Early September has seen a significant amount of rain across central and southern Texas, which has led to accidents and potential dangers that are not always seen on state roads. Low-water crossings have closed several roads in the Austin area and out in Travis, Hays, and Williamson Counties, but perhaps the most shocking incident came on 360 Capital of Texas Highway on September 9, when rocks fell near Courtyard Drive southbound onto the highway itself. If you are involved in an accident due to weather-related issues, know that sometimes you may be able to recover for your injuries, but sometimes, the accident will be seen as so unforeseeable that no one can be held liable.
Each Case Is Different
On the whole, weather-related vehicle crashes play a role in more deaths in the U.S. than major disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) estimate approximately 5.9 million vehicle accidents every year, with about one-fifth having a weather-related component. Roughly 16 percent of all vehicle deaths in the country each year result from weather-related accidents, while the average for natural disasters (floods, lightning storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and heat) is only about 380.
There are several different factors that can play a role in weather-related crashes, with wet pavement being one of the most common. Limited visibility from precipitation and fog are others that are seen most often, especially in situations where sudden storms hit and visibility worsens very quickly. In Texas, rain accumulation is also the cause for stalled vehicles and injuries when low-water crossings become flooded. Any of these types of accidents can lead to serious harm, but you being able to recover monetarily will depend on the specific facts of your situation.
It can be difficult to establish a defendant’s negligence in cases of weather-related accidents, because very often, it is hard to prove that the defendant’s actions (or lack thereof) were the direct cause of the crash, and you must prove this in order to recover. For example, if you were injured when your vehicle crashed due to wet pavement, you would have to establish that the entity that owns or maintains the road (usually the Texas Department of Transportation) did not uphold the duty of care it owes to the motorists using the road. If the pavement was simply wet due to rain, that is not necessarily anyone’s fault.
Another major issue in these types of accident cases is the question of foreseeability. An accident is only compensable if it is foreseeable – that is, if absolutely no one could have seen the accident coming, it is not equitable to expect an insurer to cover its costs. For example, if the rocks falling on 360 Capital of Texas Highway had injured anyone, it might be difficult for them to have their injuries compensated because the argument can be made that rocks actually falling onto the highway is extremely infrequent at best. Keep this issue in mind if you decide to file suit.
Contact a New Braunfels Auto Accident Attorney
While everyone has an obligation to try and protect themselves when in high-risk situations, sometimes accidents or negligence will mean you are injured because of someone else’s conduct. If you have been injured due to bad weather, calling the skilled New Braunfels car accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm is a good idea. We are happy to try and assist you – call us today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.