During the winter, there are always news stories about chain reaction car accidents that involve weather conditions, namely icy roads. For example, early in January 2015, icy roads and bad weather conditions caused a chain reaction pile up on a Michigan roadway that involved 193 vehicles. The pile up caused one death and over 20 injuries. If you find yourself involved in a chain-reaction car accident this winter, what should you do? Here are 5 legal tips to help you if you find yourself in this situation:
Tip #1: Don’t Leave
Don’t leave the scene, even if the weather is horrible or the pileup is chaotic. You never want to leave the scene before you exchange information with other drivers, talk to police, or do what is required of you according to your state’s laws. If you leave without doing any of these things, you could find yourself facing criminal charges.
Tip #2: Bad Weather Is Not An Excuse
No matter what, bad weather is not going to be a valid excuse for bad driving or problems with your vehicle that could have been solved with regular maintenance. For example, if the weather is bad, drivers should leave more space between their vehicle and others, headlights and wiper blades should be cleaned off and replaced if needed, and if you live in an area with heavy snow and ice, you should invest in snow chains. If you are involved in an accident during bad weather, you cannot blame the weather on an accident where you are found negligent.
Tip #3: Pictures Are Your Friend
Just about everyone has a smartphone or a phone capable of taking photos. If you find yourself in a chain reaction car accident, or any car accident for that matter, take photos. During this time, it may be the only opportunity that you have to take photos of damage to other vehicles or objects, or provide other proof for your claim or lawsuit. Pictures can help you prove that you were not at fault during an accident or can help provide information on the cause of the accident, the weather, and more.
Tip #4: Regular Speed Limits May Not Apply During Bad Weather
When the weather gets bad, the roads get slick. During these times, speed limits should be lowered by drivers to ensure that they have ample time to stop or maneuver if a problem occurs in front of them. If you are in an accident during bad weather, you can be found legally liable if you are continuing to drive at, or above, the posted speed limit.
Tip #5: Even If You Are At Fault, You May Be Able To Recover For Your Injuries
Drivers who are at fault or partially at fault may still be able to recover from other drivers who were also negligent in causing a chain-reaction car accident. While every state has different laws that govern this, comparative negligence usually allows people injured in a car accident to recover for their injuries based on the percentage of their injuries that were caused by another person who is found to be negligent. However, this is usually limited to those drivers who are found to be 50 percent or less responsible for causing their injuries during a car accident.
If you, a loved one, or a friend have been involved in a chain-reaction car accident or any car accident, and have questions or concerns, contact our offices today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. (918) 582 – 2500
Other great articles on our site:
5 Rules For Proving Fault In A Personal Injury Accident
Commercial Truck Accidents: Can You Sue?