As winter approaches, road conditions often get icier, and, because of this, roads become more dangerous. While individuals will often be more diligent on the road due to these conditions, it can also lead to more car accidents. And if someone is injured in one of these accidents, they may want to bring a lawsuit against the blamable party. Unfortunately, the defendants—the people sued in these accidents—will often try to escape responsibility and argue that they are not responsible for the incident because of the weather. However, experienced personal injury attorneys know how to defeat this line of argument and recover monetary compensation for their clients.
Recently, in West Michigan, icy conditions led to multiple crashes. In one accident, a pickup truck was headed southbound when it lost control, crossed the median and landed in the northbound lanes. A car then hit the truck, and both the driver of the pickup truck and a passenger in the car sustained injuries. In another accident, a crash near Grand Rapids involved eleven vehicles and numerous people had minor injuries.
When someone is injured in a car accident and wants to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party, they will often bring a negligence lawsuit. In order to prove the defendant was at fault in Michigan, the plaintiff—the individual bringing the lawsuit—must prove five elements: (1) the defendant had a duty to be safe and careful; (2) the defendant failed to meet that duty; (3) the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury; (4) if not for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been injured; (5) the plaintiff has suffered because of the accident.
In many cases when poor weather is involved, the defendant may try and argue that it was not their actions that caused the plaintiff’s injuries, but rather the injury was caused by other factors, including the weather. States have different standards for how to assess these arguments. In Michigan, negligence laws use a metric called comparative fault to assess the damages the defendant is liable for. This means the jury will assess how much each party is at fault for the accident. If the plaintiff is found partially at fault, or some external factor like the weather or another driver is determined to be partially responsible, this will lessen the percentage the defendant is found liable—and thus reduce the total amount of monetary damages the defendant must pay the plaintiff.
Because personal injury lawsuits become more complicated for plaintiffs when the defendant argues the weather caused the accident, individuals involved in such accidents should contact an experienced attorney.
Contact a Michigan Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Michigan car accident, contact the attorneys at the Neumann Law Group. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling accident claims and have obtained substantial compensation on behalf of victims. We also handle an array of Michigan accident lawsuits, including car accidents, premises liability cases, products liability matters, medical malpractice, and more. To schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a member of our team, contact us at 800-525-6386.