Understanding Liability for Accidents During Bad Weather
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
Compared to the snowy tundra in the north, the winter weather in Florida seems more like a tropical paradise. However, during the winter months, there is a higher likelihood of bad weather, especially rain and fog. When bad weather does occur, there is a higher likelihood of car accidents, too.
If you drive during the winter in Florida, it’s a good idea to know about the possible risks, along with what steps you can take to protect yourself to help reduce your liability if you are involved in an accident during this time of the year.
How Bad Weather Causes More Auto Accidents
According to studies from the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) that covered the past 10 years, the data has proven there is a direct correlation between bd weather, both fog and precipitation, and other adverse conditions that are known for causing traffic diversions and slowdowns, which may result in traffic accidents. There are many types of adverse weather that may impact driving conditions. Things like traffic flow, road treatment strategy, visibility, and virtually everything in between can be affected by all types of poor weather, and these can contribute to reckless, upset, and distracted driving.
It’s true, the main causes of auto accidents, especially during bad weather are almost always directly related to driver error. However, if it is foggy, wet, or not “normal” weather, these driver errors are magnified into even more possibly deadly mistakes. According to information from the FHWA, it has been shown that almost 21 percent of all auto accidents in a given year are related to the weather. Most of these weather-related accidents occurred on wet pavement, with 46 percent taking place while it was raining. It’s estimated that approximately 5,000 people die annually due to bad weather accidents.
It’s Challenging to Prove Causation
While weather plays a major role in auto accidents, especially in Florida where it often changes quickly, it’s often difficult to recover compensation if you believe that it was another person’s reckless conduct during bad weather that caused your injuries. The issue with many personal injury cases is that in many cases, the insurer or the defendant can argue that it was the weather that caused the injuries, instead of another person’s actions in the bad weather. With the latter, it would mean that the defendant or the insurer were not liable.
While it is challenging to prove that it was the weather that played a role in the accident, it isn’t completely impossible. According to Florida law, the statute of limitations is four years, which means you have time to decide and to gather the evidence needed to prove the other driver’s conduct played a role in the injuries that occurred. Having a lawyer on your side is something that is highly recommended. This is because an experienced attorney as tools and knowledge at their disposal that you may not have access to.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney for Help
If you have been involved in an auto accident during bad weather, it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney for more information. To learn more, contact Zimmet & Zimmet by calling (386) 255-6400.