An estimated 23% of accidents every year occur during bad weather. However, if you were in an accident during a storm, does that mean the weather was responsible for the crash? While proving fault for weather-related accidents may be difficult, one of the drivers is responsible. Therefore, talk to your Houston traffic accident lawyer if you were in an accident during a storm.
Many people believe that most weather-related accidents occur in cold, snowy conditions. However, three-quarters of weather-related accidents happen during rainstorms. As you know, we’re no strangers to rain. Your Houston traffic accident lawyer can help you fight for compensation after an accident during a rainstorm.
Talk to Your Houston Traffic Accident Lawyer About Weather-Related Accidents
Generally, the weather isn’t to blame for an accident. Instead, poor weather can contribute to an accident. However, it’s a driver’s negligence during a storm or other weather event that causes an accident. Many people mistakenly think that they won’t receive compensation for a car accident if it happened during poor weather. This is not the case, as the law sees the negligent driver as responsible for your damages and injuries.
Usually the driver who loses control of their vehicle is at-fault. However, the insurance adjuster may try to blame the accident on the weather instead of the driver. This is a ploy to lower the settlement amount or avoid compensating you for your damages. Unfortunately, many people accept lowball settlements for weather related car crash claims because insurance adjusters are great at laying the blame on mother nature. However, poor weather doesn’t necessarily affect your claim for compensation compared to any other accident.
It’s important to talk to your Houston traffic accident lawyer about your case. This can help you avoid taking an unfair settlement or allowing the adjuster to bully you out of receiving the compensation you need. We help you file the claim, gather the evidence, and negotiate with the adjuster to help you get a fair settlement. If we can’t negotiate a fair deal, then we can help you file a lawsuit to recover your damages.
Duty of Care During Poor Conditions
So, why is anyone at-fault for weather-related accidents? When a driver’s negligence causes a crash, Houston traffic accident law puts them at-fault for the accident. Bad weather can increase the risk of an accident. However, accidents during storms result from unsafe driving.
Those on the road have a duty of care for other drivers, no matter what the conditions are. This means it’s your responsibility to drive safely and prevent accidents and injuries. During poor weather, this may mean driving under the speed limit or simply not driving at all. If you cannot drive safely, for whatever reason, you have a duty to not drive and keep yourself and others safe.
However, poor weather doesn’t mean just adjusting your driving habits. You also have a duty of care to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive and that you use the necessary safety features. For example, if it is dark or difficult to see because of a storm, you must use your headlights. Part of your duty of care is to ensure your headlights function properly. Also, your tires should have enough tread and air pressure to have traction in wet conditions. Otherwise, you risk sliding or losing control of your vehicle and causing an accident. Even having worn windshield wipers may be considered a failure to uphold your duty of care while driving in poor weather conditions.
If you were in an accident during bad weather, your Houston traffic accident lawyer can help gather evidence of the other driver’s negligence to help you receive the compensation you need. Proving another driver’s negligence during poor weather can be difficult, but your attorney can help you gather the evidence you need for your claim or lawsuit.
Talk to Your Houston Traffic Accident Lawyer About Comparative Fault
However, what if you were in a situation where you were partially at fault for a weather-related car accident? For example, say the other driver was speeding and caused the accident, but your windshield wipers weren’t on and you didn’t see their car in time to swerve out of the way. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t file a claim against the other driver’s auto insurance. Your Houston traffic accident lawyer can help you determine the right course of action for your specific situation.
In Texas, we have what is called the modified comparative fault rule. This means that you can’t recover damages from a car accident if you are more than 51% at fault for the accident. Therefore, even if you were partially negligent with your windshield wipers, you may still be able to receive compensation for your accident. Your Houston car crash attorney can help you gather evidence to show that you were less than 51% at fault for the accident so you can receive compensation for your damages and injuries.
When the Weather Really is At Fault
An adjuster may try to blame your accident on the weather. However, it’s rare that the law actually determines the weather to be at-fault. When the weather is the sole cause of an accident, it’s called an “act of God.” It only applies to situations where unexpected and extreme weather causes an unavoidable accident. For example, if a sudden earthquake pushes your car into oncoming traffic and causes a crash. This would be an “act of God.”
Act of God cases are quite rare, but insurance adjusters often use this excuse to try to avoid paying out your claim. This is a common trick that adjusters try to use to get people to take a settlement far below what is fair. Unfortunately, many claimants accept this and end up not getting the settlement they deserve. If an insurance adjuster tries to claim that an accident was unavoidable, your Houston traffic accident lawyer will help you fight for a fair settlement.
At DeSimone Law Office, we advocate for your rights after a car accident. Our team knows all the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying for your claim. Therefore, your Houston car crash attorney can help you receive a fair settlement for your accident claim. Call us today at (713) 526-0900 to talk to our attorneys about your case.