My Car Accident Was Caused By the Weather: Can I Recover Compensation?

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The winter driving season has just begun, and along with it comes the threat of snow, sleet, and/or ice storms that can make driving even short distances treacherous. Winter car accidents can result in serious physical and financial injuries and losses to victims, but recovering compensation for these injuries and losses can be tricky. Determining the percentage of fault attributable to the other driver, to yourself, and to the weather (which no one can control, of course) can involve considerable time and effort. The more details you take note of at the time of your crash, the better your car crash attorney’s ability to advise you of your legal rights.

What Details Should I Pay Attention to After a Winter Crash?

While you should take note of as many details as you can after a car crash (or, better yet, take pictures), this becomes even more important after a car crash in inclement weather as your ability to recover compensation (and, if so, in what amount) can depend on the smallest of details. Try to either take pictures documenting (or write detailed notes as soon as possible) concerning:

  • Road conditions and weather conditions: Document the state of the roadway immediately surrounding the accident site and take note of any ice, snow, or water on the roadway. Does there appear to be salt or deicer on the roadway? Also note the weather conditions and visibility: is it snowing or raining? Is there fog that is limiting visibility?
  • Condition of the other car: Inspect the other car, if you are able to do so. If it is raining or snowing, do the wipers on the car appear to be working? Does there appear to be sufficient tread on the tires (important to helping a car retain traction in slippery conditions)? Does the windshield appear to be obscured by condensation, snow, or water?
  • Skid marks in the snow or water: Look around the area of the other car’s path of travel: Can you notice tire marks suggesting the car slid before the crash (tire tracks suggesting the car traveled at an angle before impact)? This may suggest the car was traveling too fast for the road conditions or was not in good working order.?

Why These Details May Matter in Your Case

In a winter car crash, a defendant (the person alleged to have been careless or negligent) may try to blame the weather for the crash in an attempt to escape legal liability. By taking note of as many details as possible, you and your attorney will be able to show not just what the weather and/or road conditions were at the time of the crash but, more importantly, the defendant’s reaction to those conditions. While a defendant may not be able to control the amount of ice on the roadway, he or she does have control over how fast he or she is traveling or whether he or she is venturing forth in a car that is not equipped to handle the elements.
David R. Price, Jr. represents injury clients who have been hurt in car accidents and other personal injury incidents in South Carolina. Contact him for assistance after an injury accident by calling (864) 271-2636 or contacting him through his website.

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