Raleigh Car Accidents Involving Bad Weather
Raleigh experiences its fair share of dangerous road conditions, especially when the weather is wet or icy. An experienced car accident lawyer knows all about Raleigh accidents involving bad weather and is available to help you and your family in the aftermath of a car accident caused by bad weather conditions.
Bad Weather and Raleigh Roadways
When bad weather hits Raleigh, the effect on the roadways can be catastrophic. Iced-over roads and bridges can sometimes result in hundreds of weather-related car accidents in just one 24-hour period. It may seem reasonable to believe that since weather conditions are uncontrollable, Raleigh accidents involving bad weather cannot be the fault of any particular person or entity, but this is not always the case.
Entities that maintain roadways can monitor weather conditions, take steps to prevent weather-related accidents, conduct inspection and maintenance of roadways in advance of bad weather conditions, and respond quickly to any reports of weather-related hazards on the roadways. When these steps are not taken, the entity may have been negligent, and therefore may be liable for the victims’ damages.
Holding a Government Agency Accountable
Entities that maintain roadways in Raleigh, North Carolina have a responsibility to members of the road-going public to ensure there are no unreasonable hazards that could cause serious injury or death. However, holding an entity accountable for negligence can be complicated when it is a government agency.
This is due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which in most cases protects government agencies from being sued for negligence. However, it is still possible for anyone injured in a car accident in Raleigh caused by bad weather to seek compensation from the responsible party. Even if that entity is a government agency, the victim can still recover as long as they can establish that the poorly maintained road amounted to the higher standard of gross negligence.
Gross Negligence in North Carolina
A North Carolina high court case in 2012 established that the standard for showing gross negligence on the part of a state agency is that the entity acted with so-called willful disregard of the consequences of their actions.
An example of a scenario potentially qualifying as gross negligence would be if a state agency, such as the Department of Transportation, had advance notice or reason to be aware that the road conditions were unsafe, but was still ill-prepared to handle bad weather.
Causes of Bad Weather Accident
Some examples of the type of conditions that could lead to a Raleigh accidents involving bad weather include but are not limited to:
- Eroded roadways and shoulders
- Debris in the road
- Untreated icy roads
- Missing guardrails
- Design flaws in the road construction and planning
- Inadequate snow plowing and de-icing
Working With a Raleigh Car Accident Attorney
Raleigh accidents involving bad weather can be difficult to navigate alone, which is why if you have been involved in an accident, a Raleigh car accident lawyer could help your family move forward in seeking compensation for your injuries, even if the responsible party is a government entity. An experienced car accident attorney could examine the circumstances of an incident and determine which entity may be responsible, as well as what factors led to the crash.