Changing weather conditions often have a negative effect on driving conditions, but few cause more visibility issues than fog. Fog can warp and muffle sounds and conceal other vehicles or objects on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 38,000 fog-related crashes occur each year and injure thousands of people. At The Jeffcoat Firm, we assist those injured in such wrecks and guide our clients through the litigation process as they seek compensation for medical costs, property damage and other losses that may occur when vehicles collide in fog. Contact our car accident lawyers today!
What Causes Fog?
Fog forms when water droplets in the air condense as cold air moves over warm water. As the water droplets increase, fog forms. Drivers may encounter several different types of fog, including:
- Advection fog
- Radiation fog
- Freezing fog
- Evaporation fog
Any of these types of fog can change road and visibility conditions for drivers, and several types of fog can form at almost any time of day. For example, sudden rain storms can form fog when the moisture cools the air at ground level, causing it to condense. Driving in these conditions increases the risk of a car accident, even for experienced drivers.
How Does Fog Affect Driver Perception?
As fog becomes thicker and more opaque, it creates dangerous driving conditions for anyone on the road. Fog can also form unexpectedly, which often cuts visibility at unexpected times and causes other unsafe driving circumstances.
Distance judgment problems
Fog often causes rear-end collisions because drivers have difficulty judging distance when objects become blurry and lose their contrast. In many cases, these accidents occur because motorists misjudge the distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them.
Movement perception changes
Thick fog can change the way drivers perceive movement. Parked cars and those in motion may appear similar, making movement difficult to judge. Thick ground fog may also conceal stationary objects, making them almost invisible.
Fog muffles sound
Fog often muffles sounds, including car horns, making them sound farther away than they truly are. This can cause a sudden and serious crash because drivers moving through fog may not realize how close they are to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
When fog-related accidents happen, our attorneys build compensation cases based on a combination of evidence, witness reports and information provided by our clients.
What Errors Do Drivers Make In Fog That Cause Crashes?
Fog-related crashes sometimes occur when drivers make errors in judgment or do not adjust their driving habits when they encounter fog. Failing to reduce speed in heavy fog increases the risk of crashes because motorists may not have the time they need to brake if traffic stops in front of them.
When freezing fog occurs, the water vapor in the air freezes as it comes into contact with objects and road surfaces. Some surfaces freeze faster than others because of their elevation, including:
- Overpass entrances
- Mountain roadways
Drivers who do not reduce their speed or drive recklessly in foggy conditions can cause crashes with their negligent behavior. Injuries resulting from these crashes can affect the lives of victims and their families for years to come, and our attorneys can guide them through the processes of building a personal injury case so they can make the most informed decision possible.
How Can a Fog Car Accident Lawyer Assist Injured Drivers?
When drivers get injured in a fog-related car crash, they may not know where to turn for compensation when insurance caps leave them responsible for remaining costs, such as future medical care. Our attorneys assist injured drivers with a variety of questions they may have and guide them through the process of building their lawsuit.
Reviewing crash scene photos
After the fog lifts from a crash scene, the resulting scene may provide many clues about which way each car was traveling, the rate of speed and how long each took to brake, if there was even time. Photos can provide crucial evidence required in court and lend credibility to our clients’ cases.
Fielding insurance settlement offers
When negligent individuals cause car accidents by driving carelessly in fog, the insurance company that represents that party may try to contact injured drivers and offer them a settlement in lieu of a lawsuit. Insurance companies offer such settlements to keep costs low and to prevent possible future losses, but our attorneys protect clients from unfair offers and keep aggressive insurance representatives at bay.
Protecting client privacy
Our attorneys understand the importance of client privacy and do all they can to advise injured individuals about how to handle their cases before and during any court appearance. For example, reminding them to remain silent about any details connected to their personal injury claim can prevent others from making assumptions, especially on social media sites where information spreads quickly.
Medical reports, insurance documents and eyewitness accounts can all bolster credibility in a fog car accident case. Our attorneys work to gather as many documents as possible to prove our client’s claims.
What Damages Can Victims Claim in a Fog Car Accident?
It may seem difficult to gain compensation because of a weather-related crash: however, even in poor road conditions, all motorists carry the responsibility to maintain control of their vehicles. Reducing speed, turning off high-beam headlights that decrease visibility and allowing additional space for braking can keep others on the road safe, but when negligence causes a wreck, our attorneys work to assign a value to each case based on a variety of damages.
When individuals drive negligently in foggy conditions and cause accidents, drivers and passengers in other vehicles may suffer life-altering injuries like multiple broken bones, internal injuries and spinal trauma. The cost of treating these injuries can rise rapidly into thousands of dollars. Our attorneys investigate the total cost of medical bills both present and future to add to a fog car accident case.
Pain and suffering
Victims of accidents that happen during fog may experience significant pain and suffering during their recovery and for years afterward. This type of non-economic suffering can include mental anguish, such as flashbacks to the accident and new episodes of anxiety when they get behind the wheel again. Our attorneys can add such damages to a case once a medical professional verifies the injured party suffers unjustly as a result of the crash.
Loss of wages
When fog-related crashes occur, those injured may find themselves unable to work for weeks or even months. Brain injuries can cause problems with cognition, and those with such trauma may no longer have the ability to perform a certain job as before. In the case of those who lose limbs or their mobility, these individuals may not return to work at all. The loss of present and future wages can have a serious effect on injured individuals, and our attorneys work to calculate the cost of these losses and win our clients a fair settlement.
Speak To a Fog Car Accident Lawyer
Fog-related car accidents can cause life-changing injuries. Medical bills, lost wages and living with pain other people cause can severely decrease the quality of life for injured drivers, and we at The Jeffcoat Firm stand by to assist and advise them. Call 803-200-2000 for further information and assistance with a car crash case today.