Here in Louisiana, the weather can be extreme and unpredictable. Heavy rains, flash flooding, and ice storms cause numerous incidents on the road – and injuries – each year.
If you are involved in a car accident that happened due to the weather, you may be wondering who is at fault. Unfortunately, even if an accident results from inclement weather, you as the driver may still be considered to be at fault.
Read on to learn more from our team of Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Jones Law Firm.
How do insurance companies determine who is at fault after weather-related incidents?
The sad truth is that insurance companies view weather-related accidents the same way they view any other accident: by blaming the driver.
Many drivers take issue with this – and with good reason. How could they possibly be liable during a heavy downpour or ice storm?
Simple. According to the insurance companies, the driver didn’t take the necessary precautions to prevent an accident in the first place, such as staying off the road or adjusting their driving habits.
Why do insurance companies blame the driver instead of weather conditions?
Insurance companies understand that weather conditions make an accident more likely. However, they still place the burden of responsibility on the driver to adjust their driving habits in inclement weather.
These adjustments could include:
- Slowing down
- Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
- Using fog lights and windshield wipers
- Making sure tires are in good condition
- Simply avoiding the roads altogether
According to the insurance company, failure to make these changes makes the driver at-fault when a claim is being processed.
There are rare circumstances when insurance companies will place weather as the leading cause of an accident, but, again, this is incredibly infrequent.
For example, suppose an unexpected weather incident takes place without warnings, such as a tornado that pushes a driver, or many drivers, off the road, causing a pile-up. In that case, an insurance company may not view the driver as being at fault.
These circumstances are few and far between, and often only able to be proven with the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
The importance of proving who is at fault after a weather-related auto accident.
When an insurance company places you at fault after a car accident, it is more challenging to receive compensation for your injuries or injuries to a family member.
You are also then held responsible for any damages that occurred to other drivers or vehicles involved in the accident. Hiring an attorney can help mitigate this.
An experienced Louisiana car accident attorney will help you take the steps necessary to determine whether:
- The driver in question was driving at a rate of speed that was reasonable based on the weather conditions that were present at the time of the accident.
- The driver was following at a safe distance behind other vehicles while adhering to all applicable laws and regulations.
- The weather event was a known event or an unexpected occurrence, how that affected the road conditions.
- The driver acted responsibly by taking the actions necessary to have avoided the accident altogether.
Contact the Jones Law Firm for fair compensation after a weather-related car accident
When it comes to weather-related auto accidents, it helps to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Contact the Jones Law Firm today if you or a member of your family obtained an injury in a car crash in Louisiana due to weather conditions. We will set up a time to discuss your accident in-depth and we will work fervently to ensure you and your family receive the compensation you are entitled to and deserve.