The weather is bad, but you have places to go and people to see. Besides, you know how to drive in rain, snow, sleet or wind, so you are not too concerned. You have new tires and wiper blades, so you start out on your journey. You are traveling at a safe speed and all seems well. Suddenly, a car skids across the highway and runs into you, pushing your car off the road. One of your passengers is injured and rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital.

The other driver, the one you believe is at fault for the accident, claims he was doing everything right, and attributes the accident solely to the bad weather conditions. Will the driver’s insurer agree and refuse to pay your claim for damages? Will the “the weather made me do it” defense claim stand up in court? The answer is not an easy one.

Statistics Concerning “Bad Weather” Accidents

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) confirms that bad weather causes “visibility impairments” which affects drivers’ capabilities as well as the vehicle performance. In fact, the FHAccident in Bad Weather A reports that of all car accidents that occur annually, 22 percent of them, which amounts to about 1,159,000 a year, are weather-related. Nearly 6,000 people are killed in accidents that occur in bad weather conditions and more than 455,000 are injured, some so severely their lives will never be the same.

How Liability is Determined

Although there may be times when accidents are caused by bad weather unrelated to any action by a driver, more often than not, even accidents occurring during bad weather conditions are caused by negligent drivers. Personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, NC know that the same negligence laws that apply to any personal injury case apply to car accidents which occur during bad weather conditions.

Insurers may consider adverse weather conditions when paying claims, but drivers still need to exercise the same care expected of any reasonable person who is driving in the same situation. Drivers who were not driving a reasonable speed in a storm, even if they are not going faster than the posted speed, may still be liable for the accident. The speed of the other driver, including the condition of the other driver’s car and any other factor will be considered in determining liability.

No matter how careful you are when you are driving in inclement weather, you cannot be sure the other drivers are taking the same precautions. If you were injured in an accident in bad weather conditions, call our lawyers in Charlotte, NC who offer a free consultation. They will evaluate all the facts of your case and help you decide how to proceed.