Can Bad Weather Affect Car Accident Liability in New York?

There is no question bad weather can play a role in car accidents. Still, that does not excuse what may prove unreasonable behavior by the at-fault driver– even in bad weather. For example, a driver may obey the speed limit, but if the roads are icy, the normal speed limit is too fast.

The New York City car accident lawyers at Douglas and London can help if you were seriously hurt in an accident in which another driver did not exercise reasonable care in inclement weather. Our dedicated attorneys protect your rights and will help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

A No-Fault State

Keep in mind that New York is a no-fault state regarding auto insurance. Unless your injuries were severe, your insurance company pays for your medical bills and lost wages. You could go outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit if you suffered serious injuries which include:

  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Loss of body parts
  • Loss of bodily functioning systems
  • Fetal loss

Driving in Bad Weather

Bad weather is responsible for roughly one-fifth of all car accidents across the country. That is why authorities often warn motorists not to drive in difficult weather unless necessary. In New York, the weather conditions most likely to trigger an accident include:

  • Wet pavement
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Ice on pavement
  • Fog

Drivers should know to compensate when out in bad weather. However, too many continue speeding or place too much confidence in the ability of their 4-wheel drive vehicles to negotiate dangerous conditions. They may follow other cars too closely and find they cannot brake in time. Windy conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, especially smaller vehicles. Whatever the specific situation, the result is an accident that did not have to happen.

There is another weather condition responsible for collisions, and that is sun glare. Many people do not think of it as a weather condition per se, as it occurs on sunny days, but it is a problem. The best way to prevent this type of accident is to wear sunglasses, schedule outings when it is less prevalent, and changing routes if you know this is going to be an issue. 

Vehicle Maintenance

Motorists are required to maintain their vehicles properly. If the other driver’s vehicle was not well-maintained, this might have contributed to the accident, making them liable. Examples of poor maintenance that may affect driving in bad weather include:

  • Non-working windshield wipers
  • Insufficient wiper fluid
  • Failure to clear snow or ice from the vehicle’s roof
  • Failure to scrape the windshield clear of ice
  • Improper tire inflation

Road Conditions

Poor road conditions are also a significant factor in weather-related collisions. The government agency in charge of maintenance may hold some liability. This is especially true if certain repairs were not done, such as a broken guardrail that allows a car to leave the roadway and fall down an embankment.

Lack of proper lighting or warning signs are other factors that may contribute to a crash in bad weather, as is inadequate road design and upkeep. For example, if a road floods during a downpour—and cars consistently lose control when this happens, the governmental authority should have made those repairs. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate your claim and help you recover compensation for your damages.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in which bad weather played a role, contact the experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. Schedule a free consultation by filling out our online contact form or calling or texting us 24/7.

We will evaluate your claim and advise you of your options. Most car accident claims are settled, but we will take your case to court if warranted. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation.