Most people already know that Canadian winters bring some of the harshest conditions to the roadways. Black ice, snow, sleet, and hail can make a short trip to the grocery store seem perilous.
If a winter drive leads to an accident, you may wonder, “In bad weather, who is at fault in a car accident?” Since determining who is at fault in an accident usually has implications for insurance claims, understanding the law’s view of bad weather becomes essential.
The legal professionals at Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers can help you navigate your accident injury case. Our lawyers enjoy tackling complex cases and guiding clients through the intricate processes of insurance claims and court battles.
You Know What To Do … Call Chorney Sidhu today to schedule a consultation for your bad weather accident case.
What Someone Could Consider Bad Weather Conditions
When asking, “In bad weather, who’s at fault in a car accident,” You must first dissect what the law considers bad weather. So before diving into the different legal conditions behind these cases, let’s define which weather conditions qualify as “bad.”
Common weather conditions that can often result in accidents include:
- Whiteout conditions
- Black ice
- Heavy winds
- Rain and flooding
- Heavy fog
If you got in a car accident because of any of these weather conditions, you might want to blame the seasons for your collision. Insurance claims rise by more than 45% in Ontario between the months of December and February. However, even if the law recognizes bad weather as a factor in your incident, blaming natural forces might not work.
Fault in an Accident Caused by Bad Weather
Due to Ontario’s Insurance Act, insurers can assign fault in accidents. Unfortunately, the rhetoric of this act denotes that weather, visibility, and road conditions don’t impact fault decisions. As a result, the fault remains entirely with drivers, even in winter storms.
Because of these laws, drivers are responsible for adjusting their behaviours in inclement weather. These adjustments may include cautions like driving more slowly, decelerating on turns, increasing your braking distance, or avoiding the roads altogether. Failure to do so qualifies as negligence.
Some drivers believe that not receiving a ticket frees them from blame for accidents. Even if a police report notes no tickets or traffic violations, the law does not necessarily agree. Thus, sustaining property damage in bad weather only hurts drivers.
Negligence and Liability in Bad Weather Accident Cases
The law views car ownership as a responsibility and requires that drivers adjust their behaviours to keep others safe. Failing to meet these expectations can result in negligence as a driver. Furthermore, certain vehicle conditions can also make you a negligent driver in the eyes of the law.
Some driving behaviours that determine negligence include:
- Failing to increase brake distances on slippery roads
- Driving the same speed regardless of road conditions
- Remaining too close to other vehicles during adverse weather
- Accelerating through turns while roads are slippery or wet
- Avoiding the use of your headlights during low visibility
- Driving while distracted in any way
Vehicle conditions that qualify as negligent include:
- Using a vehicle with worn-out tires
- Operating a car with malfunctioning brakes
- Driving without properly functioning windshield wipers
- Navigating low visibility without working lights
Reasons You Could Take the Case to Court
Many drivers become upset when they learn that bad weather likely won’t relieve them of fault in an accident. It can become tempting to challenge these laws by taking your case to court in these situations. However, legal action without professional legal counsel or substantial proof that bad weather wasn’t the only factor likely won’t absolve you of fault.
Ontario’s laws keep drivers at fault for any accident or road mishap. Court cases require substantial evidence that a defective part or an extenuating circumstance caused the accident to change these views. Call a lawyer to examine your case and identify factors contributing to the accident.
Will My Insurance Company Approve My Claim?
If you sustain significant property damage during a bad weather accident, you’ll probably want to file an insurance claim for assistance with the financial burden of repairs and vehicle restoration. Ontario offers no-fault insurance, which means companies may approve claims regardless of who is at fault during the accident. The level of compensation depends on the insurance company and policy, however.
Minimum insurance in Ontario includes provisions for damages when you are at fault, injuries regardless of fault, and damages from drivers without insurance. However, only adding collision coverage can protect you when you sustain property damage and retain fault for the accident.
Essential Steps To Take After an Accident
You must know how to react if you get into a bad weather accident. Preparing for these possibilities can help you respond appropriately to an accident.
Some essential steps to take after a bad weather accident include:
- Do not apologize or admit guilt of any kind
- Do not claim to feel okay, as injuries could present themselves after the fact
- Quickly inform your insurance provider
- See your doctor for an exam
- Take pictures and video to document the scene
- Read any documents doctors, police, or public officials give you
- Call the real professionals at Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers
How To Prepare for Cold Weather Driving
Preparing for cold weather driving may allow you a safer road experience. Keep essential supplies in your car to prepare for these weather conditions. These supplies include:
- Extra layers and blankets
- Jumper cables
- Windshield wiper fluid
- First aid kit
You Know What To Do … Call Chorney Sidhu
In bad weather, who’s at fault in a car accident? Receiving legal counsel from Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers in Brampton provides answers to this question and more in your car accident case. Contact our legal professionals for assistance navigating the complexities of your bad weather accident.
For more information about handling a bad weather car accident, call (844) 487-8482 and schedule a legal consultation with Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers today.