According to the Federal Highway Administration, severe weather conditions are responsible for nearly 1.3 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year. Inclement weather makes driving significantly more challenging. Inexperienced drivers and weather events often correlate with an increase in motor vehicle collisions. Though Nashville residents enjoy relatively mild winters with little to no snowfall, inclement weather accidents continue to happen every year.
Proving that another driver’s negligence caused your injuries in an accident involving inclement weather is challenging. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a car accident, we can help. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law have successfully investigated many car accidents that occurred during inclement weather. We analyze all of the available evidence and witness testimony to determine which driver or drivers caused your car accident.
Attempting to heal from a motor vehicle injury while worrying about paying medical bills and contacting insurance companies can be incredibly stressful. We can relieve some of the stress related to your car accident and skillfully negotiate on your behalf.
Inclement Weather Increases the Risk of Tennessee Motor Vehicle Collisions
On average, wet pavement contributes to the highest percentage of weather-related motor vehicle crashes and fatalities followed by rain. Wet pavement can reduce the driver’s ability to control his or her car safely. Flooding and snow can also cause lane obstructions. When Nashville roads close, drivers may be more likely to drive negligently while seeking out alternate routes.
Inclement weather also reduces the speed of drivers. Most drivers reduce their speed when rain or snow decreases visibility. In addition to wet pavement, the following weather conditions also contribute to motor vehicle accidents:
- Icy pavement
- Slushy or snowy pavement
Wet Roads and Diminished Visibility Can Contribute to Inclement Weather Accidents
When automobile tires lose traction on Nashville roads, the roads become dangerous. When the snow melts and then refreezes, roads become icy. In some instances, black ice forms on the road. When drivers cannot see upcoming black ice and adjust their driving accordingly, they may lose control of their vehicle. Nashville residents do not often drive in snow and icy conditions due to the relatively low amount of snowfall Nashville receives every winter. Many Nashville drivers lack experience driving in inclement weather. Drivers who lack experience driving in inclement weather are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and cause collisions.
Most drivers are aware of the dangers of driving on icy roads. On the contrary, many drivers are not aware of how dangerous wet roads can become. When a vehicle’s tires drive on a slippery road, the tires are more likely to lose traction. A summer rainstorm may not seem dangerous, but the resulting wet, slick roads can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. Drivers who do not voluntarily reduce their speed during inclement weather are more likely to collide with another driver. They are also at a greater risk of losing control of their vehicles, especially when the roads are wet, icy, or flooded.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident That Occurred in Inclement Weather
Under Tennessee law, a driver owes other drivers a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. A driver breaches his or her duty of care by driving negligently or recklessly. A negligent driver is liable for any injuries he caused due to his negligence. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a Nashville car accident that occurred during inclement weather, you might be wondering who is at fault. Did another driver cause the accident or did the weather caused the accident? After all, you cannot bring a lawsuit against the weather.
To succeed in a Tennessee personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the other driver did not use reasonable care under the circumstances. Part of using reasonable care is adapting to accommodate inclement weather. Drivers need to use more caution when driving in the rain or snowstorms. For example, if an ordinary driver would have slowed his vehicle down during a snowstorm, a driver who did not slow down failed to use reasonable care. If the driver’s failure to reduce his speed caused the collision, he or she is probably liable for any injuries suffered by other drivers in the crash.
Compensation Available to Those Injured in Inclement Weather Accidents
Successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to several types of compensation under Tennessee law. Nashville plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic damages that resulted from their car accident. Economic damages include expenses that are easy to quantify, such as:
- Vehicle repairs
- Medical costs
- Physical therapy costs
- Home health aid costs
- Medical equipment costs
- Lost income
- Rental car costs
Non-economic damages include expenses that are more difficult to quantify. Plaintiffs can recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, and emotional distress. In Tennessee, successful plaintiffs are limited to non-economic damage awards of $750,000 or less. If you suffered a catastrophic injury or loss, you are entitled to $1,000,000 or less of non-economic damages.
Contact Our Nashville Inclement Weather Accidents Attorney
At Cummings Law, our attorneys possess the necessary legal skills to determine liability in challenging cases. We understand that inclement weather makes determining who was at fault challenging, but not impossible. When you choose Cummings Law to represent you, you are selecting skilled attorneys who will fiercely advocate for your best interests throughout the legal process. When we work with new car accident victims, we investigate the accident thoroughly. Our attorneys collect all available videos, pictures, and weather data. If necessary, we call upon experts who can determine what part the weather played in the car accident. After compiling all relevant evidence, we seek to demonstrate that the other driver failed to use caution when driving in inclement weather.
If you’re concerned that you might not be able to recover compensation for your inclement weather-related car accident, we can help. Drivers have a duty of reasonable care that doesn’t disappear during an adverse weather event. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case and help you fight for your right to compensation. Contact our Nashville law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.