Can You File a Claim after an Accident Involving Bad Weather?
One question that commonly arises in many motor vehicle accident cases concerns crashes that are either caused or tremendously influenced by inclement weather. Just as Missouri enjoys scenic summertime conditions, the fall, winter, and spring months can all see different periods of bad weather conditions that may include heavy rain, snow, or other conditions.
Missouri Revised Statute § 537.765 establishes that contributory fault, as a complete bar to a plaintiff’s recovery, was abolished, and the state would adopt a system of pure comparative fault such that any fault chargeable to a plaintiff would diminish proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages but did not bar recovery. The bottom line in any accident involving poor weather is that the fault of one party will be a driving factor in which kinds of compensation will be recoverable.
Most automobile accident claims are going to be based on a negligence claim, meaning that one person is claiming another person did not uphold their legal obligation to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. While one driver might claim that bad weather caused their collision, the truth is that other actions can influence liability in these cases.
Drivers cannot use the weather as a defense in all cases because some drivers could be liable for damages in these cases when they do any of the following:
- Commit speeding offenses
- Perform unsafe turns
- Tailgate or fail to provide adequate following distance
- Do not use headlights
On top of issues while driving, it is also possible that some drivers could be liable for damages when their vehicles were not properly prepared for the weather. This can mean that vehicle maintenance issues relating to tires, brakes, or lights can all be used against drivers.
How Insurance Companies Handle Weather Claims
Any insurance company is going to investigate an accident and try to draw the conclusions that will be the most beneficial to the company. Insurers will always be looking for examples of driver negligence, but they also want to find reasons that they can save money by denying claims.
Some people who are filing claims based on collisions caused by bad weather may have insurance companies that deny the claims based on a person’s failure to adjust their driving to the dangerous conditions. You do not want to be negotiating your own settlement with an insurer, so let a lawyer do it for you.
When you hire an attorney to handle your bad weather accident case, they can conduct their own independent investigation into the crash and secure the evidence necessary to prove your claims. Retaining legal counsel will give a person the best chance of recovering as much as possible.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Louis Auto Accident Lawyer
Did you suffer injuries or was your loved one killed in an automobile accident in bad weather in the St. Louis area? Do not wait another moment to get in touch with Bruntrager & Billings, P.C.
Our firm has been helping clients all over Missouri since 1954. Call (314) 646-0066 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our St. Louis auto accident lawyer.