Last evening’s downpour dumped two inches of rain on North Texas — and that was on top of the huge storm last week and eight inches of rain last month. Hundreds of motorists have been in automobile accidents or stranded in high water.
Miraculously Fort Worth firefighters reported no major injuries from car accidents last night. Apparently most people used common sense and stayed off the roads or drove safely.
A man got swept away in a flashflood behind the Denton Wal-Mart and drowned but two other men with him were fortunately rescued.
If there is a car wreck during bad weather, which driver(s) is legally at fault and how is this determined?
And what are some tips to avoid getting into an automobile collision in poor driving conditions in the first place?
Liability For Car Wreck On Wet Roads
Driving on wet roads is obviously a lot different than driving on a typical day, but many drivers here don’t adjust their speed, steering, attentiveness, or braking to compensate.
Someone who is inexperienced or reckless cannot be allowed to use the rain as an excuse. He or she can be found to be at fault for causing a car accident since every driver has a duty to drive safely all the time.
Texas uses a system that compares the fault of all drivers involved in a collision. The jury is allowed to find that one person was 100% responsible or that both drivers were partially at fault. It is important that this not happen to the plaintiff, since it reduces the amount of money the injured person can recover proportionately.
Someone who is injured in a car accident and who is not at fault should receive full compensation for his or her damages.
How to avoid being swept away in a flash flood
Standing water often looks much shallower than it actually is. This phenomenon is particularly true at night during the decreased visibility of heavy rain like we had last night.
Six inches of water reaches the underside of your car and can cause stalling. At that point, you are a sitting duck for other drivers who have lost steering or brakes. Two feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
Drivers often feel a false sense of safety in their vehicles. However your vehicle is one of the most dangerous places you can be during heavy rains and flooding.
To stay safe, remember these two things:
Do not drive until the storm has passed.
The best thing you can do during bad weather is to avoid driving whenever possible. If you absolutely must be on the road, be extra vigilant. Leave more space between vehicles, drive an appropriate speed for the conditions, and obviously put your phone away.
Do not ignore a barricade.
Police have blocked the road for a reason. Don’t be tempted to drive past a barricaded area even if your destination is just up the road. Use your GPS to find an alternative safe route. And don’t drive through a nonmarked low lying area with swirling water.
We Can Help
You might not need an injury lawyer. For example, you may have only sustained damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s insurance company has agreed to repair it or total it out, including reimbursing you for your tow truck, rental car, personal items you lost, and tax, title and license, or you may file on your own insurance coverage and then get reimbursed for your deductible. Or you may have been injured but the insurance company(ies) pay you a fair settlement for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other damages you suffered.
But as often happens, you may be low-balled, if you are offered any money at all. This happens when the at-fault driver may be claiming you were tail-gating them, driving too fast, or not paying attention and that your were totally or at least partially at fault.
This happens more than you might think and is a serious problem when it does. This is when people usually decide to meet with and hire a personal injury lawyer.
He can immediately investigate all the facts, take statements from witnesses and the police officers, and obtain documentary evidence. Photographs, scene diagrams, property damage appraisals, and speed determinations are essential in a trial or negotiations with the insurance carrier.
Berenson Injury Law has been helping injured Texans recover their damages in all types of car and truck crash cases for the past 37 years.
If you need our assistance, please call us at 817-885-8000, toll-free at 1-888-801-8585, or click online here.