Who Is Liable When Bad Weather Causes a Car Crash?

close up shot of car windshield wipers in use during rainy weather

Mother Nature can take a toll on Alabama drivers, especially in the spring months of March through May. Rain from thunderstorms can make roads slick and visibility low, and the high winds of tornado season can make even the most cautious drivers get into wrecks.

What happens if you are involved in an accident caused by bad weather? After all, you can’t file an insurance claim against Mother Nature.

When bad weather leads to a crash, who is at fault, and how can you get the money you deserve for your injuries? You could have legal options if you are involved in an accident caused by poor weather conditions.

Can a Driver Still Be at Fault for a Crash in Bad Weather

The answer is yes. Every motorist must exercise caution when operating a vehicle in inclement weather conditions. Bad weather can make driving more challenging. However, individuals are still responsible for their actions when behind the wheel. Drivers who fail to take extra safety precautions during storms or other weather events can be liable for another driver’s injuries and other losses from wrecks.

Determining Liability for Crashes When the Weather Is Foul

Determining liability for a collision comes down to evidence. Weather conditions and all drivers’ actions are examined to determine who is liable for the crash. If there is evidence a driver was going too fast for the road conditions, for example, the weather may have contributed to the crash, but the speeding driver’s careless actions ultimately caused the accident.

Why is determining liability vital in weather-related car accidents? It’s because liability plays a role in the compensation an injured party can recover. Alabama follows a contributory negligence rule, which means that an injured driver cannot recover any compensation in civil court if their actions played any part in causing the accident.

To recover meaningful compensation from an insurance company, you need strong evidence proving the other driver and the poor weather caused the collision.

How to Avoid Bad Weather Accidents

Staying home is the best way to avoid accidents in bad weather. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option. If you must venture out onto bad roads, consider these safety tips for avoiding bad weather accidents:

  • Plan accordingly. Sometimes traveling in bad weather is unavoidable. Check the weather before you hit the road to know what to expect. Utilize ALGO Traffic, which has real-time maps and information on road conditions across Alabama.
  • Slow down. You are responsible for altering your driving behavior during storms. Slow down by at least a third to give yourself more time to notice potential obstacles and avoid a collision.
  • Keep a safe distance. Slick roads can make stopping your vehicle challenging. Leave at least an extra two to three car lengths between you and the other drivers.
  • Turn off cruise control. Do not use cruise control in poor weather. Remain in control of your vehicle so you can adjust speed as needed.
  • Never drive through flooded areas. Water on Alabama roadways can be deceiving. Never enter flooded roads. Only six inches of water can stall a car. One foot of water is enough to float most vehicles.
  • Do not shelter under an overpass. Caught on the road, and a tornado is approaching? Never seek shelter under an overpass. Drive away from the funnel and seek sturdy shelter. If you’re stuck, move away from your car and take cover in a ditch or low spot.

How the Personal Injury Lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Can Help

If you need help navigating the claims process following a poor weather crash, the car accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are here for you. We can investigate the cause of the accident, collect evidence to strengthen your claim, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.

We want to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Set up a confidential, no-obligation case review. Contact our office today.

Since 1966, our lawyers have been standing up for injured victims and taking cases to court in North Alabama and all across the state. If you’re hurt in an accident, you want to be sure that you have the most qualified injury & accident lawyers representing you with a proven track record representing injured victims in the courts.