When it comes to car accidents, Washington is an “at-fault” state with comparative negligence laws. But what does this mean for your winter weather accident? If you have experienced injuries or property damage in a car crash, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance for your losses. Under comparative negligence laws, you can file a claim even if you share some responsibility for the accident, as long as you are not 100% at fault. However, your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Therefore, properly determining fault in a winter crash is crucial to a fair settlement in your case.
When Might the Other Driver Be Held Liable for an Accident in the Snow?
Even when you try your hardest to drive with reasonable care in the snow, accidents can still happen due to factors outside your control. In these situations, the other driver may be held fully or partially liable for the crash because of their negligence. Some ways another motorist could be negligent in their driving during a snowstorm include:
- Driving too fast for the conditions.
- Not keeping their vehicle’s equipment, such as brakes, taillights, and windshield wipers, in good working order.
- Failing to leave enough space between vehicles to stop safely.
- Not defrosting or scraping their windshield enough to have a full range of vision.
What if I Have a Snow-related Single-vehicle Accident?
While it may seem like you would be held entirely responsible for a winter crash that only involved your vehicle, that is not always the case. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, others may share responsibility for the accident and could be held liable for your damages. Examples of these situations can include:
- Roads were not adequately maintained by the city or local governments.
- Ice, snow, or other debris flew off a vehicle that obstructed your vision, causing a crash.
- Reckless driving by another motorist forced you to take evasive action that led to your accident.
Each accident is unique, and it is always worthwhile to get the opinion of a knowledgeable car accident lawyer before resigning yourself to being held fully liable for your winter weather accident.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me With a Winter Weather Accident Claim?
Winter can be a very stressful time to drive in Washington, and accidents are not uncommon. If you are involved in a snow-related accident, you still have the same rights to seek compensation from the liable parties as you do in any other kind of motor vehicle crash. In all car accidents, it is crucial to ensure that fault is assigned correctly and fairly, so you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. A skilled lawyer can help you protect your rights and negotiate a fair settlement for your losses. Contact our law office today for more information on how we can assist you: 206-678-1427.