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Weather can be a wild card, and negligent drivers (or their insurance companies) may try to claim that an accident that left you injured was solely due to the weather and not their responsibility. You’re not without options if you’re the victim of someone else’s negligence, though, even if weather was a factor. Here’s how you can steer through the fog and seek the compensation you deserve, with the help of a qualified car wreck attorney in Caldwell, TX.

Pursuing Compensation in Weather-Related Car Accidents

Capture pictures of the accident scene, the weather conditions, and any damage to your vehicle. If it’s safe to do so, note down the state of the road, any obstructions, or traffic signals that were present. This information will be pivotal when presenting your case and may go a long way to prove that the weather alone was not to blame for what happened.

Medical Attention

Be sure to seek medical attention promptly, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal bruising, can have delayed symptoms. Not only is this critical for your health, but medical records will serve as concrete evidence of the impact of the accident on your life.

Consider the Rules of the Road

Texas law requires drivers to operate their vehicle according to the prevailing conditions. This means that in adverse weather, drivers are expected to adjust their driving behavior if necessary for safety. If another driver failed to do so and caused your accident, the driver may be liable even if the weather was a factor.

For example, remember that speed limits are just that: limits. They aren’t speed requirements, and the law does require that drivers always go at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions. During bad weather, an appropriate speed might be much slower than the posted speed limit. Your lawyer may be able to show through expert testimony and reconstruction that the other driver was going much too fast for the conditions, even if they were technically not too far from the posted speed limit.

Get a Qualified Car Wreck Attorney in Caldwell, TX on Your Side

Enlisting a personal injury attorney is a game-changer in these situations. They’ll represent your interests, piece together the narrative of your accident against the backdrop of Texas traffic laws and weather conditions, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Fight Comparative Negligence

In Texas, comparative negligence is an issue in personal injury cases. This doctrine might reduce your compensation if you are found to be partly at fault. For instance, if you were driving with worn tires during a rainstorm, the other side might successfully argue that you also did not take proper precautions for the weather and are at least partially to blame.

Under Texas law, anyone 51% or more at fault for an accident cannot recover any compensation, and your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. So, for example, if it’s determined that you were 15% at fault because of driving on worn tires that compromised your braking speed, and your damages are $25,000, in the end you would receive $25,000 minus 15%, which is $21,250. Your attorney will help you to fight back against attempts to hold you more to blame than you were.

Calculate the True Cost

Your losses extend beyond the immediate and obvious. Think about the days you’ve missed from work, the medical treatments you’ve needed, and even the emotional trauma you’ve endured. Your claim should account for not only past and current medical expenses but also for anticipated future costs. This could include surgeries, medical devices, or long-term medication.

In cases of severe injury, a life care planner might even need to be brought in to project the future costs associated with your injury. This comprehensive approach can significantly increase the value of your claim, reflecting the true cost of the accident on your life. A qualified lawyer knows what you should be asking for and how to help you find everything that needs to be calculated so nothing is missed.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be extremely difficult for an accident victim. The insurance company is very likely to argue that the weather was an “act of God,” which would absolve their policyholder of liability. But remember, it’s not the weather that’s on trial but how the other driver reacted to it.

It’s a predictable tactic, but one that can be countered with a thorough presentation of facts showing that the other party had a reasonable opportunity to prevent the accident by driving more cautiously. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure you don’t end up stuck with a settlement offer that’s too low. Never accept a settlement without talking to your lawyer, first.

If the insurance company won’t make a fair offer, it may be necessary to take your case to court. Your attorney will be crucial there, too.

Understand Policy Limitations

Remember that insurance policies may have specific clauses related to weather conditions, and these can affect your claim. However, Texas law also requires that insurance companies engage in good faith negotiations, so if an insurer unreasonably denies a claim or provides a lowball offer, they can be held accountable: and your lawyer will keep them so.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can be a crucial part of your case, particularly meteorologists who can provide insights into the severity of the weather conditions at the time of your accident. They can offer objective opinions about whether the weather was foreseeable and if the precautions taken by the other driver were adequate.

Similarly, accident reconstruction experts can analyze the crash dynamics in relation to the weather conditions. Their testimony can illustrate how the combination of weather and the defendant’s actions led to the accident, bolstering your claim that the accident could have been avoided with more prudent driving.

Having Your Day in Court

If your case goes to court, your testimony, coupled with your documentation, can vividly portray the situation you faced. Your attorney will be at your side, arguing that the weather was but one factor and that the negligence of the other driver is what truly led to your injuries.

When the court deliberates, it will consider the evidence through the lens of Texas law and the reality of driving in inclement weather. A favorable verdict can mean a compensation package that covers not just your expenses, but also acknowledges your suffering.

Rebuilding in the Aftermath

With compensation in hand, you can focus on what’s important, and that’s your recovery. Whether it’s repairing your car, attending rehabilitation sessions, or supporting your family while you’re off work, the compensation is intended to help you get back to normalcy. Your lawyer will make sure that you get as much of your compensation package as possible, even if there are entities, like a hospital or your personal insurance company, that need to be reimbursed from it.

In the end, you can’t control the weather, but you can control how you respond to the challenge. Talk to a qualified and experienced car wreck lawyer right away if you’ve been in an accident: even if weather was a factor. Contact Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer for a free consultation now.