Who is Responsible for Auto Accidents in Adverse Weather Conditions?

Indianapolis experiences a wide range of weather conditions that can be challenging for drivers. During winter months, drivers must deal with icy and snowy roads. On the other hand, rain can make roads dangerous during spring and summer months. Mother Nature’s impact on driving conditions can be severe. Is a driver responsible for an auto accident in adverse weather conditions?

In this article, our Indianapolis car accident attorneys discuss:

  • What are the common causes of Indianapolis bad weather accidents?
  • Who is responsible for a car accident in bad weather?
  • What are the common injuries sustained in accidents during poor weather conditions?
  • Can I recover compensation for damages caused by an Indiana bad weather accident?

What are the common causes of Indianapolis bad weather accidents?

During periods of adverse weather conditions, drivers must use extra caution when driving on Indianapolis roads. High winds and slick road conditions combined with highway speeds can make it easy for drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Large puddles can form quickly in low lying areas with light rains making hydroplaning a real danger. During the winter, black ice may form on some surfaces, even though other sections of the road are clear and dry.

Many accidents in poor weather conditions occur when drivers are not exercising sufficient caution. Some of the reasons for bad weather accidents include:

  • Inattentive or distracted driving
  • Following too closely for conditions
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Bald, defective, or low tires

When driving in adverse weather conditions, slow down and always keep your eyes on the road. Make sure that you remain focused on traffic and the road by avoiding all distractions. If necessary, use your hazard lights or pull over to a safe location until conditions improve.

Who is responsible for a car accident in bad weather?

Even though drivers cannot control weather conditions, they are responsible for adjusting the way they drive during bad weather. Drivers who tailgate or drive too fast for conditions can be held liable for damages caused by a bad weather accident.

When drivers are negligent, careless, or reckless, they can be held liable for accidents that occur in any weather conditions, including adverse weather conditions. However, you must prove that the driver’s actions contributed to the cause of the crash. Proving that a driver breached a duty of care to act prudently and reasonably while driving in poor weather conditions can be difficult. In addition to proving the driver’s actions were not reasonable and prudent, you must also prove that the breach was a direct and proximate cause of the crash.

Our PBAR legal team investigates the accident to determine all factors that contributed to the cause of the crash. We gather evidence to prove that the driver’s actions were not reasonable given the circumstances and those actions led to the crash.

What are the common injuries sustained in accidents during poor weather conditions?

Adverse weather accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, including fatal injuries. Some of the common injuries sustained in Indianapolis bad-weather accidents include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Lacerations, burns, and scarring
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Death

Even if you do not believe that your injuries are severe, it is usually wise to be checked by a doctor after a car accident. Sometimes the pains and aches that you experience after a car crash may be an indication of a more serious injury.

Furthermore, if you want to seek compensation for your damages after a car accident, you must document your injuries through medical records. By seeking medical treatment soon after a collision, you document the physical injuries sustained in the crash. You also decrease the chance that the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not sustained in the crash because there was a substantial delay in seeking medical treatment.

Can I recover compensation for damages caused by an Indiana bad weather accident?

Once you prove that the other driver’s actions contributed to the cause of the crash and you were injured as a result of the crash, you need to provide evidence of your damages. The evidence we use to prove damages in an adverse weather car accident includes medical records, wage statements, receipts, and invoices. We may also rely on the testimony of expert witnesses to provide information related to your physical injuries and financial losses.

Examples of financial and non-economic damages that you might recover compensation for by filing a car accident claim include:

  • Expenses related to medical care, including hospitalizations, surgery, physical therapy, medications, and doctor’s bills
  • Loss of income, including lost wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation
  • Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of earning capacity or future lost wages if you cannot return to work because of your injuries
  • Expenses for ongoing medical and personal care for permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
  • Funeral and burial expenses, in the vent of a wrongful death

Depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to additional compensation. The PBAR legal team works with you to document your damages. By carefully documenting your damages, we increase the chance you receive full compensation from the driver who caused the car accident.

Contact an Indianapolis Adverse Weather Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review

All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that does not place other people on the road in danger of injury or harm. When a driver fails in this duty of care, we fight to hold the driver liable for the damages he or she causes for other people who are involved in the crash.

For a free consultation with an Indianapolis car accident attorney, contact Poynter & Bucheri by calling 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000. Learn more about your legal options and the steps you need to take after an adverse weather accident in Indianapolis.