We’ve all experienced severe weather when we are driving and know how terrifying it can be. A change in the weather can increase the chances of you having a motor vehicle accident.
Even if you are driving as safely as possible, someone else may be acting carelessly behind the wheel, putting you and your passengers at risk.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by bad weather, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused the crash.
Bad weather car accidents often involve complex legal issues about who is at fault. The other driver may claim that the severe weather was to blame for the crash and that they were not acting carelessly.
Working with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you determine your legal rights and options following a weather-related car accident. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we want to help you secure the fair outcome that you deserve.
Weather’s Impact on the Road and Driving
Each year, there are roughly 5.9 million car accidents in the United States, and 21% of them happen as the result of weather-related conditions, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Some of these accidents result in minor fender-benders, while others lead to devastating injuries and fatalities.
There are many ways bad weather and rain can make car accidents more likely, the FHWA says.
Rainfall and bad weather can impact the road and make it less safe. Motorists can encounter:
- Visibility impairments like heavy rainfall
- High winds that make it hard to control their vehicles
- Heavy rains that lead to flash floods on the roadway
- Temperature extremes that affect vehicle performance
- Pavement friction that makes it easier for their vehicles to skid
- Traffic jams as drivers react to sudden changes in weather
- Road hazards, such as fallen tree limbs
Car accident lawyers are all too familiar with these conditions and have seen firsthand just how dangerous weather can be for even the safest of motorists.
Just because you follow these good driving tips does not mean other drivers will. This can put you and your passengers at serious risk of suffering an injury.
Keep Yourself Safe from Bad Weather Car Accidents
There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself, your passengers, and other motorists when bad weather strikes. Many of these are good driving habits that drivers should be ready to implement when the skies start to darken:
- Reduce your speed so you can react to sudden changes on the road.
- Increase your following distance to improve stopping time.
- Turn on your headlights to make it easier to see and for other vehicles to see you.
- Keep your windshield wipers and other safety devices on your vehicle working properly.
- Pull over and wait for severe rain to end if there is a safe spot on the roadside.
- Turn on your flashers if there is a road hazard ahead, such as a fallen tree limb.
- Make sure your tires are inflated correctly and that the tread is still functional.
- Be wary of black ice, which is invisible ice on top of the pavement.
- Drive gently and slowly to avoid sudden stops or sharp turns.
- Adhere to all traffic rules, such as yielding the right-of-way.
Regardless of drivers’ intentions, bad weather accidents can still happen. If you have been in a crash during inclement weather conditions that you think someone else’s negligence caused, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
A lawyer with the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can review your situation and advise you of your next steps. Call us today at (954) 633-8270 for a free consultation with a member of our team.
You Can Hold Someone Responsible After a Crash
If you were hurt in a bad weather car accidents and heavy rainfall, you can bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages if someone else’s negligence caused your accident.
To establish that negligence occurred, you will need to prove four key things before you are awarded compensation:
- Duty – You will first need to show that the other driver owed you a duty to drive with reasonable care and skill. Generally, anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle owes this duty to other drivers and pedestrians.
- Breach – You will need to show that the other driver did not act according to this duty of reasonable care. Examples include speeding during a rainstorm, not having properly working headlights, or tailgating.
- Causation – You will need to show that the other driver’s lack of reasonable care caused your injuries. They may try to assert that the bad weather was the main cause of the crash.
- Damages – You will need to prove the expenses and injuries that you suffered as a result of the car accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Car Accident
A Fort Myers car accident lawyer can help you with each of these elements. Your lawyer will gather evidence to show that the other driver acted carelessly and was the accident’s primary cause. Just because the weather turns bad does not mean that drivers are absolved from using common sense and caution behind the wheel.
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato wants to hear about your bad weather car accidents so we can learn more about how we can help you seek recovery. Call us at (954) 633-8270 today for a free consultation.