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Determining Liability In A Car Accident During Extreme Weather

Determining Liability In A Car Accident During Extreme WeatherAs we enter peak hurricane season in Southwest Florida, extreme weather will soon be hitting our roads. During this time, we see an increase in car accidents. Heavy winds and rains make our roads extremely dangerous and reduce visibility. With these conditions, it can be difficult to determine who, if anyone is at fault for a car accident.

Understanding An “Act Of God”

An “act of God” is a term that insurance companies use to describe accidents that are no one’s fault. For example, if heavy winds are blowing and a tree falls onto your car, it’s not really anyone’s fault. The weather caused the damage and since the weather is neither a person nor an entity, it can’t be held accountable. Many accidents during hurricane season are considered an act of God and are rightly classified as such. However, there are also many accidents that happen during extreme weather that are the fault of other drivers.

How Insurance Companies Manipulate Acts Of God

Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims, they are in the business of making money. So they will do everything they can to get out of paying when an accident happens. The tactic they most frequently use with claims from accidents that occurred in extreme weather is to unfairly label an act of God. When things are classified as an act of God, they are not legally required to pay.

Drivers Can Be Liable For Accidents During Extreme Weather

Regardless of the tricks the insurance companies try to pull, the fact of the matter is that drivers can be liable for an accident no matter the weather conditions. For example, if you are driving in a rainstorm. You pass through an intersection with a green light and suddenly you are t-boned by another driver. The other driver was running a red light, regardless if the slippery road conditions caused them to hydroplane and they couldn’t stop in time. The fact remains they broke a traffic law and are now liable for the accident.

Drivers Have A Duty Of Care Regardless Of The Weather

Heavy rains are a part of the Florida climate and every driver should learn how to stay safe during hurricane season. They have a duty to other drivers on the road to exercise safely. So regardless if the weather conditions lead to low visibility, slippery roads, or difficulty steering, it legally doesn’t matter. The law is pretty straightforward on this. If a driver can’t exercise their duty of care, no matter if it is because they are drinking, speeding, or hydroplaning because of pooling water, if they can’t drive safely they need to get off the road.

Determining Liability In An Accident In Extreme Weather

Bearing all this in mind, the process to determine liability in bad weather accidents is the exact same on a sunny, clear Florida day. Liability is determined by proving:

● The driver had a duty of care;
● The driver did not exercise their duty of care;
● As a result, the driver caused an accident.

This is the process that the courts will use to determine liability in an accident.

If you’re in an accident during hurricane season, don’t let the insurance companies bully you out of a settlement by claiming the accident was the result of an act of God. Instead call 1-941-625-HURT to speak to an attorney at All Injuries Law Firm. We’ve been representing auto accident injury victims in the Southwest Florida area for nearly 30 years, so we know exactly how to determine liability no matter the road conditions. We’ll fight the insurance companies to make sure you get a fair settlement for your damages. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more.