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Who is at Fault for an Accident Caused by Weather?

In Michigan, drivers regularly have to deal with snow, ice, fog, and other unfavorable driving conditions. These conditions make it difficult to avoid an accident unless you take extra precautions like slowing down and leaving extra space between you and the car in front of you.

If you’ve experienced an accident while driving in bad weather, you or the other driver may still be at fault. Although Michigan’s No-Fault Law makes it easier for everyone’s expenses to be covered, you may still need a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

How Do Bad Weather Car Accidents Happen?

Weather can play a major role in rear-end accidents, especially in the winter when drivers lose control due to snow or ice. Drivers are expected to drive safely by slowing down, increasing following distance, and using tire chains when necessary.

Even drivers who are being careful may have accidents in inclement weather if road conditions are bad enough. Single-car and multi-car accidents are common in the winter, and though most of them are minor, they can be severe if one or more drivers are not using appropriate caution.

Determining Fault

Even with Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Laws, a driver may still be found at fault and held responsible if they were negligent. In order for a lawsuit to occur against the driver at fault, your injuries must result in serious disability or disfigurement. You may also be able to sue the driver for wrongful death if their negligence killed a loved one.

Determining who will be held liable for the accident is sometimes difficult, and it is possible for both parties to share the blame. Your best option is to talk to an experienced Michigan car accident attorney at our law firm for legal advice.

Collecting Compensation from Insurance Companies

Michigan’s No-Fault insurance laws mean that your own insurance company covers your injuries, even if you were a passenger in another person’s vehicle or a pedestrian at the time of the accident. If you do not have drivers insurance because you do not own a vehicle, you may be covered by a household member’s policy or the State of Michigan’s system for uninsured individuals.

However, insurance companies may still try to avoid their obligations to pay for your injuries. They may try to argue that certain medical bills weren’t actually the result of the accident, or that your household member’s insurance doesn’t include you. In those cases, you will need the assistance of a lawyer to fight for the benefits you deserve.

What to Do When an Accident Occurs

If you experience an accident, first ensure that you and your passengers are safe, and call an ambulance if needed. Exchange information with the other driver and wait for police assistance.

Take photographs of icy roads or other weather conditions if possible, but focus on following police instructions and staying safe. As soon as you are away from the scene of the accident, take photographs of injuries, and get documentation of any medical reports and bills.

Call an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Any statements you make to the police or your insurance company may affect your eligibility for compensation, regardless of weather or other factors.

Proceeding to a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has experienced injuries as the result of a bad weather car accident, you need legal help as soon as possible. Even if your insurance should cover all of your medical bills, you may face obstacles getting full compensation from them.

At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we understand the importance of getting compensation as soon as possible. Whether you’re pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent driver or struggling with your family’s insurance provider, our Metro Detroit area office can give you the expert help you need to win.

We have extensive experience in car accident laws and case law specific to Michigan. Contact us at (866) 868-3779 for your free consultation.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers’ compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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