How Weather May Factor Into A Car Accident Claim
One of the more straightforward arguments a defendant or their insurance company in a car accident case might assert is that the incident was primarily driven by the weather. If you're worried that certain conditions might have been a factor in your case, it's a good idea to think about the problem the way a car accident attorney might. Let's take a look at how lawyers attempt to address these sorts of concerns while pursuing claims.
One of the biggest questions that has to be answered about the weather leading up to an accident is if it represents the most proximate cause of the incident. For example, a driver involved in an accident might have been swerving recklessly in and out of traffic during a rainstorm. Barring very convincing and unlikely evidence that the driver somehow actually had complete control of the car during the storm, it's going to be hard for the defendant to say the weather and not their reckless driving was the most proximate cause. After all, there's a broad societal understanding that bad weather should make your driving more cautious.
A lawyer can also pursue discoverable materials relating to a claim. Perhaps a defendant insisted that they never saw the vehicle they struck due to a blinding snowstorm. A car accident attorney can then examine details about the maintenance of the vehicle, such as what condition the tires, brakes, and wipers were in. If the allegedly at-fault motorist failed to replace their wiper blades, that would need to be factored into the case.
Thanks to modern gadgetry, there is also plenty of discovery that can be done in the way of tech. An attorney might want to examine a person's cell phone texts to see what their state of mind was regarding the weather. If they expressed reservations about the conditions and still drove, that may bolster a claim of negligence or recklessness. Similarly, videos of the scene are often readily available thanks to traffic and dashcam systems.
Standard of Proof
Car accident claims are governed by the civil system's standard of evidence. You don't need to prove your case beyond a shadow of a doubt. Instead, you must merely show that your explanation of events is more likely than not the right one. While there may be weather-related doubts, a lawyer still needs to only demonstrate that a motorist's actions or failures were the most likely cause of an accident.
Reach out to a car accident attorney to learn more.