Auto accidents happen all around the year but their numbers surge when the weather is bad. You can imagine how difficult driving can be with heavy winds and rains. The visibility is often poor and roads become slippery as well. With such tough conditions, determining the liability for mishaps can get difficult. However, as a victim looking for compensation, you cannot undermine the importance of determining the fault because the fate of your claim depends on it. Here are some facts that you need to know about liability for car accidents during extreme weather.
Understanding the meaning of an “Act of God”
When bad weather auto accidents occur, insurance companies use the term “Act of God” to describe them. The intent is to show that there is no one’s fault in the mishap. For example, a tree falling onto your car is a nature’s act rather than a consequence of human negligence. The damage was caused by the weather and it cannot be held accountable. The insurance company is not legally required to pay compensation in such cases. However, things will be different if the accident occurred due to a driver’s fault despite extreme weather conditions. You cannot let the insurance company manipulate facts and prove that the accident was an act of God, just to save on their money.
Liability of drivers during extreme weather
Regardless of the manipulation efforts of the insurance companies, a driver can still be held liable for a bad weather accident and you can get the compensation you deserve. It is best to hire expert auto accident lawyers to handle such cases because of their complex nature. They will determine liability for a bad weather crash just as it happens for a clear and sunny day. Essentially, this is done by proving the following:
The guilty driver had a duty of care
He or she failed to exercise their duty of care
An accident happened as a result
Drivers have a duty of care irrespective of the weather conditions
Weather is hard to predict and heavy rains, snowfall or hurricanes can happen any time. Every driver who is on the road should learn to practice safe driving even during extreme conditions because this is the duty they have towards the others on the road. It does not matter whether the visibility is low, the road is slippery or steering gets difficult due to extreme conditions. If a driver cannot control the vehicle or drive safely, they are not supposed to be on the road. Rain, snow or hurricanes are not an excuse they can give for causing an accident and injuries to others. And this is also not a justification that insurance companies can give to avoid paying up the compensation to the victim.
Just don’t let the insurance company fool you or bully you for accepting a lowball settlement because the weather was bad when the accident happened. If the guilty driver was careless, you are entitled to compensation, no matter how bad the conditions were!