Many drivers are worried that their Cincinnati car accident attorney cannot do much to win their case because the other driver claimed that bad weather conditions caused them to crash into their car. The fact is that sometimes Mother Nature can make driving extremely difficult in Ohio, especially during the cold season.
So, if icy roads, fog, or dense snow may have contributed to your crash, can the other driver be held liable? In most of the cases, the answer is yes. Here is how a skilled attorney will analyze this type of accident case.
1. The Driver’s Speed in Bad Weather
In bad weather conditions, everyone should drive defensively and reduce their speed below the limit for the respective road, highway, or interstate. Various studies have shown that a car will need 10 times the length of the road to come to a full stop after applying the brakes on an icy or wet road compared to a dry road.
Thus, failing to adapt the speed to the specific weather conditions is a sign of negligence on the other driver’s part and makes them liable.
2. Checking If the Driver Had Winter or All-Season Tires
The tires are a critical part of the car, keeping it firmly on the road. And because roads become icy and slippery in winter, manufacturers designed special tires for the cold season. They offer better grip and more control even in challenging driving conditions.
If a driver fails to equip their car with winter tires or all-season tires, they increase the risk of losing control of their vehicle and crashing into another car. Since changing the tire is part of any diligent driver’s routine before the winter, failing to do so is a breach of the duty of care.
3. Checking If the Driver Maintained a Safe Distance
Rear-end collisions are very frequent in bad weather conditions. And the main reason for them is failing to maintain a safe distance between cars on the road. As explained above, it takes longer to come to a full stop on a slippery road.
Thus, if a driver keeps their car too close to the one in front, they will most likely hit it if they must apply the brakes suddenly. In most cases, bad weather is not a valid defense for tailgating – even if it is not intentional.
4. Checking the Driver’s History of Traffic Violations
In many cases, a skilled Cincinnati car crash attorney can learn a lot about the other driver from their record. If they do not have a history of traffic violations, it is quite possible that their story holds water and poor weather contributed significantly to the collision.
However, if they have a long record of violations, especially during the cold season, the lawyer has sufficient ammunition to negotiate with their insurer with confidence. If the insurer refuses to settle, the same argument will be brought in court, after you file a personal injury lawsuit.
5. Checking If the Driver Was Texting and Driving
Despite the tough stance of Ohio legislators on phone use while driving, many drivers flout the law. Texting and driving is the most common type of distracted driving and can lead to tragedies – especially in bad weather conditions.
Thus, your lawyer will contact the other driver’s mobile carrier and obtain a copy of their phone log. This log can prove that the driver was using their phone at the moment when they caused the accident.
Can You Sue Local Authorities for Accidents Caused by Icy Roads?
In most of the cases, authorities are not responsible for acts of God. However, if the bad weather conditions were forecast ahead of time, then county or state authorities have a responsibility to maintain the roads in good conditions for drivers.
Proving liability is a very complex matter in this case. The best option is to consult with a skilled lawyer to understand your rights.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer!
Bad weather is rarely an excuse for avoiding liability for a car accident. If the other driver invokes this argument, contact a skilled Cincinnati car crash lawyer as soon as possible.
Through careful investigation of the circumstances of the accident, the attorney will be able to prove liability and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. So take advantage of the free case review we offer each new client and call us today at 844-853-7373!