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Can you hold a driver liable for a crash during bad weather?

by | Jan 6, 2020 | Car Accidents |

Montana drivers face a variety of hazardous driving conditions during the winter. What happens if you’re struck and injured by a driver who claims that they couldn’t prevent the crash? They might argue that they hit a patch of ice or that a sudden snowstorm blinded them.

These are just two examples of excuses that drivers make — and many feel deservedly so — for striking other vehicles or even pedestrians. However, in many cases, drivers can face liability even if weather conditions contributed to or caused a crash.

Drivers have an obligation to adjust their driving based on weather conditions. That means typically slowing to under the posted speed limit, staying well behind the vehicle in front of you and just generally practicing “defensive driving.” Here in Montana, where severe winters are a fact of life, drivers need to make sure their vehicles are equipped for the conditions in which they’ll be driving.

Drivers are considered to be at fault for being distracted, negligent, reckless and not following traffic laws and obeying signs and signals in perfect weather. However, in inclement weather, they’re expected to be even more vigilant.

Sure, they may not have seen that particular patch of ice on the road. However, they knew that the roads were icy, and were still driving at or even above the speed limit. Regardless, it was too fast for road conditions. Motorists may also get blinded by white-out conditions. However, they still were following too closely behind your car or didn’t have their headlights on, so they weren’t able to avoid hitting you.

Not all cases are this clear. However, if you were injured by another driver who is blaming the weather for the crash, it may be wise to talk with an attorney who can help you seek the compensation you need and are entitled to.


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