Who Is At Fault In A Weather-Related Car Accident?

Kansas and Missouri drivers face many challenges during the winter months and that leads to more car accidents. The roads are slippery, the sun sets earlier, and snow and rain can make it difficult to see other cars on the road. Winter weather conditions such as snow, ice, hail, sleet, rain and fog can make driving hazardous.

The risk of a car accident increases in bad weather or during a storm. When the weather creates difficult driving conditions, it is important to take all necessary precautions. Make sure you have plenty of tread on your tires. And, make sure your tire tread is the right type for the driving conditions.

When a weather-related car crash occurs, the driver and those involved often wonder who is at fault. While bad weather may create dangerous driving conditions, driver negligence is usually the ultimate cause of an accident. Drivers must adapt their driving to the current weather conditions in order to remain safe. It is often difficult for the insurance company or those in the accident to determine who is at fault. 


Liability In A Weather-Related Car Accident

Drivers should remember that the law requires them to drive responsibly and with caution in any weather condition. 

You may have to drive slower than the posted speed limit, take turns slowly, use your hazard lights, or even pull over if the conditions are too challenging.

Weather and road conditions will be considered when determining who is at fault in a car crash. However, an individual can still be found liable despite the weather if he or she did not drive in a way that was safe under the weather conditions at the time of the accident. For example, it may be negligent to drive at the speed limit in snowy or icy conditions.

In many cases, if a driver loses control of their car and crashes into another one, whether due to sliding on ice or hydroplaning, they will be found responsible for causing the accident. If the road condition was not isolated to a small section of road and was unexpected, the driver may not be at fault. It is essential to involve an attorney on your behalf as early as possible to help unravel these issues. 


50/50 Fault Allocation

Both drivers may share in the fault for the accident if they both lost control of their cars due to inclement weather or for other reasons. As a result, the insurance companies might decide to allocate fault 50/50 between each driver (“50/50 fault allocation”). The insurance company’s decision does not mean you do not have a case. The insurance companies have an incentive to discourage lawsuits. They are more concerned about their bottom line than about fair compensation for what you lost in the accident. The laws on how fault is divided among the parties is different in Kansas and Missouri. For this reason, it is important to talk to a skilled and experienced car accident attorney as soon as you can. 

For example, if you are 50% or more at fault in a Kansas collision, you cannot recover from the other party at a trial. In Missouri, the rules are different. Even if you are more than 50% at fault, you can recover from the other party for their percentage of fault. 

If you disagree with the findings of an insurance company’s investigation into an accident or with their assessment of your losses, you will need to prove that the other driver was to blame, not the road conditions. And, you will need to prove that your damages are more serious than the insurance company admits. A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the value of your injuries and whether you have a case. 


How To Protect Your Rights After A Weather-Related Car Accident

You must ensure from the beginning that your rights are protected. Understand that the other party’s insurance company is not on your side. They will try to offer you the lowest settlement possible which may not be enough to cover the medical expenses, lost wages, or the pain and suffering you endured as a result of a car accident.


Contact Our Overland Park Car Accident Lawyers

With decades of experience helping Kansas and Missouri residents who suffered severe car accident injuries, our Overland Park car accident lawyers are here to help. We focus on helping our clients recover what they have lost and will fight aggressively to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in an accident, fill out a contact form or call us at (913) 839 2808