Getting behind the wheel in low visibility conditions can be dangerous, which is why drivers are expected to take additional precautions. When they fail to do so, and an accident occurs, they may be liable for damages – drivers cannot blame poor visibility for a crash.
Below, we discuss how liability in a low visibility accident is determined.
Our Appleton car crash attorneys are prepared to investigate your claim to see what legal options may be available to you.
No upfront fees. Call (877) 888-5201 today.
What Affects Visibility on the Road?
There are generally four main causes of impaired visibility:
- Time of day – There is either too much sun causing a glare on your windshield or not enough to let you see far ahead.
- Weather conditions – Adverse weather like snow, fog, sleet or rain can all seriously impact a driver’s ability to see the road clearly.
- Direct obstructions – From an uncontained construction zone to overgrown landscaping, obstructions caused by someone else’s negligence could make seeing around a corner or intersection difficult.
- Poor roadway design – A road with a sharp curve or hill may make it difficult for a driver to see oncoming traffic.
These factors may affect drivers differently. Some drivers may be used to these conditions, while others may not be. However, even the most experienced driver can make a mistake and cause a crash. That is why all drivers need to use extra caution if visibility is impaired.
How is Liability Determined for an Accident Due to Low Visibility Conditions?
Determining liability after an accident in low visibility conditions boils down to what party acted negligently.
Remember that there are four elements to prove negligence:
- You were owed a duty of care
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of duty caused the accident
- You suffered damages
The liable party may be another driver or a third party.
When Could Another Driver Be Held Liable?
Every driver owes everyone else on the road a duty of care. This means taking the necessary steps to avoid a collision.
When driving in low visibility conditions, drivers should leave themselves plenty of time to identify a hazard and determine how to avoid it. This could mean slowing down or leaving more space between vehicles. Drivers who fail to take reasonable steps like this may be breaching their duty of care to others, so if an accident occurs, they may be liable for damages.
When Could a Third Party Be Held Liable?
There are other parties who may also owe you a duty of care, including a third party who is not a driver. These third parties may be at least partially liable:
- Municipal governments if poor road design affects visibility
- Construction companies if equipment from a construction site obstructs visibility
- Property owners if landscaping or something else on a property reduces visibility
It may be harder to prove these parties are liable, so it may be in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney.
How Do I File a Claim for a Crash in Low Visibility Conditions?
To recover compensation from a negligent driver, you need to file a claim with his or her liability insurance. Then, you must gather the necessary evidence to prove the driver’s negligent actions resulted in your damages. For example, you need to prove he or she was speeding in a snowstorm, which caused him or her to crash into your vehicle.
You may also be able to pursue compensation from the liability insurance of a non-driver if you can prove that party’s negligence contributed to your damages.
If your claim is against a municipal government, the process may look different than if you were pursuing compensation from a property owner. This is because claims against a government entity often must be filed sooner than claims against at-fault drivers.
Regardless of what type of claim you file, you must prove another party’s negligence directly resulted in your damages. This means you must gather evidence and build a strong case for compensation. It is difficult to do this when you should be focused on getting to doctor’s appointments and resting to heal from your injuries. That is when having a lawyer may benefit you.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Today
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injured victims, and we have a track record of success. The initial consultation is free of charge, and there are no upfront fees for our services. We investigate your claim with no out-of-pocket costs to you, so there is no risk to work with us.
Let us help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Call (877) 888-5201 to schedule a free consultation.