Thankfully, the fall and winter in Alabama don’t come with extreme snow storms like in colder parts of the country. However, icy roads, sleet, and rainstorms cause car accidents in Alabama every fall and winter. When hazardous weather conditions are factored in car accidents, victims might believe that an act of God caused the car accident, and they can’t recover compensation for their injuries.
On the contrary, nasty weather does not relieve negligent drivers of their legal obligation to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Instead, drivers must use extra caution and ensure their vehicles are well-maintained and able to drive and handle inclement weather conditions properly. In addition to bad weather, roadway defects, such as dangerous design, improper drainage, potholes, and lack of proper traffic signs, can lead to Serious accidents during bad weather events.
Factors Contributing to Bad Weather Accidents
Auto accidents during hazardous weather can have outside contributing factors, such as roadway defects, vehicle defects, and driver negligence. Some of the most common examples of driver negligence that can contribute to car accidents include the following:
- Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for the conditions, even when the driver is driving within posted speed limits
- It adequately maintained vehicles, including bald tires, adequate wipers, and malfunctioning brake lights
- Failure to use headlights when visibility is poor
Who is at Fault for Bad Weather Car Accidents?
Those injured in a car accident cannot see compensation from Mother Nature, but they may be able to seek compensation from one or more parties who contributed to the accident. Under Alabama law, victims can pursue compensation from anyone responsible for the accident. Depending on the cause of your specific accident, one or more of the following people can be held liable for your injuries or the loss of your loved one:
- A negligent driver who contributed to the accident
- Rental companies
- Auto or parts manufacturers or sellers
- Municipalities responsible for roadway construction, design, and maintenance
- Property or business owners responsible for roadway design construction and maintenance, such as in parking lot structures
- A driver not obeying road signs and traffic signals
- A driver engaged in reckless or aggressive driving
- A driver driving without windshield wipers or lights in bad weather conditions
- A driver driving with torn windshield wipers or tires
Can Insurance Deny My Claim After a Bad Weather Accident?
When it comes to providing fault for car accidents, generally, victims have a right to pursue a compensation claim from the negligent driver’s insurance company. The insurance company may try to deny paying your claim, blaming the bad weather for the accident. They may claim their driver is not at fault. It can be more difficult to prove false when bad weather is involved, but that does not mean victims are prevented from holding negligent drivers responsible.
You and your attorney need to provide evidence that the at-fault driver’s negligence was the main cause of the accident, not the bad weather conditions. Additionally, they will need to prove that your injuries and damages directly resulted from the car accident. When the insurance company can prove that bad weather alone caused the accident, they could deny your claim. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation from your insurance policy, depending on the terms of your policy.
What to Do After a Bad Weather Car Accident
Knowing what to do after a car accident can be challenging. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should first stop and check whether you and everyone else involved need emergency medical attention. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and a police officer to come to the accident scene. The police officer will take a police report and interview witnesses. If you can do so safely, gather as much evidence as possible by taking photos and video of the accident scene. This evidence could help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Have you been injured in a car accident that involved bad weather? Is the insurance company claiming the bad weather, not their insured driver, caused the accident? If so, you will benefit from discussing your case with an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis have a proven track record of successfully obtained and compensation for car accident victims. Contact our Alabama personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.