Q: Who is liable in a hydroplaning accident?
In most cases, the driver who caused an accident while hydroplaning is at fault. While some vehicle collisions are caused by a lack of visibility due to pouring rain or blinding snow, many foul weather accidents are caused by hydroplaning.
What Is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is the term typically used to describe the skidding or sliding of a vehicle across a wet surface. While this can occur on any wet road, the first 10 minutes of a light rain tend to be the most dangerous, as water mixes with oil residue on the surface. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle’s tires come into contact with more water than they are capable of displacing. The remaining water under the tire can separate it from the surface of the road, causing a loss of traction. When this occurs, the driver may lose control over his steering and brakes.
Who Is Liable?
While the driver of the hydroplaning vehicle is generally held responsible for a collision, other parties can sometimes be liable. These parties may include:
- Tire manufacturers. If a vehicle’s tires are defective, the manufacturer may have liability in the event of an accident. For instance, tire treads that are too shallow due to a manufacturing defect can create a hydroplaning hazard.
- Municipal or state governments. Hydroplaning accidents may be caused by a buildup of water on the road due to improper maintenance or construction. Design flaws and poor gutter maintenance can lead to the collection of excess water, increasing the risk of hydroplaning. In Texas, government entities responsible for road construction and maintenance may be held liable if road safety rules and regulations are not observed.
If you’ve been injured in a hydroplaning accident, multiple parties may be held liable. To receive the compensation you deserve, you need an experienced attorney who knows how to conduct a professional investigation to determine liability for your injuries. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.