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Driving Too Fast for Roadway Conditions
Speeding, or driving beyond the posted maximum speed limit, is unlawful. Yet some drivers assume that they can drive up to the maximum posted speed limit even when the driving conditions pose dangers. For example, if there is significant fog that results in extremely poor visibility, or if high winds or rains make it difficult to maintain control of the vehicle, driving at a speed of the maximum posted limit may be negligent. To be clear, if a person is driving too fast for conditions—even if that motorist is not speeding—she or he may be liable for a serious car accident that results in another person’s injuries.
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a crash involving poor driving conditions, you should discuss your case with an aggressive car accident attorney.An Inclement Weather Accident Can Still Lead to a Successful Negligence Claim
If you were injured in a collision that occurred under poor driving conditions or inclement weather, you should never assume that the other driver was not at fault solely as a result of the driving conditions. Even if that driver was traveling at the maximum posted speed limit, driving at that speed limit may have been negligent given the driving conditions. Each state has its own requirements for a negligence claim, but they are relatively similar to one another. In California, for example, to win a negligence claim, a plaintiff must be able to prove:
- Defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care (this duty of care almost always exists from one motorist to another anytime we get behind the wheel of an automobile);
- Defendant breached the duty of care by acting negligently;
- Plaintiff suffered injuries; and
- Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Now, importantly, negligence is defined in such a way under California law that a driver may be liable for driving too fast for conditions if that driver’s speed results in a crash. Here is how negligence gets defined:
“Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others. A person can be negligent by acting or failing to act. A person is negligent if he or she does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation.”
Accordingly, you might ask yourself: Would a reasonably careful person have been driving slower than the defendant given the conditions? If the answer is yes, the driver may have been negligent.Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance
If you were injured in a collision that happened during inclement weather, you should not assume that the inclement weather was the only cause of the crash. Many collisions occur in poor conditions because another motorist failed to slow down, or act accordingly based on low visibility or high winds. An experienced car accident attorney can help you to seek compensation for your losses. Contact the Walton Law Firm at 760-571-5500 to learn more about filing a car crash claim.