rain can make it impossible for a driver to see what is around them. It can be relatively easy to get into an accident in bad weather conditions, but that does not reduce a person’s liability if they crash for being negligent. When there is bad weather, the driver is supposed to act with reasonable caution. The authorities consider the following actions as negligent under those circumstances:

  • Driving fast: you must drive as slow as possible. Even under the speed limit, driving fast would be unreasonable if you cannot see anything around you.
  • Driving when the weather conditions were expected: it would be unreasonable for you to drive when there is an expected blizzard or heavy storm.
  • Not leaving enough space between cars: you must always leave some space between your car and the car in front of you, especially when the weather is bad.

The court will find a driver at fault for the accident if they committed any of those acts. The driver at fault will have to compensate the other for car repairs, lost wages and medical expenses. If someone ever does any of those things and hits your car, you can file a legal claim against them no later than 2 years after the accident.

Your rightful compensation

You have the right to get compensation from a driver if they failed to drive with reasonable care when the weather was unfavorable. A driver cannot excuse themselves by saying the weather caused the accident unless the weather conditions were extreme and unpredicted. Other than that, bad weather is not an excuse, and you can ask for compensation if a negligent driver hits you.