Hazardous Driving Conditions in Texas Hi everybody. I m EyenaN, and today we ll be discussing liability issues associated with collisions that happen during a period of hazardous driving conditions related to extreme weather. So, let s dive right in.
What is Liability Coverage…?
Liability Coverage? Collision Coverage? Uninsured Motorist? Medical Payments? But, I just need car insurance… Purchasing car insurance seems simple enough, but when you really start shopping, it can feel overwhelming. Let’s break down the four basic coverages of the standard personal auto policy.
Liability Coverage provides you with the coverage you need in the event that you’re at-fault in an automobile accident. This coverage offers two types of protection: coverage for injuries to other people and coverage for damage to someone else’s property while you or a family member are operating any automobile.
So, if you accidentally hit someone else’s car and injure the other driver, your Liability Coverage would pay for not only the covered damages to their vehicle, but also for the medical expenses related to their injuries… And yes, I said “their” injuries, not your own, which leads us to our second coverage…
Medical Payments Coverage
Because Liability Coverage only provides coverage for injuries caused to the other people involved you’ll need Medical Payments Coverage to help pay medical expenses related to injuries sustained by you or your passengers in an accident. This coverage comes into play no matter who is at fault. The third part of personal auto insurance is Uninsured Motorists Coverage, or UM Coverage.
UM Coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident with someone who breaks the law by not carrying their own auto liability insurance. It does this by helping pay for any medical expenses you incur as a result of getting hit by an uninsured driver. And although it may not sound fair, these types of accidents do happen. According to statistics, nearly one in seven drivers on the road is uninsured, which makes protecting yourself an absolute necessity!
In many states, you can also purchase additional protection called Underinsured Motorists Coverage. Underinsured Motorist Coverage provides you with additional protection, for when the other driver has insurance coverage, but just not enough to fully cover all of your medical expenses. By now, you may be wondering how you’re going to pay for damages to your own car.
That’s where the fourth and final part of your auto policy comes into play… Coverage for Damage to your Car. Also known as Physical Damage coverage. It pays for direct and accidental loss to your vehicle, there are two parts to Physical Damage coverage:
Collision – for when your car impacts another vehicle or object, or is upset, and Other Than Collision, which covers almost any other type of direct, accidental loss not excluded by your policy. As I said, the details of insurance can be confusing…
Hazardous Driving Conditions, Car Accident Lawyer
There are many factors that all motorists must take into consideration when operating a motor vehicle. One of the most important factors is the driving conditions caused by the weather. Hazardous driving conditions can make even the safest of roads dangerous and deadly.
Although Texas has some of the best-designed and safest roadways in the United States, our Texas car accident lawyers know that this does not mean we are immune to hazardous driving conditions. This has been particularly true over the last year, where snow and icy conditions in February resulted in many accidents and road closures.
Then dust storms and even a haboob (a massive dust storm) impacted the area by creating foggy conditions, which lowered viability for drivers. Heavy summer rainstorms added to the mix, causing flood and treacherous driving conditions for motorists. Although some people may consider these acts of God and not negligence, our car accident lawyers at Jim Adler & Associates know that is not typically true.
Texas law imposes certain duties and obligations on motorists during inclement weather. At the same time, certain federal regulations impose additional duties on commercial vehicle drivers and carriers. Liability in Accidents Caused by Hazardous Driving Conditions All drivers know that they need to control their speed within the speed limit. However, not all drivers realize that they may still be speeding if they are driving below the speed limit, but special circumstances warrant them slowing down.
This applies to the law enforcement side of traffic offenses (meaning you could get a ticket) and on the civil side of personal injury (meaning you could get sued for driving negligently). For instance, Texas Transportation Law section 545.351 requires that an operator may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing.
This requires motorists to consider actual and potential hazards on the roads, and specifically a special hazard . . . including weather or highway conditions. Therefore, if a motorist causes a Texas car accident because the defendant is driving too fast for the roadway conditions of icy, snowy, or rainy roads, or if a driver cannot see due to heavy rain or a dust storm, the defendant could be liable to victims who were injured in the crash.
Our truck accident lawyers know that this statute applies to truck drivers too. There is an important federal regulation under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Section 392.14 which requires commercial drivers to slow their vehicles or even stop in hazardous conditions, including those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke.
A truck driver who fails to comply with this section may be liable under Texas law and FMCSA regulations. If you ve been injured in a collision during a period of hazardous driving conditions, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Read More >>> Houston Car Accident Lawyer, Hit-and-Run Accidents
Accidents that occur during extreme weather conditions can be complicated, and you need someone that understands the regulations and the codes related to liability in these situations. If you have any doubt message me on comment page and I will reply you immediately.