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October 28, 2022

How Can You Determine Who is at Fault for a Weather-Related New Orleans Auto Accident?

by Evan Breaux | Auto Accidents | 0 comments
New Orleans auto accident during Weather-Related auto accident

New Orleans auto accidents are more likely to happen in the event of poor weather conditions. Often, that means storms with heavy rainfall, thunder, lightning, and flooding. So how do insurance companies handle weather-related car accidents? Can you file an insurance claim on an accident due to rain? In this article, we discuss the answers.

Here in New Orleans Auto Accident, we often have what we call “bad weather”. Which can mean everything from tropical storms to hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and even an inch of snow in 2008. Our location on the northern Gulf Coast puts us in the direct path of many storms as they wind their way through the Gulf of Mexico, gaining speed and momentum.

Due to this tendency for the skies above South Louisiana to suddenly open up into a downpour of heavy rain. You might think auto insurance companies have a sensitive way of responding to accidents that occur during bad weather. However, that is not at all the case.

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Who is at Fault For a Car Accident During the Rain in New Orleans?

The short answer is: the driver who caused the accident will be held liable—even in the event of a weather-related car accident or weather that caused dangerous road conditions. Why? Let’s break down the answer.

At first, this may seem unfair to drivers. We pay for insurance coverage that is meant to protect us and our property from things like natural disasters. But the insurance company is operating under the assumption that all drivers are responsible enough to exercise the necessary safety precautions when driving in bad weather.

Not to mention, it is a driver’s legal responsibility to drive with the utmost safety and care for the other drivers sharing the road. This might include slowing down to a crawl, putting plenty of space between your car and other vehicles, or even pulling over onto the side of the road until the severe weather passes.

When discussing who is at fault for a New Orleans auto accident, the second part to the answer is that Louisiana is a comparative fault state (also called a “tort” state), which means the fault is assigned to a number of drivers or causes, and the injured parties will make a claim against the insurance company of the driver or drivers who caused the accident, to reimburse costs like bills, property repairs, lost wages, etc.

Other states are “no-fault” states, which means each driver carries their own insurance to cover their own medical bills and car repairs, and each driver files a claim with their own insurance company following an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

As a result Louisiana is a comparative fault state, it’s necessary to determine which driver was at fault or to what extent the fault is shared (which would be considered “comparative negligence”).

How is Fault Determined in a Weather-Related Car Accident?

As with any accident that occurs in Louisiana, police and insurance companies will use all of the available evidence to decide who is at fault for the accident. Both the police and the insurance companies will use the evidence gathered at the accident sight to determine fault. This evidence may include the following:

  • Police report.
  • Reports from all involved parties.
  • Eyewitness and victim interviews.
  • Phone and video evidence were taken by either party.
  • Surveillance video in the area surrounding the accident.

If a driver was speeding, driving without lights or properly working windshield wipers, or failed to obey traffic signals, the driver would be found liable for any accident that occurred—and this would be true even despite poor weather conditions. In other words, bad weather is no excuse for making dangerous or illegal decisions while behind the wheel!

Types of Weather-Related Events that May Cause New Orleans Auto Accidents:

Inclement weather and dangerous road conditions can increase the likelihood of having an accident occur. In New Orleans or South Louisiana, an accident due to weather conditions might be caused by:

  • Heavy Rains
  • Tropical Storm
  • Hurricane
  • Flooding
  • Hail 
  • Ice or Frozen Roads
  • Thunderstorms
  • Lightning
  • Tornados 
  • Sinkholes

If there is severe weather in your area, you should always avoid driving; that is the safest option.

If you must drive during severe weather, make sure to drive slowly and defensively, with plenty of space between you and nearby vehicles.

Can You File an Insurance Claim on an Accident Due to Rain?

Yes. In the event of a car accident during the rain in New Orleans, if you were struck by another vehicle, you can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In short, bad weather conditions at the time of your accident are not considered an excuse for the dangerous or negligent behavior of another driver who caused an accident.

But since it can be difficult to prove fault, and the other driver may want to blame the accident on the weather. You should work with experienced personal injury attorneys to ensure you are fairly compensated when you file your claim. An insurance company will handle a claim differently if the injured party is represented by a personal injury lawyer.  

The experienced attorneys at Breaux Law Firm are available to answer any questions you may have about being in a Louisiana or New Orleans auto accident, weather-related or not. We have certainly handled these types of claims before. We know how to follow through with insurance claims in order to reimburse you fairly for your property damage, physical recovery, and emotional suffering. As a family-run business, we look out for our clients, treating them like family. Most importantly—fighting for them as if they were family.

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We are Here for You – Breaux Law Firm

When you contact us, for New Orleans Auto Accident you’ll receive a free consultation. Where you’ll explain what happened, show us any documentation, and we’ll determine if you have a case or not. Our clients don’t pay us; we only get paid if we win your claim or lawsuit. Reach out to us today to discuss your New Orleans auto accident. You will get recovery at (504) 882 0554, 882 0556, or info@breauxlaw.com.