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Accident Liability: Is It the Fault of the Bad Weather or the Driver?

Posted on in Accident Liability

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death lawyer, When wintry weather hits, the number of car accidents often spikes. Sometimes a driver in an accident will use the defense that an accident was caused by the weather and not the driver. Is it possible for the weather to be the one at fault for a car accident?

Liability and Causation

Drivers are required to be careful and alert while driving and make sure they are being safe, given the circumstances on the road. Drivers are expected to slow down when the roads are slick and pay extra attention when the visibility is low. Weather may play a part in the causation of a car accident, but usually one or more of the drivers are primarily at fault.

Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence approach for determining the financial responsibility for an accident. As long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you can collect damages from the other at-fault driver, however, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault, your recovery would be reduced by 10 percent.

Role of the Weather in Car Accidents

When a driver claims that the weather was primarily or totally at fault for the accident, they are using the so-called Act of God defense. The idea is that the driver could not have done anything differently and that the weather caused a freak accident nobody could have prevented.

While it is possible that this is the case, most likely human error caused the accident and a more careful driver could have prevented the accident from happening.

When you file a claim for a car accident, you and your lawyer try and convince the other driver's insurance company that they will lose in court if they do not settle, and that it will cost less to pay a fair settlement before trial. If the other side refuses to make a fair offer, they may find themselves trying to explain to a jury how the weather and not the driver was the one primarily responsible for a car accident.

If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Lake County car accident lawyer. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation. You may only have a brief time to make your claim.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/circuitcourt/civiljuryinstructions/10.00.pdf

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