Liability in auto accidents caused by hydroplaning will sometimes rest with the driver who hydroplaned. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, such as inclement weather, poor road conditions, or defective tires, the driver who hydroplaned may not be the only at-fault party.
A lawyer can help determine who bears liability for an accident involving hydroplaning and help you seek compensation.
Hydroplaning is described as a body of water separating your vehicle’s tires from the road’s surface. This causes you to temporarily lose control of the vehicle as it slides across the road for an indiscernible amount of time.
There are influencing factors to a vehicle’s hydroplaning, such as roadside puddles, poor weather, and flooding, as well as vehicular elements, such as speeding or defective tires. No matter how much water is on the road, hydroplaning can still occur, albeit the more water, the easier it may be to do so.
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Who Is Liable in a Hydroplaning Accident?
Due to the nature of hydroplaning, it may seem difficult to decipher who is at fault for the accident. Even in car accidents like these, there are preventative measures that can be taken. If the driver neglects to take proper precautions, they could still be held responsible. There are things the driver could have done that contributed to the accident, such as driving with worn tires or speeding in spite of the hazard.
To hold the driver liable, you will need to prove that they had a duty of care to both themselves and other drivers on the road but breached that duty through an action that caused an otherwise avoidable collision. In incidents of hydroplaning, the driver could have taken precautionary actions to limit the dangers of hydroplaning but did not, resulting in an accident.
When a Driver is Not at Fault
However, there are cases where the driver is not at fault. Defective tires or brakes on the vehicle would denote fault on the part of the manufacturer. Moreover, Roadside hazards present without could also contribute to unavoidable hydroplaning, leaving the city liable for any resulting crashes. These hazards include things such as:
- Cracks in the road
- Uneven roads
Lack of warning for these or any other potential hazards would suggest negligence on the part of the city in failing to adequately maintain a safe road environment for motorists, making them liable in court.
How Your State’s Laws Affect Liability in Auto Accidents Caused by Hydroplaning
You can file a personal injury claim against a negligent party in any state, but the amount to which you can seek damages will be determined by your state’s fault laws.
If you are in a fault state, once the party responsible has been identified, it will be their responsibility to provide full restitution to you for your injuries if your personal injury lawsuit against them is successful.
If you are in a no-fault state, your medical bills will instead be covered by your personal injury protection insurance. And while you can seek remaining damages from the liable party if your PIP does not cover the full amount, you may be barred from seeking non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, with limited exception.
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What Can Be Done To Minimize The Risk of Hydroplaning?
Few things can indeed be done about water on the road for motorists. Weather cannot be controlled, and wet surfaces cannot always be anticipated or avoided. But there are actions one can take to minimize the risk of hydroplaning, even in poor conditions, such as the following:
- Keep your tires properly maintained and inflated.
- On a wet road, avoid making quick turns.
- Do not speed in the rain or over bodies of water.
- Make sure your headlights are on near other motorists.
- Drive a reasonable distance away from other vehicles.
Even with small amounts of water present, hydroplaning is still possible. All drivers must take reasonable care to minimize any potential risk of hydroplaning when these dangers become apparent. Drivers who neglect to take these precautionary measures can be held accountable for any accident caused by hydroplaning.
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A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Pursue a Legal Claim for an Auto Accident Caused by Hydroplaning
Depending on your state, your collision coverage or personal injury protection may cover some of your medical bills and damages, but some policy owners are not compensated the full amount of their expenses.
If you’ve been in an accident involving hydroplaning, it is still in your best interest to move forward with a personal injury claim against the driver. Our firm can assist you in determining fault and increase your chances of securing a settlement for your damages and possible injuries. Consultations are free. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today.
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