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Who is Liable When Bad Weather Causes an Accident?

March 02, 2024

Who is Liable When Bad Weather Causes an Accident?

When conditions are hazardous, accidents are bound to happen. Examining a recent five-year period, there were a total of 193,487 accidents in the Volunteer State. Ranked as one of the least snowy states in the country, it is no wonder that Tennessee drivers do not know how to drive in inclement weather.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it may be hard to tell who is at fault. Our Tennessee car accident lawyers would like to discuss the factors that contribute to car accidents due to bad weather and the compensation that may be available to you.

Factors Determining Liability in Car Accidents

Drivers have a duty to drive responsibly, even in inclement weather. While no driver can be held responsible for the conditions of the road or bad weather, if a driver is found to be driving unsafely, he or she may be held liable.

Several factors will be examined to determine liability:

Speeding or Unsafe Driving Behavior

If a motorist is driving too fast for conditions or taking turns too quickly on icy roads, the individual may be held liable for the crash.

Headlight Usage

If a driver does not use their headlights in poor conditions, the insurance company will likely find the motorist responsible for the accident. Motorists need to appropriately use headlights in differing weather conditions. For example, if a motorist turns on a car’s high beams in foggy conditions, the insurance company may deduce that the driver further impaired his or her visibility.

Following Distance

In slippery conditions, drivers should maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. This will depend on the type of vehicle you are driving, but in general, it is recommended that drivers maintain eight to 10 seconds behind another driver.

Condition of the Vehicle

As drivers, we have a duty to make sure that our vehicles are equipped for winter weather. This means that motorists should make sure that their tires, brakes, and brake lights are all in good condition. If you are driving on bald or underinflated tires, your chances of having a crash increase exponentially.

Handling Slippery Roads

If you have no choice but to drive in inclement weather, your insurance company will not toss up a crash as being caused by Mother Nature. As drivers, we have a responsibility to handle our vehicles appropriately in dangerous conditions. If you skid, it is best to turn into the skid. Knowing how to manage a skid can avoid a serious crash.

Forms of Compensation

Car accident victims may be able to collect damages for their injuries and hardship. Damages are intended to make the injured party “whole” again and may be in the form of economic and/or noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are pecuniary losses that take money directly out of your pocketbook. These may include:

Conversely, noneconomic damages are losses that do not have a direct financial component but impact your quality of life. These may include:

Contact a Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer Today

A car accident can have long-lasting effects, disturbing your already hectic life. If you suffered injuries in a crash, do not hesitate to contact our Tennessee car accident lawyers today. Schedule your free, no-risk consultation online or by calling 615-256-6666 today.