According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), approximately 22 percent of car crashes in the U.S. happen due to bad weather—and as Tennessee enters the winter months, it’s important every driver knows how weather can affect a car accident claim. Especially when police initiate an inclement weather policy, recovery for damages and injury can be complicated.
What Is an Inclement Weather Policy?
When weather conditions become too severe, it’s possible that law enforcement may issue an inclement weather policy. This policy requests that drivers do not call police after an accident if no serious injuries or damages occurred. Instead, drivers should:
- Exchange pertinent information
- Arrange a time to meet at a local precinct to make an accident report
- File the crash report within 10 days of the incident
Bad Weather May Hurt Your Claim
Bad weather creates dangerous conditions for drivers, and crashes can result. However, these conditions can also negatively affect the claim that follows. If you choose to drive in poor weather, it’s important you understand how the weather matters in:
- Determining liability. Because snow or rain can make roads slippery and diminish visibility, driving safely and carefully is critical. Although insurance companies and law enforcement will understand the role weather played in your accident, you must be able to show that you weren’t driving recklessly.
- Injuries and damages. Although an inclement weather policy delays police involvement with minor accidents, you need to know the risks of not calling the police. It’s not uncommon for accident injuries to become more severe days or weeks later, or you may discover more serious damage to your vehicle when you reach your destination. If you’ve chosen not to call the police, insurance companies may try to use the policy against you and your claim.
Just as with any car crash, it’s important you take great care in documenting the scene with photos, videos, and notes. This includes getting all contact information from the other driver and accurately recording his driver’s license and license plate numbers. This information will help your lawyer during the claim.
When You Need Competent Legal Help
If you’ve been involved in a bad weather car accident, you need an attorney who can build a solid case in your favor and accurately show how weather affected your crash. At the Holton Law Firm, we can help you recover fairly for your injuries and damages. Get started to today by calling us at 888-443-4387.