Who May Be at Fault for a Rain-Related Crash?
Driving in the rain can be dangerous, especially when other drivers are not taking proper precautions to avoid an accident. When a crash occurs because of another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Below, we discuss the types of crashes that commonly occur when it is raining and what legal options may be available to you for pursuing compensation.
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligent actions and have questions about filing a claim, let our knowledgeable car accident lawyers in New Jersey help you through the process. We offer a free consultation, and there are no fees while we work on your case.
WHAT TYPES OF CRASHES ARE COMMON DURING RAINFALL?
According to a 2019 study, fatal traffic accidents are 34 percent more likely to occur during a “precipitation event” and 27 percent more likely during light rain, compared to no rain at all. One of the reasons given for the higher likelihood of a crash is that people tend to be less cautious if it is just drizzling, but that does not make the roads any less dangerous.
Hydroplaning accidents are a common type of crash during heavy rainfall if a driver is speeding or has old tires with worn treads. Hydroplaning occurs when too much water builds up between the roadway and the tire of a vehicle, causing the tires to lose traction and the driver to lose control of the car.
Another common cause of accidents in the rain is the slickness of the roads. Drivers who fail to take necessary precautions could lose control of their vehicle and crash into another.
HOW IS FAULT FOR A RAIN-RELATED CRASH DETERMINED?
While rain can make roadways dangerous, fault for an accident is often based on driver error, as the weather cannot be liable for a crash. If the conditions of the road are hazardous, every driver has a responsibility to others on the roadway to drive in a manner that would reasonably prevent a crash.
For example, a speeding driver who loses control of his or her vehicle and crashes into you would most likely be at fault for the collision due to his or her negligence, and therefore would be liable for your damages.
Some other factors that may play a role in a rain-related car crash include:
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to signal
- Failing to use headlights
Another factor to consider is the condition of the vehicles involved in the crash. The driver of a vehicle with poorly-maintained tires could be the at-fault driver if loss of traction was a cause of the crash.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION?
Remember that New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means you first need to file a claim with your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage to have your economic damages, like medical bills, covered. You can file a claim with your PIP insurance no matter who is at fault for the crash, so this can help you if determining fault takes time.
However, you may be able to file a claim with the liability insurance of the other driver if he or she is found responsible for the crash, and your PIP insurance benefits are not enough to cover the full cost of your damages.
TIPS TO HELP AVOID A RAIN-RELATED ACCIDENT IN THE FUTURE
There are some steps drivers can take to help reduce the risk of an accident during rainfall. For one, drivers in New Jersey should remember to drive just as cautiously as you would during a snowstorm. Slick roads make it harder to come to a full stop, so tailgating is always a bad idea.
Visibility in the rain is also likely to be affected, so you should stick to the speed limit or even reduce your speed if you cannot see very well due to the rain.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when driving in the rain is to drive defensively. While you can control your own actions to prevent a crash, you cannot control the actions of others. However, you may be able to anticipate another driver’s actions. One way to be a defensive driver is to allow a speeding driver to pass you and get as far away from your vehicle as possible to avoid a potential collision.
Remember, slow down and stay alert while driving in the rain.
CALL A KNOWLEDGEABLE ATTORNEY TODAY
If you were injured in a rain-related accident you may be eligible for compensation for your damages. Let our knowledgeable lawyers help you through the process of filing a claim.
The consultation is free and there are no fees unless we win.
Call (800) 518-0508 to get started.