Who is Liable for a Car Accident in Bad Weather?

SUV driving in the snow

Car accidents are often caused by motorists who are distracted, drowsy, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who are driving in a reckless or aggressive manner. In these cases, determining liability is a straightforward process. However, when a car accident is caused by inclement weather, things get a bit more complicated. According to the Department of Transportation, just over 20 percent of car accidents are related to poor weather conditions. In the event of an accident, motorists often believe that they should not be held accountable for an accident if inclement weather is to blame. Unfortunately, insurance companies may not agree. A skilled car accident lawyer can review your case and recommend the best legal course of action based on the details of the accident.

When people think of weather-related car accidents, what generally comes to mind are car accidents that are caused by icy or snowy road conditions. While this certainly causes roads to become slippery and hazardous, there are other weather conditions that can impact visibility. For example, extreme sun glare, or thick fog can make it very difficult for a motorist to see the road ahead, which can increase the risk of a collision.

Bad Weather is Not a Viable Excuse

If a motorist hits another vehicle while driving during inclement weather, using weather as an excuse may not be the best strategy. From a legal perspective, the driver who hit the other car will generally be considered at fault because motorists are expected to take weather conditions into consideration before getting behind the wheel. If the roads are covered in ice or snow, or visibility is an issue due to fog or sun glare, they should consider staying off the road until weather conditions improve. If a motorist cannot avoid driving during inclement weather, they have a responsibility to use extra caution, particularly when making turns, turning their hazards on when necessary, and pulling over if conditions worsen.

The following are specific examples of reasons why a driver would be found negligent for causing an accident during poor weather conditions:

  • Deciding to drive, despite unsafe weather conditions
  • Driving at a speed that is unsafe for the current weather and road conditions
  • Failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles
  • Driving too fast when turning on a wet, slippery road
  • Failure to use headlights when visibility is poor
  • Failure to properly maintain the vehicle, including driving with worn tires, weak brakes, ineffective windshield wipers, or broken headlights

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Weather-Related Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident during poor weather conditions, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Motorists should take the appropriate precautions during inclement weather, including staying off the road when possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who caused the accident and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.