Denver Bad Weather Accident Lawyer
Inclement weather is part of hitting the road in Colorado, especially in winter months when snow and ice can quickly make driving treacherous. When weather conditions turn, the risk of an accident increases even for the most cautious and experienced drivers. If you have been injured in a car accident in Denver you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. It is important to have an experienced accident attorney in your corner.
A Denver bad weather accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you understand your rights and build the strongest possible case for money damages. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and boast a track record of successful results for the people that we represent.
Snow Accidents Throughout Colorado
Snow is a common element for drivers in Denver, where the city sees some 57 inches of snow per year. Although winter weather is nothing new for many local drivers, it is nevertheless hazardous for anyone on the road.
Snow is particularly dangerous because it makes roads slick and visibility poor. These factors can be a recipe for disaster, especially when combined with negligent drivers and/or roads in disrepair. Whether it is because of a speeding driver who spins out after slamming on the brakes or a pothole that becomes hard to spot in a storm, accidents can and do happen when snow falls. After an accident a Denver inclement weather accident lawyer at our firm can investigate on your behalf to determine if you have a personal injury claim.
State law requires all motorists in Colorado to have tires that meet a minimum tread standard in order to drive during winter months. Drivers who do not meet this requirement and are later involved in an accident may be legally liable as a result.
Liability for Hazardous Weather Crashes in Denver
When accidents happen, a number of different people and entities may be legally responsible for the crash. That includes negligent drivers - and, sometimes, their employers - as well as defective car and parts manufacturers, construction crews that leave roads in dangerous conditions and anyone else who creates a hazard that leads to a collision.
Of course, no one can be blamed for bad weather. Still, any Denver inclement weather accident lawyer will tell you that accidents often happen in inclement weather because the conditions were made worse by others.
Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car in Colorado owes everyone else on the road a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means maintaining a safe speed during bad weather, keeping a safe distance between vehicles, using headlights when visibility is poor and making sure that the vehicle’s tires are suitable for the conditions.
A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is considered negligent and legally responsible for any accidents that happen as a result.
Similarly, car manufacturers are expected to produce vehicles that are safe to drive. Snow and other inclement weather often exposes defects that a vehicle’s owner never knew existed, sometimes with tragic consequences. When those defects cause accidents, the manufacturer is likely to be liable.
How a Denver Bad Weather Accident Lawyer Can Help
To prove liability, you have to be able to identify those responsible for the crash, establish that they failed to live up to a certain legal responsibility and show that this failure caused you to be injured. A Denver inclement weather accident lawyer at Levine Law can help.
Our attorneys know how to build the strongest possible case by gathering all of the available evidence and clearly establishing legal responsibility. Police records, witness statements, physical evidence from the scene of the crash and extensive medical records are often crucial in car accident cases.
The earlier you seek the assistance of an attorney, the sooner the lawyer can begin building your case. Because insurers often look to rush low-ball settlement offers immediately after a crash happens, it is vital to get the advice of a lawyer before considering a settlement.
Our law firm is pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver bad weather accident lawyer.
Dashing Through the Snow: How to Stay Safe While Driving in the Snow
For all drivers, whether you’re experienced in Colorado winters or you’re visiting the state and have never seen snowflakes, it’s important to get ready for winter driving and winter weather safety.
Prepare Your Car for a Snow Storm
While you’re decorating your house for the holidays, spend a little time prepping your car for the winter roads. Driving safety experts recommend that drivers start preparing for snow and ice on the roads early so that a sudden winter storm isn’t a dangerous surprise. The following tips outline some of the basic safety precautions that drivers should take in getting ready:
- Put snow tires on your car. Colorado gets a lot of snow in the winter, and consistent cold temperatures make it difficult for that snow to melt quickly. That said, accumulation simply piles up on the streets. Sometimes, even frequent snow plows can’t keep up and you may find yourself trying to navigate freshly-snowed grounds to get home, especially if a snow storm sneaks up on you. Snow tires give drivers better traction and provide a better ability to maneuver in slush, snow and ice. It’s recommended to get four snow tires to optimize steering and braking abilities in all weather.
- Check your engine. Cold weather creates less than ideal conditions for car engines, so make sure that yours is still running smoothly. Take your car into a local car shop or dealership, or check the radiator coolant and oil levels yourself. Keep up with oil changes, as proper maintenance helps your car respond better.
- Replenish your windshield wiper fluid. Make sure that your windshield can be easily de-iced in a sudden storm, and keep a spare bottle handy just in case you run out. Winter weather also leads to dirt, slush and grime on your cars, so keeping your widshield clear is important for visibility.
- Replace any headlights and taillights that might have burned out. In poor visibility, strong light signals can alert other cars to your presence.
- Keep a winter storm survival kit in your trunk. Pack a blanket, flashlight, batteries, a shovel, and some water and snacks. Safety experts also recommend packing flares, jumper cables, cell phone chargers for the car, and even cat litter to give your tires better traction. You never know when you’ll get stuck in bad weather or rough patches on the road.
Snow-covered grounds create a beautiful holiday backdrop, but they don’t promote the safest driving conditions even for experienced drivers. Use caution when traveling in winter weather and be on the lookout for icy patches, heavy snow and sleet that could turn a straight road into a danger zone.
Top 10 Winter Driving Tips for Colorado Motorists
op 10 Tips
- Slow Down: Adjusting your speed for bad weather and road conditions is common sense, but many people fail to actually put this into practice. The fact is, the faster a vehicle travels, the harder it is to recover from a skid, avoid plowing into the next vehicle when you hit an icy spot or stop at a stop sign in slushy snow.
- SUVs Have Additional Reasons to Slow Down: The extra weight and size of SUVs cause rolling and flipping which is exacerbated by bad road conditions.
- Brake Steadily: Slamming on the brakes is not effective in snow and ice, and can be dangerous. Applying too much pressure when there is too little traction can result in a spin-out or worse. Apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes; pump standard brakes.
- Black Ice: If there has been recent precipitation and the temperature is near freezing, there is a good chance that the road is covered with a thin sheet of ice even though you cannot see it. That is why it is called “Black Ice” and that is why it is so dangerous. Do not be fooled and drive appropriately–or not at all.
- Bridge Warnings: Bridges and overpasses really do ice over faster than roads and highways, so even if the latter are fine, the former may not be. Executing lane changes or getting on or off-ramps must be done with extra care.
- Low Beams: Remember that headlights on snow can be blinding–to you and other drivers. Use low beams when using your lights!
- No Sudden Turns: Making sudden turns can be hazardous in the best of weather; do it in bad weather and you could end up somewhere you did not intend–such as a ditch, the side of the road or upside down. Plan where you are going so that you have the proper amount of time to make a turn, or do not make it.
- Steer Into a Skid: We have all heard this maxim, but how many of us do it under pressure? The temptation when skidding is to correct the skid, but doing that could have very ugly results. Instead, go with the skid until the vehicle stops. Then you can steer in the direction you wish to go.
- Maintain Extra Distance: Tailgating in good weather is a bad idea; in snowy, icy road conditions, it is an accident waiting to happen. Always leave extra room for sudden stops and swerves of the car ahead, as well as for slips and slides of your own vehicle.
- Be Patient: When a trip that normally takes one hour takes four because of bad roads creating bad traffic, remember that getting into an accident would take even longer. The phrase “better late than never” is very appropriate for traveling in bad weather.