Liability in Bad Weather Car Accidents
With foul weather comes the increased risk of getting into a car crash. When a dense fog lies on the road, when snow covers the road, or when highways are icy, how much fault can a driver still have for an accident? That will depend, because ultimately, bad weather is simply one factor that has been added to all the other factors in your case.
On the one hand, when there is extreme winter weather, the standard for reasonable care escalates. This means that every driver will be held to a higher level of responsibility. For example, even though you may have been driving within the speed limit on an icy road, because of the bad conditions, you may still be considered to have been driving too fast.
When there is rain, snow, or ice, drivers have to reduce their following distance and reduce their speed. You can avoid liability for a car accident if you were driving responsibly considering the weather.
Then it is possible that another driver may not be held responsible because of the stormy conditions. For example, rear-end accidents are almost always the fault of the driver who failed to stop in time. But in bad weather conditions, the other driver may have been driving reasonably, with a reasonable following distance, but the ice caused the vehicle to slide into another car.
Of course, it is also possible for the other driver to still be at fault for the accident, while the weather may only mitigate some of this liability. Again, the weather is only one factor among many.
If you share liability with the other driver, even if the weather is blame too, this could still defeat your car accident claim. Unfortunately, while plaintiffs in most other states would still be able to get a reduced amount of compensation if they have some liability, that is not the case in North Carolina. This is due to contributory negligence, where being assigned just one percent of the fault in an accident is enough to cause to lose out on 100 percent of your damages.
If you have been in a car accident and need compensation for your medical and car bills, if you have had to miss time at work because of your injuries, a successful personal injury claim may enable you to achieve a full financial recovery. In order to get the compensation you deserve, however, you have to avoid getting undeserved blame for your crash. This is where a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney can assist you.