The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) estimates that inclement weather conditions cause at least 22% of traffic accidents in the United States. It could be heavy rainfall, snow, mist, or fog. Extremely sunny days could also affect visibility.
If you were injured in a car accident involving bad weather in Harlingen, you should learn how liability affects your claim. The best way to get your case reviewed is to retain a trusted car accident attorney from a reputable firm.
Like any other scenario, liability must be determined in a car accident involving bad weather in Harlingen before you can recover compensation for your losses. It’s important to note that all motorists and road users are required by Texas laws to drive responsibly in all types of weather. But specifically, the duty of care is higher in inclement weather. This means they must take extra precautions for their safety and that of the general public. There is no exception to these traffic laws.
Common defendants in car accidents involving bad weather in Harlingen are:
Some weather conditions require drivers to be extra vigilant. For instance, they should drive slowly, activate their fog lights, and even pull over in scenarios where visibility is minimal. Although the inclement conditions may be blameworthy for your accident, the driver’s actions or inactions could also be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. An example is where the driver was speeding in heavy rainfall and lost control of the vehicle due to hydroplaning. In such a case, it may be assumed that the accident was preventable but the driver failed to operate the car safely.
Other scenarios that could make the driver responsible for the damages that follow a car accident involving bad weather in Harlingen include:
The above mentioned scenarios are most common on major highways and roads, even with clear warnings to drivers requiring them to adjust to prevailing weather conditions.
Although driver negligence is the most common cause of auto wrecks in Texas, they are not always to blame because the vehicle owner or manufacturer may be at fault. For example, if the brake system fails due to a manufacturing defect or poor maintenance, the owner or manufacturer may be sued. Establishing fault on these parties involves a lot of complexities that only a seasoned Harlingen car accident lawyer can maneuver. There is also the aspect of denying liability. Without an aggressive attorney, you may be humiliated into giving up your legal rights.
Although regular maintenance and construction of Texas highways and roads are essential, these work zones can cause more harm to workers and passers-by. In low visibility, it may be challenging to notice construction zones. On top of that, poor road designs such as sharp corners may be to blame. In these scenarios, your car accident attorney can establish negligence on either party, including state agencies, for failure to protect you from harm.
Some car accidents are black-and-white regarding liability, and others have gray areas. It’s not uncommon to witness accidents where liability is shared among the parties involved, including the injured victim. But what happens when you are also to blame? Can you be eligible for compensation?
The State of Texas follows comparative negligence laws that allow injured victims to claim compensation even when they are partially at fault. However, your degree of responsibility must fall at 49% or below to collect damages. If it’s established that you were 50% or more at fault, you cannot be eligible for compensation.
Your percentage of fault will reduce your final payout. For instance, if you are awarded $1,000,000, and 40% to blame, this margin will reduce your recoverable compensation to $600,000. You should consult with a qualified car accident lawyer about these laws before giving up on your rights because you believe you are to blame for a car accident involving bad weather in Harlingen.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by bad weather in Harlingen, you may not know your rights unless you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. We have dedicated ourselves to helping injured victims get the justice they deserve by fighting aggressively for maximum compensation at our firm. To learn more about these cases, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.