While Southern California does not see its share of ice and snow, there are still times when bad weather blows in, and traffic can become even more of a nightmare than it already is. Add in fog, rain or hail and you’ve got yourself the perfect conditions for a major car accident. And, unfortunately, some insurance companies may use bad weather as an excuse for them to deny an otherwise valid accident claim. This is why you may need to enlist the help of Hollywood Personal injury attorneys.
Car Accident Claim Denied for Bad Weather
For you to recover compensation from another driver after you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ll need to prove that the other driver was somehow negligent in the way he operated the car and that negligence resulted in your car accident. You’ll also have to prove that your injuries and damages were caused by that accident. If the insurance company can prove that bad weather caused the accident, both drivers may be deemed responsible for the damages.
Proving negligence in bad weather can be difficult, so it’s best to contact a lawyer who can gather the necessary information in order to place liability on the other driver.
Duty of Care
Drivers have a duty to each other while on the roadway in order to avoid an accident. In bad weather, the key is to prove that the driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle due to his own negligence rather than the weather conditions. It is important for you to know that drivers must exercise a certain level of care that is appropriate for every type of weather conditions. If you’re driving in bad weather, you’ll need to exercise a higher level of care due to the bad conditions.
For example, if it’s raining but the road is not too wet, you can probably drive at the designated speed limit. However, if it’s been raining hard and heavy for a few hours, or the wind is blowing causing decreased visibility, you’ll need to reduce speed. The speed limit is only there for optimal weather and road conditions. If the conditions change, a driver needs to adjust his maximum speed accordingly. If the driver spins out of control in raining weather and hits another car, the driver may still be held liable even if he was not speeding.
Other ways drivers can be held negligent during bad weather conditions include:
-Driving with worn windshield wipers
-Not using lights or windshield wipers
-Driving with worn tires
-Distracted driving, including talking on cell phone
-Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
-Driving while fatigued or drowsy
-Failure to obey traffic control devices or road signs
-Reckless or aggressive driving
Weather is just one of the many factors that are considered when determining the negligence of a driver after a car accident. You’ll want to retain experienced personal injury attorneys who know what to look at when investigating your claim. Experienced car accident attorneys will fight insurance companies to receive fair settlements for their clients.