Accidents are unfortunately a regular occurrence, however, not all of them can be the subject of a claim. Sometimes mother nature catches us off guard and throws something completely unpredictable our way. An accident in these circumstances may put you out of work for a considerable amount of time or result in some long-term ailments. However, just because some accidents caused by adverse weather conditions cannot be claimed on, it does not mean that none of them can.
Road traffic accidents are just one example of a type of accident which can happen in adverse weather conditions. Whether it happened because of a faulty piece of equipment at the roadside, another road user, or being knocked over by a car whilst crossing the road, there may be a chance to make a claim with a personal injury solicitor. Accidents vary from claim to claim, but the contributing factors are often very similar, if not the same.
Factors known for causing accidents during bad weather are:
- Other motorists
- Faulty vehicle or equipment
- Poor road conditions
- Snow & Ice (ungritted roads)
Are The Local Authorities Liable?
According to the RoSPA, although local authorities have a duty to pro-actively grit and re-actively grit roads as part of their winter maintenance programme, they will in some small part fail to cover all roads under their jurisdiction. If you are unsure whether you can make a claim for an accident you have had during adverse weather conditions you can give us a call at Smith Jones Solicitors on 0800 195 95 90 and a friendly and professional member of our team will give you a call to discuss your options.
Accidents Due To Bad Weather
Although the outcome of one accident can be very different to another, the underlying cause can be very similar. Roads shrouded in dense fog can make driving incredibly dangerous, limiting visibility of the looming road ahead. Large amounts of rain or snowfall can also provide treacherous driving conditions which will affect a great number of road users.
Another key example of why accidents still happen in adverse weather conditions is other road users. Whether they are inexperienced or just careless in their driving behaviour, another road user could be the only reason for an accident. Even if you are the safest and most careful driver on the road, there is still a chance that another party may cause an accident.
Above all other adverse weather conditions, the biggest danger of them all is black ice. With more road accidents occurring in January than any other month in the UK, black ice claims many lives and leaves many others with permanent ailments. For advice on driving in bad weather conditions go to metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/advice/travel-advice/12-steps-of-winter-road-safety
Main Causes Of Incidents
Lack of vision on the road can cause terrible accidents even if you are a careful driver. Heavy fog can leave roads nearly invisible, making it difficult to see a few yards in front of your vehicle, let alone the vehicle in front. The use of fog lights is essential when driving in these particular conditions, but not all drivers use them. An inexperienced driver, or even a careless one, may be driving without fog lights, making it more likely that an accident could happen. Judging distances in these conditions is very difficult so having fog lights can help other drivers know you are there, for your sake and theirs.
Other Road Users
Often involved in multiple numbers, road traffic collisions during adverse weather conditions can result in some very serious injuries, if not fatalities. During 2015 there were over 186,000 casualties in reported accidents on the road. Fortunately, the outcome is not always a fatality, but some injuries can change your life forever. A personal injury solicitor would be able to advise you that even during poor weather conditions, a careless driver may still be claimed against if they cause an accident on the road.
Faulty Vehicle / Equipment
A prime example of a faulty vehicle often lies in those which transport fuel. Fuel tankers and other similar purposed vehicles have been known to cause accidents in the past due to being overfilled and having leaky fuel caps. Though measures are taken to prevent fuel leakage on the roads, it does happen from time to time. Much like black ice, a fuel spill on the road can be very difficult to see, more so in adverse weather conditions. The chances of seeing a fuel spill in dense fog are very slim.
Poor Road Conditions
Aside from the extra layers of snow or black ice sprinkled across the roads, it is what lies beneath that can sometimes be the underlying cause of an accident during adverse weather. Poorly maintained roads are responsible for around 7% of car accidents in the UK. The maintenance of roads is often down to local councils or highway maintenance companies. Not being able to see a pothole in the road due to bad weather may also be a suitable case for a claim if an accident occurs.
Who Is To Blame?
If you have been involved in an accident during adverse weather which was not your fault, you may be entitled to some compensation. Even if you are unsure whether you have a case, you can get in touch with a personal injury solicitor to find out where you stand.
Our highly experienced team at Smith Jones are ready for your call. Get in touch as soon as you can after your accident, so the event is still fresh in your mind. Let us know what happened and give your personal injury solicitor specialist other details like how other parties were involved. We will then be able to offer you clear advice about how we can move your claim forward.