Being a responsible Motorist doesn’t guarantee you’ll never get hurt in a motor vehicle wreck. Various factors can influence your odds of getting hurt in a collision or accident. For example, even if you practice safe and careful driving habits, you may still be at risk of getting hurt in an accident resulting from hazardous weather conditions.

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It’s important to understand your legal options in these circumstances. The following overview will help you better understand the degree to which hazardous weather may play a role in car crashes. It will also help you determine how you made go about seeking compensation after a weather-related wreck in Massachusetts.

How Common Are Weather-Related Car Crashes in the US?

According to the Department of Transportation (DoT), weather-related crashes account for about 21% of all the crashes in the country in a given year. That’s not an insignificant portion.

The data shows about 418,000 people sustain injuries in weather-related accidents on US roads annually. Unfortunately, every year, about five thousand Americans lose their lives in such crashes.

What Are the Most Dangerous Types of Weather to Drive In?

Per the DoT, certain types of hazardous weather conditions may be more likely than others to cause crashes. They are:

  • Rain
  • Sleet
  • Snow
  • Fog
  • Crosswinds

It’s important to remember that hazardous weather conditions can have lingering effects. For example, you may assume it’s safe to drive again after a violent rain or snow storm passes.

That’s not necessarily the case. The roads may still be slick for some time after the storm. Account for this when driving. If you can wait until roads are less hazardous to drive on, strongly consider doing so.

According to the Department of Transportation (DoT), weather-related crashes account for about 21% of all the crashes in the country in a given year.

How to Avoid Weather-Related Accidents

You can’t control the weather. However, there are some steps you may take to reduce your odds of getting hurt in a crash due to hazardous weather conditions. They include:

  • Checking weather reports – It’s an obvious step to take. It’s also an easy one to overlook. Don’t assume today’s weather will be the same as yesterday’s when heading out to drive. Always check weather reports ahead of time. This is particularly important if you’ll be traveling long distances. The weather in your current area may not be the same as the weather in the areas through which you’re traveling.
  • Scheduling regular inspections – Naturally, you need to have your vehicle inspected regularly to comply with Massachusetts law. However, in anticipation of harsh weather seasons, you may bring your car to a mechanic even when you’re not due for an inspection. Asking a mechanic if your vehicle is prepared for the upcoming harsh weather of any given season is a wise idea. If a mechanic recommends any upgrades, make them before the harsh weather arrives.
  • Adjust your driving habits in harsh weather – You may feel you still have the same degree of control over a vehicle in inclement weather as you do on a sunny day. You’re wrong. Although you might not feel it, harsh weather conditions inevitably affect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Reduce your speed, keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others, and generally adjust your driving habits accordingly when harsh weather strikes.

Following the advice here doesn’t guarantee you’ll never get hurt in a weather-related crash. Fortunately, you have options if this ever occurs.

Seeking Compensation After a Weather-Related Crash in Massachusetts

You may think you can only file a claim seeking compensation after a crash if someone else caused it. If your crash resulted from harsh weather, you might assume you’re on the hook for medical bills and related losses resulting from a crash.

That’s typically not the case in Massachusetts. Ours is one of a few states using the no-fault car crash insurance system.

You don’t need to prove a negligent party caused an accident to file an insurance claim in Massachusetts. Your own insurance is responsible for compensating you after a crash. If you’ve been in a weather-related accident, you can file an insurance claim to seek compensation accordingly.

Be aware that securing the compensation for which you’re eligible isn’t always a simple process. You may need to provide substantial documentation of your losses to show an insurer why you deserve the compensation you’re seeking.

You don’t have to handle this task alone. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston personal injury lawyer can pursue a fair settlement on your behalf. Learn more about how we may help by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 today to schedule a free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: Elizabeth M Guthrie
Elizabeth M. Guthrie is an associate attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Elizabeth represents victims of personal injury and medical malpractice.

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