Driver error is the number one cause of car accidents in Arizona. Not all car accidents, however, are caused by humans. Bad weather conditions also cause a number of car crashes in Arizona each year. If you were recently injured in a car accident caused by weather conditions, learn when you might be able to hold one or more parties financially responsible.
An auto accident can cause a great deal of financial, physical and mental strain. In Arizona, the state’s fault-based car insurance law states that if someone else causes a car accident, that party is liable for damages. The person or party who causes your car accident will have to pay for your medical bills and property repairs. If your crash was caused by weather conditions, however, you may not know who to hold responsible.
Although no one can control the weather, other factors may have also contributed to your car accident. If a person or party was negligent, and this contributed to your crash, that party may be liable for your damages:
- A driver. Drivers have a responsibility to adapt their driving habits to current roadway conditions. If the weather is dangerous for driving, drivers must take extra precautions. For example, they must reduce their speeds and leave extra following distance in the rain. If a driver does not exercise an appropriate amount of caution in bad weather, he or she could be liable for a car accident.
- Auto part manufacturer. If your weather-related car accident could have been prevented by an auto part that operated correctly, the manufacturer of a defective product could be liable. If you crashed in the rain due to defective windshield wipers, for example, or bald tires made you hydroplane, the product manufacturer may be liable.
- The city or state government. The government has a responsibility to maintain safe public roads. If a government entity failed to remedy a known roadway defect or hazard, such as a pothole, and this contributed to your weather-related car accident, you could have a case against the government.
Holding someone financially responsible for your car accident in Arizona takes gathering evidence of his or her fault. A Glendale car accident attorney can help you collect evidence that proves the defendant owed you a duty of care, violated this duty of care and caused your collision. Evidence may include a police report, photographs, witness statements, expert testimony, surveillance footage and road repair requests.
Types of Weather That Cause the Most Car Accident
Arizona is home to many natural hazards and disasters that can interfere with a driver’s ability to get safely to his or her destination. From conditions that impede visibility to weather that makes road surfaces slick and unsafe, many different types of weather can cause car accidents in Arizona. The most common are:
- Rain and standing water
- Flash floods
- Bright sun that creates a glare
- Smoke or fog
- Dust storms
- High-velocity winds
- Ice, black ice or snow
- Sleet or hail
Weather conditions alone may not give you the right to hold someone else liable for your car accident. These are what insurance companies refer to as acts of God; they are no one’s legal responsibility. If, however, someone else’s negligence contributed to your crash, that party may be at least partially financially responsible for your injuries and losses.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If a driver was driving recklessly, the government negligently ignored a road hazard or a defective vehicle part malfunctioned, you may be able to file a claim to damages after a car accident caused by weather conditions. Consult with a car accident attorney near you for assistance with the claims process. An attorney can help you prove your case against one or more parties for maximum financial compensation.