Who Is at Fault for a St. Louis Car Accident in Bad Weather?

If you’ve been involved in a bad weather car accident, you may be wondering how this affects fault and negligence in your case.

Like many other cities in the Midwest, St. Louis is often subject to seriously inclement weather that can affect driving conditions, such as powerful summer storms, fog in the autumn and spring, and sleet, snow, and ice in the winter. 

st louis weather related accident

If you’ve recently been in an accident and are looking for a St. Louis car accident attorney, you may be wondering if the weather will affect fault and negligence in your case.

You Still Have The Duty To Drive With “Due Care” During Inclement Weather Conditions 

The law – and auto insurance companies – require you to take “due care” and drive responsibly in all types of weather. Severe weather and poor road conditions do not exempt anyone from this responsibility. 

Simply put, no matter the weather conditions, you must drive responsibly. For example, driving slower than the posted speed limit in a major downpour, taking turns with caution when the road is icy, and even pulling over to stop driving if the conditions are so severe that you cannot see due to poor visibility. 

So if you want to make sure you avoid an accident in bad weather, drive safely – and try to avoid driving in weather that would be extremely dangerous due to low visibility or severe road conditions. 

You also must keep your car in good shape. Make sure your tires are adequate for rain or snow, fill up with windshield wiper fluid, and always keep your mirrors and windshield clean to enhance visibility and prevent fog buildup.

Responsibility in a Bad Weather Car Accident

If you take a turn too fast when it’s icy, spin out, and strike another vehicle, you will usually be found to be responsible for the accident. The police and authorities may note the weather as a contributing factor, but it generally will not change who is at fault.

On the other hand, if you take a turn and someone rear-ends you because it’s foggy and they were speeding, they will likely be found to be at fault, even if the visibility was bad. The person responsible for causing the crash will usually be found responsible – even if the weather is bad.

However, Missouri does have a “shared fault” law. If both drivers lose control of their cars and hit each other, the police and insurance companies may allocate “50%-50% fault.” This means that you may still file a claim against the responsible party, but your damages may be limited by 50% due to your involvement in the accident. 

Injured in a St. Louis Car Accident Involving Bad Weather?

If you have been hit because another driver lost control of their vehicle during bad weather, you will benefit from discussing your accident with a car accident lawyer in St. Louis. Contact an attorney in Missouri right away for a free case review, and get the assistance you need. 

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Updated: October 21, 2020