From tropical storms and hurricanes to ordinary fog, rain showers, and sun glare, bad weather contributes to many South Carolina car accidents every year. Under South Carolina law, drivers have a legal duty to use extra caution while driving when dangerous road conditions exist. Drivers whose negligence causes car accidents can be held liable for the injuries they cause, even when bad weather is involved.
Contact a Bad Weather Accident Attorney in South Carolina
If you have been injured in a car accident involving bad weather conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The car accident attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, have the skill and experience needed to help individuals who’ve been injured in bad weather car accidents. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about your rights.
Negligence Is a Common Factor in Bad Weather Car Accidents
To obtain compensation after a car accident, the victim must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident. In bad weather car accidents, it may seem like you can’t hold the other driver accountable because the weather caused the accident. However, when bad weather plays a role in a car accident, it usually isn’t the only factor involved. In many bad weather car accidents, human error and negligence frequently play a role. Under South Carolina laws, drivers are still required to use reasonable care when hazardous weather conditions occur.
For example, suppose a car accident occurs during heavy rain. The rain limits the driver’s visibility and makes the road slick, but it may not be the only cause of the car accident. If a driver was texting while driving and drifted into another traffic lane, causing the collision, he or she is liable for any injuries that occur.
In bad weather conditions, many accidents are caused by drivers driving too fast under the circumstances. Suppose a tropical storm is happening, and visibility is poor. In that situation, the driver may need to slow down below the speed limit to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Drivers should also be extremely cautious during bad weather and resist texting, talking, or staring out the window while driving.
Additionally, it’s important that drivers ensure their vehicles are maintained and operating safely, as bad weather could exacerbate the problem and cause an accident. If the other driver engaged in any of the following types of negligent behavior, he or she may be liable despite the bad weather:
- Reckless and aggressive driving
- Drunk, drowsy, or distracted driving
- Tailgating and speeding, including driving too fast or too close for the conditions
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Defective conditions of the vehicle, the engine, the brakes, or the tires
- Ineffective windshield wipers
Investigating Your Bad Weather Accident
If you’ve been injured in a bad weather car accident, it’s crucial that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible after receiving medical treatment. Gathering evidence showing that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident can be complex in bad weather accidents. Ideally, you should be able to investigate while the hazardous weather condition is still happening. As a practical matter, this isn’t usually possible.
The sooner your attorney can begin gathering video footage, images, and interviewing witnesses, the better your opportunity to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. At Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, we have the resources and experience necessary to work with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts who can provide insights into the causes of your car accident, strengthening your case.
Comparative Fault in Bad Weather Accidents
A common legal issue in bad weather car accident cases involves a legal doctrine called comparative fault. In South Carolina, if the injured victim is partially to blame for his or her injuries, the amount he or she can recover will be reduced or even eliminated. As the victim of a car accident, your percentage of fault for the accident can’t exceed that of the other individual or company involved in the accident. For example, if a court determines that you are 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover financially.
If you are 50% or less at fault, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Defendants and insurance companies will try to blame victims for their injuries to avoid paying out the total amount of compensation that victims deserve. The attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA know how to aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and dependants, holding them accountable for their negligence. When we investigate your case, we may be able to uncover evidence that shows that there was nothing you could have done to avoid the car accident.
Compensation Available in Car Accident Cases
In a personal injury lawsuit, the damages you can recover are intended to make you whole for your physical injuries, emotional pain, and financial losses. Damages are divided into two categories: economic or special damages, and compensatory or general damages. Special damages include compensation for quantifiable losses, such as your lost income, loss of earning potential, property damage, and medical expenses. General damages include compensation for pain and suffering and the emotional harm you have suffered due to your injuries.
Discuss Your Case With a South Carolina Bad Weather Accident Attorney
If you or your loved one have been injured or killed in a bad weather-related car accident in South Carolina, we urge you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to file a compensation claim. The attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA have the resources and skill to thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate aggressively for the best outcome possible. Reach out to Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, today to schedule your free initial case evaluation.