How Fault is Determined for Weather-Related Accidents in VA

Cars driving in snow

Driving is inherently dangerous, but with poor weather conditions, the risk for accidents only increases. Although inclement weather can boost the likelihood of being involved in an accident, it does not mean that accidents are inevitable. In fact, rarely are car accidents out of everyone’s control. Generally, even during poor weather conditions, someone is negligent in their actions and is therefore liable for the resulting damages. 

Drivers’ Duty of Care

All drivers have a duty of care to ensure that they are safely operating their vehicles in a responsible manner. However, it’s important to note that what may be considered responsible and reasonable on a clear, sunny day, may not be the same thing on a day of heavy rain, snow, fog, or the like. But regardless of the weather, that duty never wavers. Therefore, the way in which someone drives must change depending upon the conditions in which they are driving. If another driver in the same or similar circumstances could have avoided getting into an accident, it’s likely that the involved driver will be held liable. Without taking the proper precautions during inclement weather, injuries sustained can be catastrophic. 

Evidence of the Safe Operation of Vehicles

It can often be difficult to prove that a driver was or wasn’t liable for an accident that occurred during poor weather conditions. However, these findings of fault are based on facts that can be proven to demonstrate whether the driver was safely operating their vehicle. The safe operation of their vehicle may include things such as:

  • Using turn signals
  • Reducing speed
  • Turning slowly
  • Clearing snow and ice off of vehicles prior to driving
  • Utilizing hazard lights

Strict Contributory Negligence

So, while the condition of the road may play a role in an accident, it does not negate all liability on the part of the driver. Virginia follows strict contributory negligence laws, which means that if someone is at all responsible for an accident, they are barred from recovering any damages from the defendant. This is why it’s so important that fault is accurately determined. 

Possible Damages

When a driver is found liable for an accident, damages that are awarded may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages/benefits
  • Loss of earning power
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Are Injured in a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can have a serious impact on many parts of your life. When you are already dealing with healing from your physical injuries, you shouldn’t have to be faced with insurance companies and financial responsibilities alone. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia personal injury attorney. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we have experience with personal injury law and specifically with car accidents. We will help you to fight for what it is that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Car Accident