Nothing causes quite as much panic as bad weather when you’re driving. Whether you hit a patch of black ice, get hit by an intense thunderstorm, or are suddenly blinded by the sun, it’s hard to stay calm. When inclement weather leads to a crash, it can be difficult to determine who’s liable. If you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by sun glare, it’s important to talk to a personal injury attorney and explore your options.
The team at Mann & Potter is here to help you figure out if you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more now by calling us at 205-879-9661.
Liability for Sun Glare Accidents
You may assume that there is no liable party when bad weather causes an accident. After all, no one can control the weather or hold Mother Nature liable for damage caused. However, this is not always correct.
Each driver is responsible for taking the proper precautions to avoid weather-related accidents and plan for the possible dangers on the road. In snowy weather, this might mean driving with winter-ready tires and driving much slower than the speed limit. In rain, this often means using your windshield wipers and leaving plenty of space between you and other cars. When there is sun glare, this involves limiting your sun exposure.
The laws in Alabama are similar to those in many other states. In general, the person liable for a sun glare accident is the person who is temporarily blinded and/or inhibited by the bright sunlight and hits another vehicle or person. If you hit a car because of a sudden bright glare beaming through your windshield, this might seem unfair—how are you supposed to predict that?
However, the law is clear. When you drive, you are supposed to prepare for potential hazards that may occur. This means driving slowly enough that you can react safely and appropriately to the glare of the sun, especially when you are driving during a time of the day when bright sunlight commonly pops up on the route you are taking.
Limiting the Risk of Sun Glare
You may not be able to undo the damage caused by a crash, but you can do your best to prevent crashes caused by bright sunlight by learning more about driving safety. To prevent sun glare accidents, use these tips in your daily driving:
- Choose sunglasses that limit sun glare. Polarized sunglasses can protect your eyes and maximize visibility on even the sunniest days.
- Keep your windshield wipers clean and free of debris so they don’t leave blinding streaks on your windshield.
- Drive more slowly on sunny days. This way, even if you are affected by sun glare, you are less likely to hit another driver or pedestrian.
- Try to avoid driving during peak sunlight hours.
- Make sure your windshield is clean while driving. Streaks and debris can worsen the effects of sun glare.
Compensation in Alabama
If the other driver hit your car because of sun glare, you’re likely relieved to find out that they are probably liable. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy to get the compensation you deserve. The other party’s insurance company may attempt to deny liability, especially if sun glare is the cause. Blaming the weather is a common tactic to get out of paying.
This is why it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney after you are hurt in a car crash. It is particularly important in Alabama, where contributory negligence can bar you from recovering damages in some cases.
Contributory negligence is the legal theory that a party that “contributes” to an accident in any way cannot recover any compensation for any injury that results from the accident. This is true regardless of how much fault they have. Even if you are found to be 1% liable for the accident, you could be unable to get compensation from the other party.
Because of Alabama’s defendant-friendly rules in personal injury cases, it may be harder to convince the other party’s insurance company to pay a fair settlement. They might be willing to take their chances in court since they only have to prove that you contributed to the accident in some small way. An attorney who is familiar with Alabama law will know and understand these challenges, putting them in a much stronger position to overcome them.
Choose Mann & Potter for Your Accident Claim
Have you been injured in a sun glare accident? It’s time to talk to an attorney to learn more about your legal options. Turn to Mann & Potter for the representation you need. Reach out online or call us at 205-879-9661 to get started.