Car accidents can happen at any time, including during bad weather. Bad weather conditions are often a major causational factor, but you cannot sue Mother Nature. Instead, you can sue the other driver in your accident, but proving liability and negligence might be a bit different.
You can sue for a car accident caused by bad weather, and you should speak to an attorney about how to prove the weather and the other driver’s negligence are to blame. While we often blame these kinds of accidents on the weather, the real culprit is usually a negligent driver who was not driving with reasonable caution. Like any accident case, you must show how the defendant was negligent. In weather-related accidents, this typically involves demonstrating how the defendant was driving recklessly or dangerously under the circumstances. Maryland courts view weather-related accidents as they do all other cases. They are looking for evidence and will remain impartial until evidence indicates otherwise.
If you were in a crash while driving in bad weather, call our Maryland car accident attorneys at (410) 694-7291, and our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can arrange a free case assessment.
Can I Sue for a Car Accident Caused by Bad Weather in Maryland?
Bad weather is a fact of life. We cannot control when it happens or how severe the weather might be. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens when we are on the road. If you are involved in a car accident during some bad weather and believe the weather is a prominent causational factor, you may sue for your damages.
Bad weather often does not stop people from driving, nor should it. You might need to get to school, work, or the doctor’s office, even if the weather is not great. Unfortunately, many other drivers on the road tend to disregard the weather conditions and drive more recklessly. Their poor driving combined with bad weather is the perfect storm for an accident.
Who You Can Sue for a Car Accident Caused by Poor Weather Conditions in Maryland
Obviously, you cannot sue the weatherman. Instead, you can focus on the other driver involved in your accident. Just because weather conditions were poor does not mean everyone is absolved of responsibility and their duty to drive with reasonable safety. You can sue the driver who hit you, but you must prove negligence like any other car accident.
In an accident stemming from bad weather conditions, you need to show how the defendant’s driving was negligent in light of the bad weather. For example, suppose it was storming heavily, visibility was very poor, and the roads were wet and slick. In such a case, a reasonable driver would switch on their headlights and windshield wipers and drive much slower. If the other driver did not take these precautions, you might be able to show negligence.
Remember, all drivers on the road share the same legal duty to drive with reasonable safety under the current conditions and circumstances. If the current condition involves bad weather, you must adjust your driving to be safer. If the other driver did not properly adjust their driving and disregarded safety precautions, they might be liable for the accident.
It can be tricky to prove negligence in accident cases involving bad weather. While some drivers ignore the weather and drive carelessly, others do not, but they still cause accidents. The other driver will likely argue they took all necessary precautions, and they might truly believe that. However, this does not mean they cannot be liable. Even one minor mistake during bad weather might make them liable for a bad accident. Our Ocean City, MD car accident lawyers will help you determine exactly what that small mistake was.
How Maryland Courts View Car Accidents Related to Poor Weather Conditions
Defendants are not given a free pass because it was raining and they cannot control the weather. Plaintiffs are not favored either and must still present evidence to meet their burden of proof. Courts are well-versed in determining negligence and will hear cases involving car accidents in bad weather.
Courts will not assume the defendant was negligent because of bad weather. Bad weather can be unpredictable. In extreme conditions, it becomes harder to determine what a reasonable driver might do in the same situation, and proving negligence becomes more complicated.
Even so, the fact that weather is uncontrollable and unpredictable might make the court examine the evidence and arguments presented by each side more closely. It is very possible that the defendant was trying to drive as safely as possible but somehow failed to do so. Finding evidence of their mistake might be difficult, and the court will look for the strongest evidence possible.
Evidence That Maryland Courts Might Look for in Accident Cases Related to Bad Weather
The fact that your accident happened in bad weather may be perceived as a serious complication. Evidence might have literally been washed away. The defendant might argue that they had no control over the accident. You might very well argue the same. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that the defendant caused the accident.
To begin, we need evidence of the weather from the day of the accident. Weather conditions are often recorded. We can get copies of official weather reports from state agencies responsible for recording and reporting weather conditions.
If you have a dashcam in your car, we absolutely need that video footage. Such footage might show the court what the weather was truly like that day. It might also show how the defendant caused the accident.
We can also speak to eyewitnesses. Perhaps another driver saw the accident and can testify that the defendant was driving too fast for the bad weather conditions. Remember, much of your evidence must not only prove how the defendant is liable, but it must do so in light of the bad weather.
Call Our Maryland Car Accident Lawyers for Help
Call our Baltimore car accident attorneys at (410) 694-7291 and our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can set up a free case assessment to discuss your weather-related accident.