Most people understand the dangers of driving in winter weather. When the roads ice over, it may be initially difficult to tell that there is ice on the road at all. This leads to a lot of avoidable accidents had the driver recognized that the roads were icy and acted accordingly. Even if you are injured in an accident because of the weather, you may still have a claim if the other person did not extend his or her duty of care.
Understanding Duty of Care
All drivers have a duty to other drivers on the road. This means that when there is inclement weather, you should drive appropriately and take the proper safety precautions. For instance, if you have limited visibility on the road, you need to take the roads slower and more carefully than you otherwise would have.
If you do not use your windshield wipers, if you have worn tires, or if you fail to obey any other traffic laws, you can still face liability when you are in an accident. There is normally more than one factor behind the car wreck.
Understanding Acts of God
Have you ever heard of the Act of God defense? Given that it is a rare defense, it’s not surprising if you are unfamiliar with it. This is a defense that you can use to try to prove that you had no liability in the accident. In addition, it makes the claim that the other driver didn’t have anything to do with it either. Instead, this is to say that the weather forced the car into an accident. For instance, a tornado may suddenly move a car into another lane, causing an accident.
If the weather makes it reasonable that an accident would occur and if neither party is liable for the damages, then it could be blamed on the ice or the weather. However, if you happen to be in an accident because you ignored the weather and drove recklessly instead, then you may not be able to apply that defense.
In the case of ice on the road or other dangerous weather patterns, you have to take proper precautions to avoid an accident. If you are driving recklessly or without the control that others exhibit when driving on icy roads, then you could lose your license. For more information on how liability works, set up a consultation with an auto accident lawyer, like an auto accident lawyer in Charlottesville, VA, today.
Thanks to Martin Wren, P.C. for their insight into whether or not you could be held liable for a weather-related car accident.