Dallas Bad Weather Car Accident Attorney
Driving in bad weather conditions requires extra attention, skill, and care from the driver, because rain, fog, sleet, snow, ice, and wind can have a tremendous impact on our roads, significantly increasing the likelihood of car accidents.
“Operating a vehicle when the weather turns bad can be a risky endeavor, because adverse weather conditions affect visibility, traction, speed control, and brake performance,” explains our Dallas car accident attorney at Law Office of Dorothy Hyde.
Under Texas law, motorists are legally required to adjust their speed and exercise a special duty of care when driving in bad weather conditions. Failure to adjust to adverse weather conditions endangers the lives of other motorists, which can amount to negligence and make the motorist liable for any damages and losses that his or her negligent actions caused to others.
Who’s liable for a bad weather car accident?
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) estimates that bad weather is responsible for more than 1.3 million car accidents in Texas and all across the United States each year. These crashes lead to about 6,000 fatalities and nearly 500,000 injuries every year.
Determining who is liable for a car accident caused by adverse weather conditions is not always easy, because there may be multiple at-fault parties. Our experienced bad weather car accident attorney in Dallas explains that you may be able to sue a government agency responsible for an inspection and maintenance of the road or highway where your car crash occurred if, for example, it failed to salt the pavement in winter weather or it failed to plow and clean snow and ice from the road.
The other motorist’s fault in causing a weather-related car crash
The other motorist’s liability for a car crash in bad weather conditions is not immediately clear. Although the at-fault driver’s insurance company will probably attempt to deny your personal injury claim, arguing that the weather conditions caused the accident, you may still be able to prove that the other motorist breached a duty of care when driving in bad weather conditions.
For example, you may be able to prove that the other driver was at fault for causing a bad weather-related car accident if he or she failed to reduce the speed, did not use headlights, failed to maintain the required at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice, or did anything else that breaches the duty of care.
Factors to consider when determining liability
As you can see, the main point here is to prove that the other motorist was negligent, and that his or her negligence caused the car accident in bad weather conditions. When investigating your particular case, a Dallas car accident lawyer would consider factors that include but are not limited to:
- The severity of the bad weather conditions (fog, rain, ice, wind, snow, etc.)
- Whether the other driver was operating his or her vehicle like any other reasonable and prudent motorist would
- Whether the other motorist maintained a safe distance between vehicles
- Whether the other driver adjusted the speed to the adverse weather conditions
- The condition of the vehicles involved, as well as their parts and components (could poor vehicle maintenance be responsible for the crash?)
- Whether alcohol or drugs were involved
- Whether the motorist gave his or her undivided attention to the road when traveling in bad weather conditions
- Whether the other motorist’s headlights were properly aligned, and
- Whether the public or government entity responsible for this particular road or highway could have prevented the car accident by conducting a proper and regular inspection and maintenance.
As you can see, a lot of factors go into determining liability for a bad weather car accident, which is why it would be a good idea to consult with an experienced car crash lawyer. Here at Law Office of Dorothy Hyde, our skilled lawyers offer a free consultation. Call our offices at (214) 883-1700 to schedule a free case evaluation.