Altoona is located in a part of the state that typically experiences harsh winters. Due to its higher elevation, there tends to be more snow and ice there than in other parts of Pennsylvania. It is also a heavily travelled area with interstate highways running through the area connecting Pittsburgh and the eastern part of the state.
Unfortunately, this often can result in severe vehicle wrecks. If you were harmed in a collision involving dangerous weather conditions, you may wish to speak to an experienced vehicle collision attorney. An Altoona bad weather accident lawyer could gather evidence to prove the weather conditions played a role in the wreck.
How Can Poor Weather Cause a Vehicle Wreck?
When drivers fail to drive appropriately for the weather conditions, they could cause an accident. Altoona lawyers often see weather contribute to vehicle wrecks when it causes issues with traction and visibility.
Lack of Traction
Snow or ice will create less friction between the tire and asphalt road making it harder to maintain traction. This can cause a vehicle to spin out if the motorist is speeding or driving recklessly. During heavy rainfalls, water can build up on the road causing a vehicle to hydroplane.
Wind gust can impact the ability to maintain one’s lane and also cause snow to blow across the road. Coupled with precipitation or fog can lead to reduced visibility. When drivers follow other motorists too closely or do not turn on their headlights, they can rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
Assigning Fault in Collisions Caused by Dangerous Weather
Bad weather is not a defense if someone has caused an accident. Drivers cannot slide on ice and hit another car and then be absolved of liability because they are obligated to keep their vehicle under control at all times.
Motorists are required to drive their vehicles in a way that accounts for reduced traction and reduced visibility. That may mean driving slower or leaving additional space between other vehicles.
A local lawyer handling a vehicle accident case involving bad weather would need to prove the defendant was not driving safely under the weather conditions. This may require him or her to obtain weather reports showing what the weather conditions were at the time of the collision. There may be photographic evidence of the highway at that time to show what the conditions were or the roadway itself can be examined to see where snow and ice has accumulated.
What are the Recoverable Damages in Altoona?
There are two types of compensatory damages under Pennsylvania law known as economic and non-economic damages. These damages are designed to compensate the victim for his or her losses that result from the accident.
Economic damages are any losses that are quantifiable like lost wages, unpaid medical bills, and future lost earning capacity if the injured party is unable to work at his or her pre-accident level. Non-economic damages include the intangible losses like pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life, embarrassment, scarring, and disfigurement.
In rare cases, a court my award another type of damages known as punitive damages. These are only awarded in situations where there is egregious conduct on the part of the defendant. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer for behaving in a way that he or she did. If a defendant was drunk or texting while driving his or her vehicle in dangerous weather conditions and caused an accident, a lawyer in Altoona could seek punitive damages on behalf of the injured plaintiff.
Reach Out to a Bad Weather Accident Attorney in Altoona
Motorists are required to drive their vehicles responsibly under the current weather conditions. If drivers are engaging in negligent behavior considering the weather and cause a collision, the injured party can file a civil claim for damages.