All Questions

December 5, 2020 | Gary Burger

How is liability determined in a weather-related accident?

How is liability determined in a weather-related accident? If you've ever been on the road when it is raining hard, the road is covered in ice or snow, or conditions are foggy, you know these weather conditions make driving more difficult. So if you are hurt in an accident that happens during poor weather, how can someone be held responsible?

Liability in weather-related accidents can be complicated. In order to assure success in your car accident claim and to receive a fair settlement for your injuries and other damages, you will need an experienced lawyer who knows what to look for and how to prove liability. Burger Law has an extensive history of successful results for car accident victims of all kinds. For help with your weather-related accident case, contact Burger Law now. Call us at (314) 542-2222 or reach us online.

How is Liability Determined in a Weather-Related Accident?

Liability is a key factor that you must be able to prove when you bring a car accident claim. Poor weather can make it more difficult to understand who is at fault for an accident, especially when the conditions make it difficult for a driver to control their vehicle. But bad weather does not automatically mean a driver isn't responsible.

A Driver's Responsibility in Inclement Weather

As drivers, we share the road with many other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, truckers, motorcyclists, and cyclists. We have a responsibility to them, known in the law as a duty of care to drive responsibility and do what is in our power to protect others from harm.

Drivers are expected to adjust their driving behavior when weather conditions affect the road. Depending on the type of weather involved, a driver could be faulted for failing to uphold their extended duty of care by behaviors including:

  • Failing to use windshield wipers
  • Driving while impaired
  • Driving on worn tires, bald tires, or other tires not suited for the weather conditions
  • Driving without lights on
  • Using headlights incorrectly
  • Driving while fatigued or drowsy
  • Not using or having adequate windshield wipers
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to obey traffic signals
  • Failing to obey road signs
  • Reckless driving or driving too fast

When a Driver is Liable for a Weather-Related Accident

If an accident occurs during bad weather, it can be difficult to determine liability. However, we will have to study your case to determine if:

  • The driver was driving at a reasonable speed based on the surrounding weather conditions
  • The weather event or conditions were known in advance, not a sudden and unforeseeable occurrence
  • The driver had maintained a safe distance from the vehicles in front of it
  • It was possible to avoid the accident

In most cases, we are still able to determine that a driver has some level of fault in a weather-related accident. This is because there are still things drivers can do to maintain the safety of those on the road around them, and there are things they could have done to prevent the accident from happening.

When a Driver is Not Liable for a Weather-Related Accident

There are few rare instances in which a driver is not legally liable for your injuries in an accident. The complications in proving a car accident case that happens in poor weather are in proving that the driver is responsible for causing the accident and that your injuries are a result of the accident they caused.

One possible defense in weather-related accidents is the "Act of God" defense. On very rare occasions where the weather was extreme, unexpected, or unusual, it is possible that the driver could not have done anything to prevent the accident. An example would be if a tornado suddenly picked up a vehicle and hurled it into another lane. But this defense is very seldom valid; even in weather conditions that make it very difficult to control your vehicle, there are things you can do to avoid accidents. With very slick and icy roads, you can drive very carefully with ample space between your car and others, for example.

St. Louis Area Car Accident Lawyer | Burger Law Firm

When you are injured in an accident, an experienced car accident law firm can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Determining liability in a weather-related accident is even more complicated and requires a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer who knows what it takes to prove liability and negotiate a fair settlement.

You've been hurt and you're having difficulty proving your case because of the weather conditions involved. You need a good lawyer to help you prove the liability of the other driver and show the value of your damages. Burger Law is the law firm you can count on to go the extra mile in fighting for you and your weather-related accident case. Contact us or call us today at (314)-542-2222.