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Determining Liability for an Accident in Wisconsin’s Winter Weather

Posted on in Car Accidents

Appleton, WI auto accident lawyer for driver negligence in the winterAs winter approaches in Wisconsin, the chance for snowfall increases, and unfortunately, this often means a greater risk of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 17 percent of car crashes throughout the United States happen during winter weather conditions, and many of these result in serious injuries for the drivers and passengers involved. If you have been injured, it is important to note that adverse weather does not necessarily absolve a driver of liability, and you still may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Winter Weather Means a Need for Greater Safety Precautions

Winter snowstorms in Wisconsin can hinder visibility while driving, and snow and ice on the roads can make it harder to stop, slow down, or maintain control of one’s vehicle. For these reasons, both the NHTSA and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation recommend a number of safety precautions that drivers should take during winter weather to reduce the risk of accidents. These include:

  • Decrease speed, and increase the distance between one’s vehicle and others.
  • Avoid sudden braking and allow plenty of time to stop.
  • Keep windows, windshields, lights, and mirrors clear of snow and ice.
  • Make sure a vehicle is equipped for the weather with functioning lights, good tires, and properly functioning windshield wipers.
  • Avoid driving in dangerous conditions whenever possible.

Negligence in Winter Car Accidents

While winter weather conditions may be a contributing factor in a car crash, drivers are responsible for adapting to these conditions to ensure they are driving safely and upholding their duty of care to others on the road. If a driver’s behavior is unsafe for the current conditions, he or she can be considered liable for an accident, even if that same behavior would be safe during favorable conditions. For example, a driver traveling at or below the posted speed limit may be responsible for a crash if that speed is not safe for winter weather and the excessive speed is determined to be the cause of the accident.

If you are injured in an accident in winter weather, you should try to get to a safe location and seek medical attention as soon as possible, and you will want to hire an attorney who can help you demonstrate another driver’s negligence. We can work to collect evidence from the crash scene, possibly including pictures of the vehicles and road conditions, police reports, 911 call recordings, video camera footage, and witness testimony, all of which may speak to the driver’s failure to account for the weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Contact a Green Bay, WI Car Accident Lawyer

As you prepare for safe driving this winter, it is also important that you know where to find help if you are injured in an accident. The attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. have the knowledge and experience to help you obtain full compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact an Appleton personal injury attorney today at 920-739-7366 to request a free consultation.

Sources:

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/winter-drv/default.aspx

https://www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-safety

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