Seattle Inclement Weather Car Accident Lawyer
Poor weather conditions can result in catastrophic – and even fatal – car accidents. Rain, sleet, and snow can create slippery roads, and when coupled with low visibility, can easily lead to a multi-vehicle crash.
Driving in severe weather can significantly increase your risk of getting involved in a dangerous situation, and for this reason, it is generally in your best interest to avoid driving altogether. However, there are situations in which you may not have much of an option.
Unfortunately, inclement weather is a leading cause of car accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), approximately 21 percent of all crashes are weather-related. That is over 1.2 million crashes that take place each year as a result of adverse weather.
If you have been involved in a catastrophic car accident as a result of inclement weather, know that you are not alone. The dependable and trustworthy team of Seattle inclement weather car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee have the experience you need to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee today at (206) 312-0954 for a FREE confidential consultation. Our Washington State car accident attorneys are ready to hear your story.
How Inclement Weather Affects Drivers
Adverse weather conditions can affect drivers in a number of ways including:
- Roadway capacity can be affected by heavy rains which lead to flooding, road closures or access restrictions, debris accumulation, or obstruction of the road due to snow buildup.
- Drivers are affected by mobility and speed reduction on wet or snowy pavement. Not only must drivers slow down to accommodate the weather but they may also be required to take evasive action in order to avoid colliding with another vehicle.
- Inclement weather generally leads to a lowered range of sight, especially in conditions such as heavy thunderstorms, snowstorms, or thick fog. When vision is reduced to a few feet in front of the driver, it can be difficult to stay safe on the road.
Adverse weather conditions can include heavy rain, fog, icy roads, snowstorms, dust storms, heavy winds, hail, and flooding.
Determining Liability for Your Inclement Weather Car Accident
Every driver has a duty of care when on the road. This means that they must drive in a reasonable manner in order to maintain proper control of their vehicle to avoid a car accident. When bad weather is a factor in a car accident, it is important to prove that the responsible party failed in this duty of care and did not meet the standard that was appropriate for the weather conditions.
Generally, driving in bad weather means that you must exercise a higher level of care.
For instance, the Seattle metro area sees significant amounts of rain throughout the year and the occasional snowfall. When heavy rains decrease visibility, every driver should reduce their speed. Failing to adjust their speed to bad weather conditions can be taken as an act of negligence. A negligent driver who speeds in rainy weather and crashes into you will generally be held liable for their actions.
Liability can also be placed on the negligent driver if:
- The individual knowingly drove with worn tires or broken windshield wipers.
- Failed to use lights while driving.
- Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving.
- Drove in a negligent, aggressive, or reckless manner such as tailgating.
- Failed to obey traffic laws, traffic signals, or road signs.
In certain instances, even a single-vehicle accident can be caused by another driver. A negligent driver who swerves into your lane, for instance, may cause you to maneuver in a manner that causes you to drive off the road or crash into an object. In these instances, our Seattle attorneys can help to determine who is liable for your single-vehicle accident and then help you pursue damages.
Let our determined team at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee help you uncover who is responsible for the damages you have suffered and hold them accountable. Contact us today at (206) 312-0954 for a FREE consultation and to learn more about your legal options.
Statistics Shows Weather Has a Heavy Impact on Driver Safety
Weather-related crashes are a very real issue which can have a monumental effect on your life. When getting behind the wheel during adverse weather (i.e. rain, sleet, snow, fog, severe wind, icy pavement, etc.) always be extremely cautious.
The FHWA highlights some startling statistics regarding weather impact on driver safety:
- On average, nearly 5,000 lives are lost each year in the United States (based on a ten-year average between 2007 to 2016).
- Over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year throughout the country (based on a ten-year average between 2007 to 2016).
- The majority of weather-related crashes tend to happen on wet pavement and during rainfall; 70 percent of weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement, while 46 percent occur during rainfall.
- 18 percent of weather-related accidents are attributed to snow or sleet, while 13 percent occur on icy pavement.
- On an average year in the United States, roughly 15 percent of fatal crashes, 19 percent of injury crashes, and 22 percent of property damage only crashes are related to adverse weather.
How to Best Protect Yourself During Stormy Weather
Preparation and patience are key to traveling in inclement weather. Remember to use common sense and avoid driving in an aggressive or reckless manner that can put you – and others – in harm’s way. To best protect yourself and your passengers when driving in stormy weather, follow these tips:
- Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. In severe rain or snowstorms, it is best to avoid driving entirely. Heavy rain will generally pass after a few hours. If you must travel during a storm, allow the worst of it to pass before getting behind the wheel.
- Slow down when driving in adverse weather. As the statistics have shown, wet roads are extremely dangerous. Avoid putting your well-being at risk by slowing down and driving slower than the speed limit. Don’t allow another driver to force you to speed up either, simply give them room to pass. Don’t risk your life because of another’s negligence.
- Leave room for other drivers. This tip should be coupled with the “no speeding” tip. Slow down when driving in adverse weather and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, rain, snow, and ice will generally require you to brake earlier than usual, so you will need that extra space to make up for this.
- Check your vehicle before a long trip. If you are going to be traveling some distance and are expecting adverse weather, make sure to check your tires for adequate tread, your windshield wipers, as well as your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals. These basic components need to be in top shape to keep you safe.
- Use your headlights. If you cannot see more than 1,000 feet in front of you because of weather conditions, you are required by law to turn on your headlights. You’ll be able to see the road better and will also help other drivers to see your vehicle better.
- Do NOT slam on your brakes. In rainy weather, slamming on your brakes is likely to lead to hydroplaning. Instead, avoid driving fast and take your foot off the accelerator earlier than you normally would. Then, gently press your brake pedal.
- Turn off your cruise control. Using cruise control in adverse weather can result in you losing control of your vehicle. Turn it off.
- Use common sense. Negligent or distracted driving in good weather is dangerous enough, let alone inclement weather. Use common sense when driving in bad weather. This includes avoiding using a cell phone, mobile device, or engaging in any dangerous behaviors when driving.
Why Choose The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee?
While car crashes caused by inclement weather are preventable, they do happen nonetheless. When you or a loved one have suffered injuries as the result of another driver’s negligence, depend on the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee to secure the results that you deserve.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee, we are dedicated to delivering the highest level of customer care and attention. When you choose our Seattle attorneys, we will:
- Thoroughly investigate your claim.
- Offer clear and open communication.
- Work with a supporting team of professionals to develop the strongest claim possible.
- Represent you in your dealings with insurance companies.
- Negotiate for a full and fair settlement.
- Take your claim to court if necessary.
- Successfully litigate your claim in court.
We fight to help you earn maximum compensation to cover the physical, emotional, property, and psychological damages you have suffered. Compensation will help to cover:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future bills related to your car accident injuries)
- Lost wages (past, present, and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Were you or your loved one involved in an accident due to inclement weather? Contact the Seattle metro car accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee to begin the process of making a claim to secure maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered. Reach us right now at (206) 312-0954 or online for a FREE confidential consultation with one of our experienced Seattle attorneys.