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How Does Weather Affect Liability For Car Accidents In Indiana?

Weather is a major contributor to car accidents. Whether it’s rain, sleet, ice, snow, fog, or some other condition, an estimated 1.2 million car accidents a year are caused by weather. Wet pavement and rain are the two most common weather-related causes of rain.

Accidents caused by weather raise an interesting legal problem. Who is held responsible for car accidents caused by the weather? After all, it’s not like you can hold the weather itself liable.

Who Is Responsible for Car Accidents Caused By Bad Weather?

Here is a general rule of thumb: During bad weather, the driver is responsible for any accident they cause.

This might seem unfair at first. Drivers cannot control the weather, so why should they be responsible if the weather caused the accident? The reason why is that drivers can still exercise a choice to drive in inclement weather. Drivers are also capable of exercising more control and care when driving during bad weather conditions. In fact, failing to exercise more caution during bad weather conditions is often considered a breach of that driver’s duty to reasonable care while driving.

Here is an example. Say it is raining outside. Driver A stops too quickly at a stop sign and hydroplanes, smashing into driver B. In this case, Driver A is liable for the accident because they did not exercise the proper caution and allow more time to stop while driving in the rain. Even though the accident would likely not have happened if not for the rain, A is still responsible because they have a duty of reasonable care to modify their driving behavior pursuant to the current driving conditions.

Other actions during bad weather that you can be held liable for include:

  • Failing to use windshield wipers
  • Driving with worn tires
  • Driving while sleepy or drowsy
  • Hydroplaning/sliding on ice
  • Failing to use signals

In most weather-related accidents, the driver that caused the accident will be held responsible, because they could have always made the decision to drive more carefully.

When Is Weather Responsible?

In rare cases, drivers can make a so-called “Act of God” defense and claim they were not liable. If the weather was extremely unusual or extremely unexpected, then the driver that caused the accident may not be at fault.

For example, say a person is driving in a storm and lightning strikes their car, causing them to swerve into oncoming traffic, then that driver would likely not be held liable for that accident. The circumstances were so unexpected and unavoidable that the driver cannot be reasonably said to have been in control of events.

Dealing with the ramifications of a recent injury or accident and wondering where to start? Contact the Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers of Hurst Limontes LLC today to learn more about how we can help with your car accident injury case.

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FAQs
Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Case Worth

As a victim, establishing damages, negotiating with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit can be daunting and next to impossible without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. As a result, if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled under Indiana law.

Why Hire?

Choosing an attorney that has experience dealing with personal injury law is important to protect your legal rights. If you are trying to recover damages from a business or other type of organization, you can bet that they are going to have a legal team on their side.

Medical Bills

If you were injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Hurst Limontes LLC and learn if we may be able to help.

Recovery

After you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation. The type and amount of compensation depends on the injury, bills, the cause of the injury, negligence/bad faith of the defendant, etc. The attorney you retain can also heavy influence your recovery through knowledge, experience, and dedication. Legal terms and phrases can be confusing even after you retain an attorney. If you have been injured, you may wonder how much your case is worth or what your “damages” are. The worse the injuries, the higher the value of the case and the greater need for an experienced attorney