Unlike bears who have the luxury of hibernating in the winter, people still have work to do and places to go even during the season’s worst weather conditions. Winter roads covered with snow and ice are hazardous, and while many drivers are aware of the risks, they still make the trip. These decisions lead to an increase in accidents caused by the combination of hazardous weather and unprepared drivers.
Even if you were driving with the utmost caution, the possibility of a car accident is always present. If you find yourself caught in a rear-end car accident due to the road conditions after a snowstorm, can you sue for damages?
The Hazardous Weather Is Not at Fault
Regardless of how terrible the weather conditions were at the time, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot sue the weather for your accident. The moment a driver gets behind the wheel of their vehicle, they have a duty to drive safely, no matter the weather.
Snowstorms can bring several hazardous conditions, such as black ice that can make you lose control of your vehicle and heavy snow and wind that severely impact visibility while driving. If you decide to drive during these conditions, you need to take responsibility for that decision. In the event that you were in a rear-end car accident because you were not able to brake quickly enough due to the slickness of the road, you hold responsibility as the driver behind the wheel.
Part of being a responsible driver is choosing not to make the trip when you do not feel as though you are equipped to handle the weather and road conditions safely.
When insurance companies or courts are determining fault after an accident, they do take the hazardous conditions and the situation as a whole into account. Hazardous conditions will not completely eliminate your or the other driver’s fault in an accident, but they can help determine the amount of blame each party holds.
Determining the amount of blame for each party is important, as it will let you know whether or not you have grounds to sue since Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state.
Understanding Connecticut Comparative Negligence Laws
As mentioned, Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that even if you were partially responsible for the rear-end car accident, you can still recover damages. However, if you were more at fault than the other parties, you will not be able to recover any damages.
In a pure comparative negligence state, you would be able to recover damages even if you were 99% at fault; the defendant would owe you damages for the 1% of their fault. This is not the case in Connecticut, so knowing the percentage of fault you have in an accident will determine whether or not you can sue. As long as you were less than 50% responsible, you may have grounds for a case.
Ask yourself if you were handling road conditions properly — maybe you were driving slowly and cautiously, but you suddenly slammed on the brakes and the driver behind you did not have enough time to react. This will lead to you being entitled to a lesser amount of compensation. On the other hand, maybe the other driver was instead driving too fast for the road conditions. This could lead to you being entitled to a higher amount of compensation.
As it can be difficult to view an accident objectively when you are involved, an experienced Connecticut car accident lawyer will be able to help you accurately determine the amount of fault you hold.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Rear-End Car Accidents?
In the event that you were found less than 50% responsible for the rear-end car accident, the compensation you can receive after filing a lawsuit may include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Property damages and vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
The total amount will depend on the severity of the injuries you sustained and the amount of fault you held in the accident.
Get the Assistance of Experienced Connecticut Car Accident Lawyers
Snowstorms create the perfect conditions for rear-end car accidents. Even if you were driving as cautiously as possible, the hazardous weather can result in an unexpected loss of control over your vehicle.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, speak with our experienced Connecticut car accident lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We can help you review the facts of your case and determine if you have the grounds to sue the other party for the incident. Call us at 203-687-4754 or contact us online for a free consultation today.