It can be frightening when you’re driving in the rain and suddenly lose control of your steering wheel and brakes. What happens next is often left to chance, but that’s not how lawmakers see it. According to traffic laws, drivers should be in control of their vehicles at all times.
If you strike another vehicle, you’ll be considered at fault, even if you were hydroplaning at the time of the accident. However, some cases are more complicated. If you’re unsure who is at fault in an accident caused by hydroplaning, a car accident attorney from Morelli Law can provide information and help you with your case.
Determining Fault After a Hydroplaning Accident
In most states, hydroplaning can’t be used as an excuse for an accident. If you caused a collision while hydroplaning, you’re probably at fault for the crash. However, if your accident occurred during a severe storm, you might be unsure who caused the collision.
In such situations, an attorney can work with investigators to determine who caused the accident. Your lawyer can collect and analyze evidence to prove who is at fault. They’ll use the following pieces of evidence to gain insight into the incident:
- Police report
- Traffic camera footage
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
If you are found to be at fault for an accident caused by hydroplaning, don’t panic. Depending on your state’s fault laws, you may be safe from the threat of legal action, and you might even be able to collect compensation from your own insurance provider.
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How State Fault Laws Can Affect a Hydroplaning Accident Case
If you live in a no-fault state like New York, then both parties involved in the hydroplaning accident will likely be able to pursue compensation from their own insurance policy, regardless of who caused the incident.
In most no-fault states, accident victims aren’t allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver unless they’ve suffered serious injuries or significant financial loss.
For example, if you were injured in a collision in New York that was caused by another driver, you may only file a lawsuit against them if you sustained serious bodily injury or incurred over $50,000 in accident-related losses. To learn more about how your state’s fault laws affect your hydroplaning accident case, reach out to an experienced lawyer today.
Who Might Be At-Fault in a Single-Car Accident Caused by Hydroplaning
If you veered off the road and struck a pole or guardrail after hydroplaning, you might wonder if you’re considered at fault. Since most state traffic laws don’t consider hydroplaning an excuse for a collision, you’re most likely at fault for the incident.
If hydroplaning caused you to get into a single-car accident, there’s no reason to worry just yet. As mentioned before, at-fault drivers can pursue compensation through their own insurance policy. An attorney can also investigate if another party played an indirect role in causing the crash.
If your lawyer finds that a third party is partially to blame, you could collect damages from them. Potentially liable parties may include the following:
A State Government or Local Municipality
Governing bodies are tasked with keeping roads free from hazards and alerting motorists when a dangerous obstacle is present. If your collision was caused by dangerous road conditions or lack of proper road signage, you could seek compensation from a municipality or state government.
If you or your attorney suspects that a defective auto part could have partially caused the accident, you may be able to take action against the manufacturer of the faulty component. Your lawyer can work with auto engineering experts to find evidence proving whether a defective part is to blame.
How to Avoid an Accident Caused by Hydroplaning
According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Road Weather Management Program, wet pavement is the leading cause of weather-related crashes. Hydroplaning collisions can happen to anyone, but there are measures you can take to avoid them.
Here’s what you can do to avoid being found at fault for a hydroplaning car accident:
- Avoid driving in heavy rain: One of the easiest ways to prevent hydroplaning is to avoid driving in heavy rain. However, this isn’t always possible for people who need to get to work or leave home for another important reason. Keep reading to learn about other measures you can take to protect yourself from wet pavement.
- Drive slowly when it’s raining: Take it slow if you need to drive in the rain! The slower you drive, the less momentum your car will have when hydroplaning occurs. That way, you’ll be less likely to get into an accident when you lose control of your vehicle. The slower speed will minimize damage and injury if you get into a collision.
- Avoid sharp turns: Sudden turns can increase the likelihood that your car will hydroplane. If it’s raining, make sure your turns are slow and gradual.
- Maintain your tires: Tires that aren’t inflated all the way are more likely to lose contact with the pavement and cause a hydroplaning accident. Make sure you replace old tires and check your tire pressure on a regular basis to avoid a weather-related collision.
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Contact an Attorney if You’ve Been in a Hydroplaning Accident
If you’ve been injured in a collision, seek medical attention ASAP. Even if you feel fine, you could still have an injury that has been masked by the initial shock and adrenaline rush caused by the crash. Once you’ve sought treatment, contact a personal injury attorney.
A lawyer from Morelli Law can educate you on who is at fault when hydroplaning causes an accident. They can investigate your collision and find evidence that proves who is to blame. If you have a valid claim, an attorney can also seek damages from your insurance company. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.