As the cold winter months approach, Michigan residents can rest assured that they will be experiencing significant amounts of snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures on a regular basis. As anyone who has driven a motor vehicle before can attest, these kinds of conditions can wreak havoc on road conditions and make even a short drive to the store a dangerous proposition. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were more than 70,000 people1 injured in traffic accidents throughout the state during 2014. In many instances, these people hurt in car accidents can recover significant compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, damage to their property, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as for other losses.
“Reasonableness” and driving in poor weather
In order to recover for an accident, victims must generally be able to establish that the person who caused the accident was legally negligent. Very simply put, negligent conduct is conduct that would be considered unreasonable in light of the circumstances. So, while it may be perfectly reasonable to drive at the speed limit on a sunny clear day, the same may not be true during white-out conditions. There are many types of negligent conduct that could cause a poor-weather car accident. Some of the most common include the following:
- Driving without headlights
- Following too closely
- Ignoring stop signs or stop lights
- Distracted driving2
- Failure to yield
- Driving an unsafe vehicle
- Driving in extremely dangerous conditions
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Unexpected lane changes
Determining “reasonableness” after a car accident is a very fact-specific analysis and requires significant legal training. For this reason, it is very important for anyone who has been injured in a car accident that occurred in bad weather to discuss his or her options with an experienced attorney.
Steps to take after a bad weather car accident
As we all know, Michigan winters can be brutally cold. As a result, it is important for anyone who has been involved in a car accident to make sure that they get to safety as soon as possible. After a car accident, those involved should immediate call 911 to alert law enforcement and emergency medical personnel that an accident has occurred. If you are able, record details regarding the accident, including the names of the other drivers involved, the license plate numbers of the vehicles, contact information from any people who may have witnessed the accident, and any identifying marks on a vehicle indicating that it owned or operated by a company. Finally, anyone involved in an accident should undergo a thorough medical evaluation as soon as possible.
Contact a Michigan car accident lawyer today to schedule a free consultation
Individuals who are injured in accidents that occur during adverse weather events should not simply assume that the accident was unavoidable. In many cases, victims are still able to recover for their injuries by filing a Michigan personal injury claim. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers today at (313) 438-4357 to schedule a free consultation with a Michigan car accident attorney.