Hydroplaning is a wet-weather hazard usually caused by your vehicle’s tires losing their grip on the road. When this happens, your vehicle could slide off the road or swerve into another vehicle and cause a hydroplane crash.
If another driver loses control and hits your vehicle after hydroplaning, can you recover your damages? Who may be liable for your medical costs and other damages in this situation?
At Galloway Jefcoat, we have been helping victims injured in hydroplane accidents and many other types of crashes for decades. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Louisiana have extensive knowledge of the law, and we have a history of proven results.
In the article below, we discuss hydroplane crashes, including common causes, who may be liable and steps you can take to avoid them.
Call (337)-984-8020 for a FREE case review today.
Who May Be Responsible for Damages in a Hydroplane Car Crash?
Most of the time, the driver who hydroplanes and causes the crash will be responsible for any resulting damages.
One example is if a driver was speeding and hit a pool of water in the road, causing him or her to hydroplane and crash into your vehicle. In that situation, that driver would likely be liable as he or she did not slow down or take other measures to avoid a car accident.
Another way drivers could be liable is if they hydroplane and crash because of worn or underinflated tires.
As a driver, you owe a duty of care to others sharing the road, which means maintaining your vehicle to ensure it is in safe operating condition. It also means adjusting your driving to the weather, traffic, or other circumstances.
How Do Hydroplane Crashes Happen?
Most of the time, a hydroplane crash is the result of some type of negligence or reckless driving.
Some common driver errors that may cause a hydroplane crash include:
- Driving too fast for the weather and/or road conditions
- Hitting a pool of water on the road surface unexpectedly
- Poor road design causing water to pool into deep puddles instead of draining away
- Low tire pressure or worn tread causing tires to lose traction on the road
- Being distracted by something and not seeing a puddle on the road
When drivers are traveling fast in wet weather and encounter a puddle of water, they are much more likely to hydroplane than if they were driving at a slower speed.
What If Another Driver Hydroplanes and Hits My Car?
If you were injured in a hydroplaning car crash, you or your attorney must prove the other driver’s negligence to recover compensation. In other words, you will need to establish that the other party did not take proper actions to prevent an accident and that his or her inaction led to the crash and your damages.
What if I Am Partially at Fault for a Hydroplaning Crash?
If you are deemed partially liable for a hydroplaning crash, you may still be able to seek compensation for your damages. However, any compensation awarded will be reduced by your portion of liability.
If you hire an attorney, he or she should be prepared to dispute any unfair percentage of liability the other party tries to assign you.
What Common Injuries May Be Caused by a Hydroplaning Crash?
A hydroplane crash can cause many severe injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- And more
It is important to seek medical care immediately after your car accident to get a full examination. Refusing medical care or delaying treatment could risk your health and hurt your ability to file a claim against the at-fault party.
What Steps May Help to Reduce the Risk of a Hydroplane Crash?
In Louisiana, the rainy season lasts from March to October. However, drivers are at risk of hydroplaning anytime there is heavy rain.
Some preventative measures drivers can take to help avoid hydroplaning include:
- Making sure your tires are properly inflated and well-maintained
- Avoiding driving through large puddles on the road
- Reducing your driving speed when it is raining and roads are wet
- Being more cautious when exiting a highway or when driving around curves
- Increasing the following distance between your vehicle and others
Additionally, if you notice any road design issues or unsafe conditions, such as a large, unrepaired pothole, you should notify the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD).
What Safety Measure Can You Take if Your Car Hydroplanes?
Sometimes, even your best preventative measures may not keep you from hydroplaning. If this occurs, it is important to stay calm. By keeping a cool, level head, you can make decisions that may reduce the risk of a car crash.
Although it seems intuitive, do not slam on the brakes, as this can make your vehicle slide. Instead, take these steps:
- Take your foot off the accelerator.
- Keep both hands on the wheel.
- Hold the steering wheel steady.
Holding the steering wheel steady helps you to keep control of the vehicle. You should keep your hands at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the wheel. If your hands are positioned at the bottom or top of the steering wheel, you are much more likely to lose control of your vehicle if you hydroplane.
You also need to be aware of your surroundings. There could be other cars in your blind spots that you could crash into if you start hydroplaning.
You may want to get off the road, but it is unsafe to stop on busy highways and intersections. If you need to get off the road, pull over to the shoulder, parking lot or find another safe location away from traffic.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Your Auto Accident Case
If you were injured in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence, we strongly recommend you seek legal help immediately.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we have the staff and resources to help you handle the legal process, so you can focus on your health. As we take car crash claims on contingency, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay. We do not get paid our fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Call (337)-984-8020 today to discuss your situation.