Car accidents will happen anytime, anywhere, and in any weather condition. However, inclement weather may increase the risk of accidents and make them more severe. In Texas, weather is unpredictable, ranging from heavy rain to thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even hurricanes. As a result, the weather may significantly impact car accident claims in Texas.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are seeking legal representation, it is essential to understand how inclement weather may affect your claim. Seek the advice of an experienced Texas car accident lawyer. With their extensive experience handling car accident claims, they will help you navigate the complexities of your case.
Inclement Weather and Car Accidents
Inclement weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, and ice make roads slippery and reduce visibility, increasing the risk of accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2020, there were over 7,000 crashes in Texas due to wet roads, resulting in 166 fatalities and over 2,500 serious injuries. Similarly, over 750 crashes were reported due to snowy and icy roads, resulting in 8 fatalities and over 150 serious injuries.
How Inclement Weather May Affect Your Claim
Several factors may affect your claim when you are involved in a car accident due to extreme weather. These include:
Proving liability is essential in a car accident claim, as it determines who is responsible for the accident and who should pay for damages. However, bad weather may make it challenging to determine fault, as both drivers may have been affected by the weather conditions.
For instance, if both drivers were driving at a reasonable speed but lost control due to a patch of ice on the road, it may be challenging to determine who was at fault.
In such cases, Texas courts use the doctrine of comparative negligence, which allows both parties to share the fault based on their percentage of fault. In hazardous road conditions, all drivers are still responsible for keeping their vehicle under control. However, your own negligent handling of your vehicle may reduce your compensation if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident.
2. Insurance Coverage
Texas is, comparative fault state, meaning that if it is proven that the driver who caused the accident is more negligent than you are, he/she is responsible for covering the damages. However, insurance companies are quick to blame foul weather for accidents as it is a way to deny or reduce claims.
Additionally, suppose the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. In that case, you may have difficulty recovering damages, as your insurance company may also try to use the weather as an excuse to deny your claim.
Consulting with an experienced car accident attorney will help your claim, as they have vast experience navigating these complexities.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident in Texas
Drivers have a duty to adjust their driving behavior in response to weather conditions. If the roads are wet or visibility is reduced, you should slow down, increase your following distance, and turn on your headlights. Below are tips you could use to prove that the other driver was at fault:
1. Gather Evidence
To prove liability and protect your rights, gathering as much evidence as possible from the accident scene is essential. Take pictures of the damage to your car, the other car, and the scene of the wreck, especially where the cars ended up after the collision. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information and ask them to provide a statement. Additionally, if the police were called to the scene, obtain a copy of the police report, which may provide crucial information about the accident.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort immediately after the accident, it is essential to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not show symptoms until hours or even days after the accident, and delaying medical attention may hurt your claim. Additionally, medical records provide evidence of the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received, which may help you recover damages.
3. Contact an Experienced Texas Car Accident Lawyer
Navigating a car accident claim during inclement weather is complicated, but an experienced car accident lawyer will help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process. A lawyer will help you collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
A car accident lawyer understands the unique challenges that inclement weather poses to a car accident claim and will help you navigate these challenges to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer at Dale R, Rose, PLLC
If you have been involved in a car accident during inclement weather in Texas, it’s crucial you seek the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer. Inclement weather may make it challenging to prove negligence and navigate the insurance claims process, but an experienced lawyer will help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process.
At Dale R. Rose, PLLC, we have a proven track record of success in handling car accident claims in Texas. We understand the complexities of these cases and want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Texas, contact us online or call us today at (972) 634-ROSE (7673) for a free consultation.