When we think of the deadliest weather hazards, tornadoes and floods might usually come to mind. However, car accidents actually kill more Americans each year than any weather hazard.
As is the case in many other areas of the country, car accidents on Delaware roads tend to increase during the winter months. According to Delaware’s Annual Traffic Statistical Report published by the Delaware State Police, one crash occurs every 15 minutes and one traffic injury occurs every hour and 5 minutes. The frequency of these incidences is likely to increase during winter months.
Last winter Northern Delaware saw almost 17 inches of snow. While this winter has been fairly mild, the state’s weather is certainly unpredictable. We’ve only seen a few inches of snow so far, but freezing rain has caused dangerous icy conditions and, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, late February and March will bring significant amounts of snow.
How can I prepare for winter roads?
The last thing you want to happen during a winter storm is end up stranded on the side of I-95 with a damaged car and snow piling up around you. Some precautions you can take while driving in winter weather include driving at an appropriate speed and following at an appropriate distance for the conditions.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are two key ways to prepare your vehicle during the winter months: Maintain your vehicle to reduce the risk of an accident or breakdown; and have proper equipment on hand to solve problems that do arise. Things you can do to “winterize” your vehicle include regularly checking fluid levels, making sure all head and tail lights are working and visible, checking the tire pressure and tread of your tires, and keeping an adequate amount of gas in the tank. Not only will these actions keep your car in good health, but they could also reduce the risk of a car accident – especially in winter months. Other useful supplies to have on hand include a shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables and flashlights.
Even the smallest fender-bender can leave drivers stuck in the snow until help arrives – which could be a while during this busy season for emergency responders.
How can I receive compensation for damages or injuries caused by a winter car accident?
If you are injured in a winter car accident, it may be prudent to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.
Fortunately, winter auto accident cases are not very different from a normal auto accident case. Just like any other case, the plaintiff in a winter auto accident must prove that the other party was negligent. This requires evidence that the other driver was doing something that he or she should not have been doing, or they were failing to do something he or she should have been doing.
Common issues of fault or liability in a winter accident include things like:
These issues combined with winter weather like snow and ice can increase the risk of an accident. A winter accident may also require weather conditions to be proven in order for someone to be at fault.
In addition to proving liability, the plaintiff must also provide evidence of the nature and extent of the injuries and damages. Evidence can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Proper documentation must be provided in order for the plaintiff to receive financial compensation.
Between dealing with insurance companies, injuries and medical bills, recovering from a car accident claim can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless – at best. The lawyers at Kimmel Carter are here to help get your winter car accident case under control. We have the experience and knowledge to win even the most complex car accident case against the toughest insurance companies. If you were injured in a car accident, call our office at (302) 565-6100 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.