Heavy rains create dangerous driving conditions, causing you to lose control of your car. Hydroplane accidents produce significant damage. Although it may seem like you’re the only one to blame, other parties could be at fault.
What Is Hydroplaning?
When it’s raining, water is pushed through a tire’s tread or brushed aside, meaning the tire maintains contact with the ground. However, sometimes water stays between the tire and the road so that the car “glides” on top of the water. This is hydroplaning. When hydroplaning happens, it’s challenging to control your vehicle, and the likelihood of a wreck increases.
Furthermore, when a car hydroplanes, it doesn’t stay on a forward trajectory. Instead, drag pulls on one side of the vehicle, and the tires on the other side slow down, causing the car to be pulled in the direction of the slower side. Essentially, a hydroplaning car will spin.
Who’s at Fault for a Hydroplane Car Accident?
The at-fault party in a hydroplane car accident depends on the case’s specific facts. There may be more than one person or company who is to blame. Some common entities who may be at fault in a hydroplane car accident include:
The Person Responsible for the Car
Since poor tire maintenance is a significant cause of hydroplaning, the person responsible for the upkeep of the tires can be blamed for an accident. A car with worn tires is much more likely to hydroplane than a car with fresh tires and deep treads.
The Owner of the Car
The owner of the car may be at fault. A car owner is responsible for maintaining their tires and replacing them when they become worn or unsafe. If the vehicle was a rental, the car owner would be the rental company (Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, etc.). If an employer owned the car, the employer might be at fault.
A Car Inspector
All cars, trucks, and motorcycles must undergo an annual vehicle inspection in Texas. During this safety inspection, mechanics visually test a car’s tires and measure the tread to ensure they’re deep enough. However, if an inspector neglects to flag an unsafe tire, they could be held responsible for a hydroplaning accident.
A Car Parts Manufacturer
Defective tires or poorly manufactured tires could cause a vehicle to hydroplane. If the tires were defective (for instance, a new tire with a too-shallow tread), the manufacturer might be liable.
A Mechanic or Tire Replacement Company
If tires were recently replaced with unsafe equipment or not properly put on, a mechanic may be responsible for the car accident. A thorough evaluation of the car is necessary to determine if improper maintenance was involved in the hydroplane crash.
A Government Entity Responsible for Road Maintenance
If the roadway was improperly maintained or in poor repair, the government entity responsible for road maintenance might also be accountable. Claims against the government are much different than those against private parties, so a skilled lawyer is necessary. In most cases, you don’t have much time to file a claim against the government after the crash, so act fast.
Many hydroplane accidents occur because the road was poorly designed or not maintained. Design flaws, road construction, and poor gutter maintenance cause excess water to collect on roads, increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning.
Texas has specific rules and safety regulations around construction zones and road design. If these criteria aren’t met and a hydroplane accident occurs, the city can be held responsible.
What to Do After a Hydroplane Car Accident
You should always contact the police after a hydroplane car accident. The police report will be used to determine what happened and who may be at fault.
Do Not Admit Fault
However, you should never admit fault. Even if the police officer tries to get you to describe what happened, do not admit that you are at fault.
You should simply say that you’re not sure what happened. Your attorney can help you develop a statement that will not be used against you in future insurance claims.
Gather Information from the Scene
Take as many pictures and videos of the scene as you can. You should also exchange insurance information with all other drivers involved in the crash. Obtain contact information for any eyewitnesses.
Seek Medical Care
Get medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if you don’t go to the emergency room, you should see your primary care physician soon after the crash. This will allow you to establish a baseline for the severity of your injuries. This will be necessary if you want to obtain compensation for your wreck.
Let an Attorney Investigate
Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin a thorough investigation. Since it was probably raining during the crash, evidence (like the water on the road) will disappear quickly. Your attorney helps you file an insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.
Free Consult with a Fort Worth Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer determines what happened in your hydroplane car accident. Even if you think you were at fault, other factors may be at play.
Call Anderson Injury Lawyers at 817-294-1900 to set up a free consultation.