With millions of trucks operating on American roads, it is no surprise that numerous truck drivers are involved in accidents every year. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveals that accidents involving large trucks claim around 4,000 lives each year. In addition, the victims who survive these crashes are often left with severe injuries and tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
If you are in such a situation, a truck accident lawyer can help you understand the process of determining liability and your legal options.
What Happens When the Accident is Due to Bad Weather?
Usually, you can either sue the truck driver or any other motorists who were partly responsible for the crash. All at-fault parties are legally required to compensate you for all the damages you sustained during the accident, including your current and future medical expenses. However, what happens when no motorist was responsible for the accident?
Most truck accidents and vehicle crashes, in general, are caused by the actions of motorists. It could be either negligence, recklessness, fatigue, or driving under the influence of drugs. In some cases, factors outside human control may be blamed for a road accident.
If you are involved in such a crash due to bad weather, you can indeed sue a truck driver even if the crash was due to adverse weather conditions. The difference is that they most likely will not be held 100% responsible for the collision and may only be required to pay part of the damages you are entitled to.
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What Types of Weather-Related Conditions Cause Accidents?
Certain weather conditions can hamper visibility and make it difficult for truck drivers to control their trucks. For instance, rain can lower visibility significantly, making it extremely easy for truckers to miss other vehicles on the road. Furthermore, these weather conditions make roads slippery and increase the likelihood of drivers losing control and crashing.
Some of the common weather conditions that increase the likelihood of accidents include:
What Responsibilities Does a Truck Driver Have in Bad Weather?
Since truck drivers can be held partly liable even if bad weather caused an accident, it means that they must act in a certain way during adverse weather conditions. A truck driver who does not fulfill any of these responsibilities can be held liable if their actions lead to an accident that causes physical injury and property damage.
On average, a truck going at a regular speed requires the distance of nearly two football fields to come to a complete stop. When there is ice, snow, sleet, mist, or fog on the road, these large trucks will need even more room to stop. Driving slower provides drivers with more time to stop their vehicles, reducing the likelihood of a truck losing its grip on the road and slipping.
If the weather worsens and visibility is nearly impossible, truck drivers must pull over by the side of the road and wait until the weather conditions clear. Multiple car collisions and pileups are common when weather conditions reduce visibility, so truck drivers must stop and wait.
What Damages Can I Pursue After a Truck Accident?
Depending on the severity of your injuries and other factors of your case, you can pursue the following damages as compensation:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Disfigurement, scarring, and loss of limbs
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Physical pain and emotional anguish
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Legal fees and property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses, if the accident resulted in wrongful death
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How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
Filing a successful truck accident case is quite a hassle. Even if you know who the responsible party is, proving fault and negotiating for a fair settlement is never easy. It gets even more complicated when it is unclear who is responsible for the crash due to adverse weather conditions.
You will have to determine how much bad weather was responsible for the crash and whether the truck driver could have done anything to prevent the collision. Additionally, you must calculate the amount of damages the driver must pay based on the role in the accident, all while you are injured and out of work.
Your attorney will handle all the complex legal issues while you focus on recovery. First, your lawyer will build a solid case and negotiate with the insurance provider for fair compensation on your behalf. If the negotiations are not successful, your attorney will file a lawsuit and defend you in court.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers to Learn More About Liability in Accidents
Were you recently injured in an accident that was caused by bad weather? You may be entitled to some compensation from the truck driver, depending on the circumstances of the crash. Consider reaching out to Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options.
We have recovered $1 billion in settlements for our clients, and our team would love to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review and more information.