Weather Related Accidents
Rain may wreak havoc on Southern California roads. The most dangerous time on the road is 10 to 15 minutes after rain starts, due to oil that has gathered on the road for many months. When the oil initially gets wet, the road is more slippery. During rainfall or in fog, it may continue to be dangerous to be on the road, partly because Southern California drivers are not accustomed to driving in bad weather. If you were injured in a weather related accident, you should retain an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Sharifi Firm to pursue your economic and noneconomic damages.Bringing a Claim Based on a Weather Related Accident
Even if the weather is bad, drivers in California have a duty to other drivers to drive safely under the circumstances. If it is raining, drivers on the freeway are expected to slow down and leave more room in front of them to come to a sudden stop. They are expected to drive more slowly if the road is particularly slippery. The duty to use reasonable care that all drivers in California owe includes taking extra precautions in bad weather.
Bad weather is not an automatic defense, but it may affect the outcome of a lawsuit. In some cases, extreme weather events may be considered an "act of God," for which another driver cannot be held responsible. For example, even if a driver is using all due care, lightning or earthquakes or heavy winds might cause an injury-producing accident. You may not hold another driver responsible if there was nothing that they could do to prevent the accident, or the weather conditions were the sole proximate (legal) cause of the accident. When the resulting damage is foreseeable and could have been prevented by using reasonable care, however, you may be able to hold a driver responsible.
To hold another driver responsible for an accident influenced by the weather, you will need to prove that more likely than not, the other driver failed to abide by their duty to use reasonable care and in so doing caused your injuries. The other driver may raise an act of God or comparative negligence defense.
For example, if it was raining heavily, the other driver may argue that the heavy rain caused the accident or that your own unsafe driving during the rainstorm caused the accident. The critical issue is whether the other driver's actions were a substantial factor in causing the harm.
For a defendant's conduct to be considered a substantial factor, it may not be too remote or trivial, although it need not be the only cause of the harm. Actions are not considered a substantial factor in causing injuries if the same injuries would have occurred without those actions. A driver's failure to slow down when visibility is poor and roads are slippery may be a substantial factor in causing a rear-ending or another collision.
Sometimes multiple drivers fail to use reasonable care during bad weather, resulting in an accident. Generally, each driver will only be responsible for an amount of noneconomic damages that is equal to their degree of fault. However, defendants may be held jointly and severally liable for economic damages in California.Discuss Your Car Crash Case with a Los Angeles Lawyer
Drivers in Southern California are not accustomed to frequent bad weather like heavy rainstorms, and as a result they may not know how to react or drive under altered circumstances. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation if you were hurt in a weather related accident. We can evaluate the facts and decide on a logical strategy to pursue your damages. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-422-7222 for a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our firm also represents victims in San Bernardino, Riverside, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and other Southern California cities.