In the aftermath of a car accident, determining the responsible party generally helps with matters like insurance and lawsuits. However, assigning fault may be challenging if the accident occurred in bad weather.
Weather and car accidents
Different weather conditions can make the road less safe. Rain might make the road slick, while a blizzard may significantly reduce visibility. During bad weather, drivers are at a greater risk of losing control of their car and colliding with another vehicle.
Drivers should always exercise reasonable care, especially during bad weather. Ideally, they should take prudent precautions, such as driving more slowly, to prevent accidents that might cause injury to themselves and others.
If investigations find that the accident happened despite all parties acting responsibly, you likely cannot seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. However, if the other party acted negligently by driving past the speed limit, for instance, you might be able to pursue a claim.
The other party might claim that you were also negligent and are partly responsible for the accident. Even if this were true, you would likely still get some compensation because New York State follows the comparative negligence doctrine.
However, your compensation may decrease based on how much you contributed to the accident. For example, if you were 20% responsible and your compensation was $10,000, you will only get $8,000.
Assigning responsibility for a car accident that happened in bad weather is often complicated. If you want to protect your rights, it will help to seek legal assistance.