Mar 6

Determining Fault For A Car Accident During Bad Weather

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There are several potential hazards that can occur on the road due to dangerous weather conditions, including slippery roads and low visibility. Unlike other cases where drivers can be held responsible for their actions, it can sometimes be more complicated to determine fault in accidents where dangerous weather conditions contribute to the crash.

Along with collision or property damage liability coverage, drivers in Florida are required by law to have their own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage. This is why Florida is referred to as a no-fault insurance state. When drivers get involved in a car accident, they use their own PIP coverage, which is designed to cover 80% of the first $10,000.00 of their medical expenses and/or up to 60% of their lost wages up to $10,000.00, whether they are at fault or not.

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Understanding Florida Liability and Insurance Laws

In most cases, the PIP coverage comes with a limit of $10,000. This limit can quickly be exhausted with the costs of medical care or lost wages. Therefore, any drivers who suffer serious injuries or whose medical expenses and lost wages surpass the PIP limit will often require the services of a Florida personal injury attorney to initiate a claim against the party responsible for the accident. The job of the personal injury attorney will be to seek full redress of the injured party’s damages including recovery of unpaid medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and inconvenience.

Why Determine Fault?

By law, our state requires motorists to prevent accidents from happening by taking precautionary measures and adapting to dangerous weather conditions at any time. It is common to hear people blame weather conditions for accidents caused on the road particularly when they are at fault. However, an experienced automobile accident attorney will help prove that the at-fault driver was not driving appropriately for the weather conditions, and thus, should be held responsible for their negligent actions or inactions.

How to Determine Fault

Whether driving in normal driving conditions or in inclement weather, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care. Reasonable care varies based upon the conditions. In other words, in the pouring South Florida rain, drivers should slow down and use due caution. That is what a reasonable driver should do. Additionally, drivers can be said to be at fault when they:

  • Disobey traffic lights and neglect 4-way stop rules;
  • Drive under the influence of alcohol;
  • Drive recklessly or aggressively;
  • Fail to provide enough space for other vehicles;
  • Drive while been distracted or fatigued;
  • Fail to turn on hazard lights while in motion in limited visibility or severely inclement weather;
  • Drive with defective wipers or tires;
  • Fail to use wipers and lights; and
  • Fail to slow down or adapt to the weather.

The importance of adhering to general safe driving practices and severe weather precautions cannot be overemphasized. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash, even one in inclement weather conditions, do not hesitate to call a Jupiter Auto Accident Attorney at Hughes & Ball, P.A.