The issue of fault is the most important component of a lawsuit. If you cannot determine the appropriate person to sue you will be unable to file a lawsuit. If more than one party is accused of liability, determining who is at fault requires identifying the levels of fault. In other words, each party will only be responsible for the amount of damages that can be attributed to his or her actions. Your Joplin car accident attorney can review your case and help you determine who the appropriate defendants should be. But what happens if nature plays a role in the accident?
The Dangers of Sun Glare for Drivers
Every driver has experienced it. Driving due west at the wrong time of day and ending up with the blinding sun in your face. There is no real safe way to respond and you just pray that you don’t hit the car in front of you, or worse, strike a pedestrian or someone on a bike.
Sun glare is actually a very common cause of accidents in the United States. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sun glare results in hundreds of accidents each year in our country. That number is likely much higher as “the sun” is rarely cited as the cause of an accident. The question is, can you be held liable for an accident because the sun blinded you?
Sun Glare Does not Qualify as an “Act of God”
Unlike floods or earthquakes, sunshine does not qualify as an “extraordinary natural event” that cannot reasonably be foreseen. Acts of God are unavoidable and, when they are exclusively caused by an act of God or natural disaster, and they cause an accident, that can be a defense against liability. Sun glares, however, do not qualify because they are not unforeseeable. We all know that the sun rises and sets and the general timing of those events, so by nature they are reasonably predictable. Because drivers are expected to operate their vehicles with reasonable care, that includes being prepared to deal with the potential of sun glare. If you have questions about other “act of God” situations, speak to our Joplin car accident attorney.
How Can You Avoid Sun Glare Situations
The best defense in a situation like this is to try your best to avoid this type of accident by minimizing sun glare and avoiding the situation as best you can. If you frequently find yourself faced with the glaring sun as part of your daily routine, find an alternative route during that time of day. Also, polarized sunglasses (often used by lifeguards) reduce blinding sun glare significantly. Also, be sure to leave sufficient space between you and the car in front of you and stay clear of the shoulder where bikers or pedestrians might be traveling.
Accidents Can Be Caused By Something Other Than Another Driver
Despite the fact that most auto accidents are caused by a negligent driver, there are many other causes of accidents that are just as common. Poor road conditions and weather conditions are frequent causes of auto accidents. Examples of dangerous road conditions include potholes, uneven expansion joints, and debris on the roadway. A deep hole in the middle of a roadway can cause serious auto accidents, especially on interstates. Motorcycles are more likely to lose control from hitting a pothole than a car.
Expansion joints usually connect a highway to a bridge. When the two parts are joined it can expose a rough surface and this unevenness can be dangerous. Much like a pothole. Similarly, when a road has uneven lanes of different heights, it can be dangerous when a vehicle changes lanes.
Debris or Animals on the Roadway
Depending on the size of debris that is left on the roadway, it can cause a very dangerous situation for drivers. For instance, the debris left from blown out tires, especially from 18-wheelers, can cause damage to a vehicle or even cause the driver hitting the debris to lose control. The same is true for the debris left from a collision or objects that may fall off of other vehicles, such as trucks carrying items. As our Joplin auto accident lawyer can explain, state and local governments are liable for maintaining roadways that are free from obstacles. If they fail to do so and an accident occurs then the government can be held liable. If you still have questions, let our Joplin car accident attorney know.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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