When a car accident occurs, courts typically determine liability based on who was at fault. Parties to the accident may wonder what role bad weather plays.
In some cases, weather can influence liability for car accidents and play a role in determining the level of driver negligence.
Weather conditions and driver negligence
In various cases, inclement weather conditions can increase a driver’s negligence. Despite posted speed limits and warnings, each motorist is responsible for operating a vehicle in a way that is safe for conditions. If a driver does not take the necessary precautions during difficult weather, that person’s fault could increase.
For instance, if someone was driving in icy conditions and skidded off the road due to failing to reduce speed appropriately, that driver could be liable in court. In addition, a driver whose vehicle was not in a safe condition to operate on such roads might face additional liability. For example, bald tires will perform worse in slick, rainy conditions and could cause a crash.
Product liability and faulty parts
Even in extreme weather conditions, product liability can still be a factor. This means that any defective parts in a vehicle could contribute to the cause of a crash, even if bad weather also plays a role.
For example, suppose brake pads did not function appropriately. In that case, product liability might come into play since poorly manufactured brakes would make it more difficult for the driver to stop their vehicle without skidding off course in such challenging conditions.
Bad weather is only one element of a car accident, which often can have many causes. Carefully presenting solid evidence helps a driver pursue fair claims and compensation from the correct parties.