Winter is nearly upon us – and with it comes a sharp increase in accidents. If you end up in an accident with a trucker, how can you determine who’s at fault?
Winter’s almost here. Inclement weather, icy roadways, and a sharp increase in the frequency and severity of accidents. Driving during the colder months of the year is hazardous at best, and can be fatal at worst.
That’s doubly true if you factor in that negligent trucking companies aren’t likely to clean up their act during the snowy season – if anything, they’ll likely be inclined to slack off even further. The reason for that is pretty simple. In winter, it’s much more difficult to determine who is at fault in the event that an accident happens.
That means that a trucking company with a history of negligence could avoid legal charges based on a technicality – say, for example, icy roads or poor visibility due to a snowstorm. An understanding of how fault is determined in a winter accident is therefore essential. Otherwise, you might be left with a hefty medical bill and no one to pay it in the wake of an accident.
So how exactly is fault determined when a winter accident occurs? There are two main factors that go into it:
- The presence of ice or snow. If a road is especially icy or poorly-maintained, it might be argued that a trucker isn’t at fault for swerving into another vehicle. After all, they can’t well control the condition of the road.
- Visibility. Severe weather is a leading cause of accidents during winter. Given that truckers work on a tight schedule and cannot be expected to control the weather, it can be argued that they be absolved of fault.
In some cases, it may be determined that a trucker isn’t at fault at all. In others, insurance companies may dictate that fault is shared between the people involved in an accident. The important thing here is that you take a close look at the trucking company – at the condition of the vehicle and their mental state of the driver.
Assuming you’re determined to be at fault, you can challenge the ruling by your insurance company – but don’t expect any leniency. Most insurance providers are fairly strict when it comes to assigning blame in the event of a weather-related accident. And if you’ve been injured in said accident, that can make seeking reparation a considerable challenge.
When in doubt, contact an attorney. They can help you navigate through the legal complexities following an accident. More importantly, they can ensure that if a corrupt trucking firm bears responsibility for an injury, they don’t get off scot-free.
Ryan B. Bormaster is the managing attorney at Bormaster Law. The law firm practices in a number of areas but specializes in 18 Wheeler Accidents, Accidents with Commercial Vehicles such as Work Trucks and Catastrophic Injuries of all kinds. They are trial lawyers who will work hard to try to solve your problem out of the Courtroom but who will proudly stand by your side in the Courtroom if justice so requires.