When March rolls around, a lot of people start thinking about summer. Although some warmer days might get our hopes up, it’s a month when just one more of those winter storms could hit. That was certainly the case this March when a storm swept through laying tons of snow and ice on Tennessee roads.
The storm was so bad that Gov. Bill Haslam felt like it was deserving of a state of emergency declaration. This meant that state offices were closed and only a few state employees deemed essential had to go into work. It was the hazardous weather conditions that prompted the emergency -- and it certainly contributed to a number of car accidents as well.
A spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said that there were “widespread accidents all across the state.” In Nashville alone there were 276 collisions that law enforcement officials responded to between midnight and 11 a.m. on March 3. It was a similar case in other cities across the state.
These accidents likely ranged from minor fender-benders all the way to very serious collisions. What about those accidents that resulted in serious injury? Does the driver that caused the accident have an absolute excuse from liability due to the hazardous conditions?
The answer to that question is no. Hazardous conditions may make driving more difficult, but it doesn’t erase all liability after an accident. A driver still has the responsibility to drive as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. If the circumstances call for a slower speed than the posted speed limit or extra space between vehicles, a driver might be found to have acted carelessly when he or she doesn’t use a little extra caution.
Those that are injured in a car accident in Morristown should discuss their situation with a personal injury attorney. Whether it is determining if negligence was a factor in a crash or dealing with an insurance company, an attorney can help victims get the compensation that they need and deserve.
Source: Knox News, “Winter storm brings icy roads, accidents to Tenn.,” Adrian Sainz and Sheila Burke, March 3, 2014