Determining Legal Liability in Bad Weather Auto Accidents
Whether it is snow, ice, or winter storms, bad weather conditions here in Defiance and NW Ohio contribute to hundreds car accidents every year. Ohio has more bad weather auto accidents than most other states in the country; in fact, Ohio is in the top 5 states of fatalities due to bad weather auto accidents. If you are involved in an auto accident resulting from bad weather, it is important to consider legal liability.
Many people are disappointed and frustrated when they are considered at fault by insurance companies for an accident that occurred during inclement weather. Unfortunately, even if bad weather driving conditions caused you to lose control of your vehicle and get into an accident, you may still be found at fault.
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After the accident, insurance companies review the details of the accident to determine liability. You are responsible for controlling your vehicle no matter what other conditions were at play. If you lost control of your car and skidded into another vehicle or slid through an intersection and T-boned another car, you will most likely be considered responsible for the accident, regardless of any inclement weather.
As a driver, you are expected to understand the weather conditions and drive accordingly or stay off the road if you know you are not prepared to navigate the conditions. So, if someone has hit you due to bad weather, the bad weather alone does not prevent you from recovering.
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During the fault investigation, insurance companies will hear from eye-witnesses and analyze the scene of the accident. They will ask and consider the following questions:
- How fast was each driver going?
- Was your speed adjusted appropriately for the weather conditions?
- Were any of the drivers drunk, distracted, or negligent?
- Was the roadway clear?
- Did you or the other driver panic and slam on the breaks?
Determination of Fault
If the insurance companies have determined that you are at fault, you might feel like you were treated unfairly, especially in the event of a bad-weather-related accident. If you don’t agree with the determination, then you can appeal it.
However, the determination is likely to stand unless you can prove that someone else caused or contributed to the accident—for example, a car ahead of you slammed on their breaks suddenly causing you to slide into them, or the roadway was poorly cleared or neglected.
Call a Local Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Options
If you have been involved in a weather-related car accident, or if you feel you are being blamed unfairly by your insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney right away. At Arthur Law Firm, our dedicated team will answer your questions about your weather-related accident and help determine your grounds for legal action moving forward.
Call our office today – (567) 280-5669.