Car Crashes During Inclement Weather
There are more than six million car accidents across the United States each year, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that 22 percent of those crashes are related to the weather. Inclement weather crashes claim 6,000 lives and cause 445,000 injuries every year. If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident that took place during inclement weather, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Although the weather may play a role in the accident, drivers still have a responsibility to drive safely and to know how to respond to different weather conditions. If a driver loses control of a vehicle and causes an accident, he or she can be held liable for the damages and injuries that result. When driving in inclement weather, a driver should take the proper actions to reduce the risks of a crash:
- Slow down
- Increase the following distance
- Improve the car’s visibility by using headlights
- Be extra attentive at intersections, when merging, and on bridges and overpasses
- Do not make abrupt actions or responses, such as merging at higher speeds or abruptly switching lanes
- Take advantage of your car’s technology, such as traction control and accident avoidance features
- Make sure your car is prepared for the weather conditions and has undergone routine maintenance
- Know your driving abilities, and if conditions are too bad, then pull off the roadway
What To Do If In A Crash During Inclement Weather
If you have been involved in an accident during inclement weather, call the police to file an accident report. If it is safe to do so, get photos of the accident scene from different angles as well as the damage to the vehicles. Get the names of any witnesses and their contact details and ask them for written statements regarding what they saw. It is imperative to establish medical care right away. Some injuries may be even worse than they initially appear. You should maintain thorough records, including medical bills, medical records, and proof of lost wages.
You do have a limited time for pursuing a personal injury claim after an auto accident, so you should act promptly. Negotiating with an insurance company can be challenging because they are in business to make money and not to spend it. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling auto accident injury claims. Call Harlan Law for a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who represents clients in the Vancouver-Portland metro area.