Weather and road conditions dramatically affect a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. Often, this lack of control, combined with the driver’s behavioral response to a suddenly unmanageable situation, may lead to an accident.
If you were injured in an accident caused by another driver’s failure to heed changing weather or road conditions in Indianapolis, Indiana, you may be entitled to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An Indianapolis failure to heed changing weather or road condition lawyer from Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can represent you in your fight for compensation. Our personal injury lawyers can handle your case from start to finish while you recuperate.
How Changing Weather Affects Driving
We can all empathize with a driver who struggles with sudden changes in weather or road conditions. However, this does not change the fact that drivers have a duty to heed changing weather and road conditions and adjust their driving accordingly in order to try and prevent incidents with other people on the road.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Driver’s Manual prepares Indianapolis drivers for uncertain weather conditions. The guide includes information about various types of weather, how they may affect driving, and how drivers can prevent, prepare for, or adjust to possible dangers associated with each condition.
Types of Weather for Which Indianapolis Drivers Should Be Prepared
- Winter conditions: Snow, ice, and cold temperatures cause poor traction and low visibility. Drivers should clear their windows and warm up their engines before driving, watch for ice, use their headlights, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Rain: Wet road surfaces may prompt the vehicle to hydroplane and degrade visibility. Drivers should minimize risk by not driving on bald or worn tires and by traveling at safe speeds in the rain and pumping the brakes after driving through puddles.
- Fog: Fog impairs visibility. Drivers should go at slower speeds, refrain from using high beams, and pull over if visibility drops to near-zero levels.
- High winds: Especially for high-profile motor vehicles, like sport utility vehicles, vans, motorhomes, etc., high winds can create challenging driving conditions. Drivers should be extra attentive to how their vehicle is being affected by the winds.
- Flash flooding: As the number-one cause of death on the roadway, flash flooding conditions mean drivers should heed road closures and barricades, avoid driving where the water is higher than the road and abandon their vehicles if they stall.
If drivers fail to take the above precautions and follow these recommended practices, they violate their duties of care to other occupants on the road. A person who is injured in an accident resulting from this breach of duty can hold the negligent driver liable for damages.
How Road Conditions Affect Driving
Road conditions suffer from all the types of weather we just mentioned. Drivers should also be prepared for other types of road conditions that may present hazards.
Safe Roads USA describes various road conditions that can generate unsafe driving conditions and may lead to car accidents:
- Missing road signs
- Missing guardrails and barriers
- Confusing or missing stop signs or other road signs
- Unannounced changes in road surfaces
- Uncleared snow and ice
- Shoulder drop off
- Poor road design
- Poorly painted or faint lines
- Wheel ruts
- Construction and unsafe work areas
Drivers have a duty to other motorists to drive at safe speeds to minimize the dramatic impact of changing road conditions.
Government Agencies May Be Liable for Road Condition Accident Damages
Although drivers are responsible for their driving behavior, at some point, even a prepared and cautious driver may find themselves unable to properly correct for a sudden change in road condition.
A person who suffers an injury in an accident caused by poor road conditions or poorly designed roads may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a government agency charged with road maintenance and design.
If the agency knows about an unsafe road or should know about the hazardous condition, and they fail to fix the hazard or warn drivers of the danger, they may be liable for damages resulting from accidents caused by the road conditions.
Suing the Government Requires Claimants to File a Notice
Personal injury lawsuits filed against government agencies in Indiana differ from other personal injury lawsuits in that the claimant must file a notice to file form within a specified period of time. To sue the Indiana State government, a notice to file must be submitted within 180 days of the accident. To sue an Indiana local or municipal government, a notice to file must be submitted within 180 days of the accident, according to Sec. 34-13-3 of the Indiana Statutes.
An Indianapolis car accident lawyer from Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. may be able to help help you take the appropriate actions required to seek compensation from the government.
Recoverable Damages in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Every motor vehicle accident is different and may generate different types of injuries, expenses, and losses. For this reason, it may be impossible to speculate what types of damages an accident victim may be able to recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
The following is a partial list of the types of damages sometimes associated with a motor vehicle accident claim:
- Medical costs (past, future, and ongoing)
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
An attorney may review evidence and documentation related to the claimant’s injuries and compose a demand letter for the insurer based on the perceived value of damages.
See a Doctor After A Car Accident
Make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of what caused your car accident. Our legal team can use your medical records to establish your accident-related losses and hold a negligent party responsible.
The last thing you want is for an insurer to argue you contributed to your injuries by delaying or forgoing medical treatment. They may try to undervalue or outright deny your claim. Do the right thing for both your health and your case for compensation by seeing a doctor.
Statute of Limitations May Affect Your Case
Personal injury claimants in Indiana must file any legal action against the defendant in their case within two years of the accident that caused their injuries.
The sooner an accident victim enlists a lawyer to help them with their claim, the more time the lawyer may have to build a case, negotiate with insurers, and file a lawsuit before the statute expires.
Call an Indianapolis Failure to Heed Changing Weather or Road Conditions Lawyer
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. works on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients pay us only if we win them a settlement or award.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver’s failure to heed changing weather or road conditions, call us today. We may be able to fight for your right to receive the compensation you may be entitled to.
Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. for a free case consultation.