The Link Between Bad Weather & Motor Vehicle Accidents

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Massachusetts and Rhode Island Attorneys for Vehicle Accident Victims

Whenever liability must be proven following a car accident, the key factor is driver negligence. Whoever is determined negligent, and thus at fault for the accident, will be considered the liable party, meaning that his or her insurance must cover the costs involved. Negligent acts can encompass many things, including illegal activities such as speeding or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, a person can be considered negligent even if he or she was technically not breaking the law. One of the most common causes for this type of negligence is bad weather.

Expectations for Bad-Weather Driving

Whenever someone is driving in bad weather, they are expected to adjust their driving accordingly to account for the adverse conditions. Negligence is determined based on what a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances, so liability is often based more on common sense than legal limits. For example, if there is a heavy downpour and a driver is still traveling at the speed limit, this could be considered negligent behavior since reasonable drivers would slow to below the speed limit in similar conditions. Therefore, if an accident results, the driver traveling at the speed limit could be at fault.

Determining What Is Reasonable

Whenever there is a dispute over fault, a great deal of factors must be considered. Bad weather is a significant issue, but just one of many. Other things that would be considered include:

  • If headlights and taillights were functioning properly
  • If the driver was familiar with the road
  • If the road was clear
  • If the windshield wipers were working
  • If the driver was distracted

Each of these factors could come into play when a jury decides fault at the conclusion of a car accident trial. However, most of them are matters of judgment, as it is not possible to regulate what should be considered reasonable in every given situation. Hence, the jury will be asked to decide, given all of the circumstances, if a driver acted responsibly or not. Jurors must think about how they or any reasonable individual would act in a specific situation.  And jurors may be asked to determine whether both parties were “at fault” in the situation, what percentage of the fault is attributable to each driver, and who was more at fault than the other driver.

Contact The Bottaro Law Firm for Your Car Accident Case

Liability is not always a cut-and-dry matter. Because of this, every detail surrounding a car accident will be examined, and every action analyzed. This is why you should get in touch with The Bottaro Law Firm  if you were involved in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. We have extensive experience handling car accident cases and jury trials, and we understand the various factors involved in establishing fault. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.