As a Dallas-Fort Worth car crash lawyer, I know that traffic accidents happen for all sorts of reasons - rain included.
Whenever it rains, the number of wrecks are bound to go up. However, just because it was raining when two cars collided doesn't meant no one was at-fault. When we get behind the wheel, we have a duty to drive safely.
Can I Be At-Fault If Rain Caused My Wreck?
Yes. Even if the rain caused you to hydroplane or if it was raining so heavily that you couldn't see - leading to a wreck - you can still be held responsible. Driving is a very important responsibility. Being a good driver means driving in a safe manner regardless of any road conditions that may hinder the full ability of driving in successfully, including road obstacles, other drivers, and adverse weather conditions. For this basic reason, a driver that has been impacted by another’s driver’s vehicle (making the other driver at-fault if the accident was their responsibility) may be entitled to receive compensation for the actions of another driver - even if it was raining.
For example, let's say you were driving through heavy rain when the driver in front of you named Frank slammed on his brakes. You hit your brakes too, but because of the slick rain your car slid on the road and rear-ended Frank. Even though it seems unfair - he slammed on his brakes and it was raining, after all! - the wreck is still your fault. Therefore, your insurance company will have to pay Frank for his damages and injuries.
In short, the insurance company doesn't care if it was raining or not. They expect you to keep a safe distance from the car in front of you while driving.
You Can Make a Claim On Another Driver Despite Weather Conditions
We've talked about how you can be held at-fault for a wreck if you crash in the rain, but don't forget it can go the other way too. If another car wrecks into you, don't let them use the rain as an excuse. Get their insurance information and start a claim; in Texas, if you're the victim of an auto accident, you have a right to make a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills, damages, lost wages, pain and suffering.
Not sure who's at fault for your wreck? Read my article here to help you figure it out.
How Can Rain Cause a Wreck?
There are a number of ways driving in the rain can cause a wreck.
Most obviously is that rain makes the road surface slippery. This is especially true at the start of the rainfall since rain water will make oil and grease rise to the surface of a dry dusty road, creating a slick surface. For this reason it is important that you drive slightly slower than usual in rain so as to have better traction on your tires. Speeding on wet surfaces can result in hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is one of the biggest contributors to accidents containing a personal injury, which is why it is very important to make every turn, change of lane acceleration, and braking in the safest possible way to ensure that the vehicle’s tires have an ample grip on the surface. Going too fast can cause tires to slip through a dense, water-filled road, and braking too hard (or suddenly) can cause a tire’s traction to be temporarily lost. Even if there are no vehicles around, being involved in a single-vehicle car accident caused by hydroplaning can bring the same injuries - even death - as a car accident involving more than one vehicle would.
Another major safety issue caused by rain is poor visibility. In Texas, it is not uncommon for the heaviest rain to come at night, making seeing even more difficult. It is essential that you have the heat turned up in your car to properly defog the windshield and back window. It is also advisable that you drive with your lights on so that other drivers are more likely to see you.
Unfortunately, when driving in heavy rain, the sheer volume of falling water can create a visibility hazard, as can the water and dirt kicked up from the road by the vehicle in front of you. Make sure that you keep a reasonable distance from the car, truck or motorcycle ahead of you and pay close attention to their reactions (braking, etc.)
Do You Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Claim?
The Anderson Law Firm handles car accident cases caused by rain regularly. If you were driving in the rain and another car hit you, and you suffered injuries as a result, you can contact us for a free consultation.
We'll explain your rights and create a plan for your case moving forward. We fight to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.
For free information or to speak to an attorney, please call the Anderson Law Firm toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally in Ft. Worth at 817-294-1900 or in Dallas at 214-327-8000.
Download My Free Insurance Guide
Want to learn more about auto insurance in Texas, and what you really need to be fully covered? I wrote a free guide for Texas drivers to help them make the right choices - and to prevent costly mistakes - when choosing an auto insurance policy. You can download my guide here.