Who is Liable for Weather-Related Car Crashes in Florida?

Weather-related car crashes are a prominent cause of crashes in Florida and across the United States. If you suffer a crash like this in Fort Lauderdale, FL, a good Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you recover compensation.

According to official figures, 21% of all accidents across the US are weather-related. These translate into more than 1,235,000 accidents in a single year. Florida is particularly notorious for weather-related accidents due to the year-round prevalence of adverse weather conditions such as heavy rainfall and high winds.

In the event of a weather-related accident, an important thing to consider is liability. Many drivers tend to think that they can’t hold anything accountable for crash-related losses they suffer in adverse weather conditions. However, that is not true. A number of parties can be held liable for such crashes.

Common Weather-Related Causes of Accidents

The adverse weather conditions such as rainfall, windstorms, and fog are the primary causes of accidents in Florida. Here is a look at how these causes contribute to weather-related car crashes.

Rainfall

Heavy rainfall and storms year-round are the main weather-related cause of crashes in Florida. There is above-average rainfall in the months of September and June. So the number of accidents is higher in these months.

The countrywide figures register a similar trend. According to statistics from Federal Highway Administration’s Road Weather Management Program, 46% of weather-related accidents occur during rain. Another 70% take place on wet pavement.

This is primarily because wet weather can impair the visibility of the drivers. At the same time, wet roads create dangerous road conditions creating the risk of hydroplaning. Drivers may not be able to apply brakes effectively or drive safely in rainy weather.

High Wind Conditions

High-wind conditions, such as cyclones and gales, are common in Florida. The sudden onset of such winds can severely disrupt traffic flow on a stretch of road. Heavy winds may also bring with them airborne debris and dust which can hamper driver visibility and lead to accidents.

Foggy Weather Conditions

Visibility conditions become notoriously impacted in foggy weather. Although drivers are very careful in foggy conditions, weather-related car crashes can still occur due to low visibility. The use of high beams can also lead to accidents.

Parties Liable for Weather-Related Car Crashes

Weather conditions are naturally caused. However, it is often the negligence of a party that results in weather-related crashes. The following parties can typically be held liable for such accidents.

The Driver

In case of a weather-related car crash, a driver may be held responsible if they are found indulging in the following irresponsible behaviors.

  • They were not following traffic rules or weather-related warning signs.
  • They did not reduce the speed in the rainfall, snow, or fog.
  • They did not check headlights, tires, or wipers before setting out on a journey.

The Manufacturing Company

During adverse weather conditions, different components of a vehicle may malfunction and lead to a crash. For instance, if the brakes malfunction under severe rainfall, the vehicle may collide with another vehicle or object. In such an event, the manufacturing company will be held liable for the failure and can be held responsible for the crash.

The Government 

The city, county, or municipality authorities can be held liable for weather-related accidents if they could have avoided the accident by timely intervention. For instance, if the government entity responsible for a roadway failed to put up warning signs or clear the roadway of weather-related debris, the entity can be held liable for any resulting crashes.

Safe Driving Tips

During bad weather, driving risks are increased manifold. To make sure you stay safe and avoid these risks, you should:

  • Check brakes, tires, headlights, and other components of the vehicle before heading out.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Drive at a moderate pace suited to road conditions.
  • Use headlights and other signals to alert other drivers about your vehicle.

Why Hire a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer?

If you suffer property damage, injuries, and other losses in a weather-related crash in Fort Lauderdale, it is important to get legal help. A good Fort Lauderdale car crash lawyer can help you identify the liable party and seek the maximum amount of compensation. Here at Englander Peebles, we work with car crash victims in Fort Lauderdale. Our aim is to help you secure the compensation you deserve in the shortest time possible. Get in touch with us today to discuss your crash in detail and see if you are eligible for any damages.

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