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How Can Inclement Weather Affect Your Missouri Car Accident Claim?

February 13, 2024 | Car Accidents

Cars on the road in the fogWhether it’s heavy rain, snow, ice, or fog, adverse weather conditions not only contribute to the likelihood of accidents but also significantly impact the proceedings of a car accident claim. Weather conditions at the time of an accident can alter perceptions, evidence, and even the legal interpretation of fault and negligence. When an accident happens amidst a storm or under challenging weather conditions, it might seem unavoidable. After all, we cannot control nature, and despite taking necessary precautions tailored to the weather, accidents can still happen.

Under these circumstances, questions about liability often arise for drivers involved in accidents influenced by adverse weather. Determining who is at fault in these instances is complex, as it involves assessing the extent to which each party managed to navigate the added risks posed by the weather. From the way weather conditions are documented and analyzed to the considerations made by insurance companies and courts, the car accident lawyers of Goza & Honnold can help you determine who is liable for damages and navigate the legal process.  

Who Is Liable in a Missouri Car Accident Claim?

Both the law and insurance companies mandate drivers to operate his or her vehicles responsibly and with caution under all weather conditions. There are no exemptions for adverse road or weather situations.

This implies that drivers are expected to take additional measures in inclement weather to ensure safe driving, retain control of their vehicle, and prevent accidents. Adapting to bad weather might require driving below the posted speed limit, approaching turns with greater care, utilizing hazard lights, or even stopping to drive if visibility is significantly reduced or conditions become too hazardous.

When determining fault in a car accident, weather and road conditions are considered, but the presence of adverse weather does not absolve a driver of liability. Typically, if a driver loses control of their vehicle, whether by sliding on ice or hydroplaning and colliding with another vehicle, they will likely be held accountable for the accident.

In scenarios where both drivers lose control due to weather conditions and collide, law enforcement may determine that both parties share fault for the accident. Consequently, insurance companies might allocate fault equally between the drivers. In such cases, individuals may proceed to file a claim with their insurance, but challenging the other party’s liability becomes more complex.

To contest the insurance company’s decision regarding an accident, one must demonstrate that the other driver’s actions, rather than road conditions, were the primary cause of the accident. This is because the expectation is for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles in all conditions, including bad weather. Failure to do so, resulting in an accident, generally leads to the driver being held liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

What to Do Following an Inclement Weather Car Accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident during severe weather in Missouri due to another motorist’s negligence, it is in your best interest to seek the legal guidance of a car accident lawyer. The lawyers of Goza & Honnold ensure your legal rights are protected so you may seek compensation for damages. Even if your case appears straightforward, it’s essential to remember that the insurance company of the other party is looking out for their interests, not yours. Their primary aim is to minimize what they pay out, often by attempting to shift some degree of fault onto you, thus reducing the settlement they offer.

Moreover, in cases of accidents caused by severe weather, the insurance company of the driver at fault might argue that both you and their client share responsibility for the accident, potentially leading to them offering you no compensation at all.

You’re not alone in navigating the aftermath of a car accident. A car accident lawyer of Goza & Honnold can be invaluable in seeking the highest possible settlement for your injuries. We handle all aspects of your car accident claim, including negotiating with the insurance company, helping you understand the true value of your claim, and fighting for a favorable resolution. 

Speak With the Car Accident Lawyers of Goza & Honnold

If you’ve been involved in a car accident during inclement weather, it’s essential to understand that you have options and rights. Weather conditions can complicate accident claims, but they don’t negate the responsibility of drivers to operate their vehicles safely. The lawyers of Goza & Honnold provide the support and guidance you need to navigate these types of claims. 

For a free consultation, call our office today at (913) 451-3433 or fill out a contact form.