Filing a Claim for a Hydroplaning Accident in Indiana
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on May 23, 2022 in Car Accidents
During spring and the early months of summer, Indiana can see some heavy rainfall. This could increase the chances of a hydroplaning accident if drivers are not careful. Slamming on the brakes, jerking the wheel, or driving on old tires could all increase the risk of a hydroplaning crash.
If you were injured in an accident caused by hydroplaning, our South Bend auto collision lawyers are prepared to investigate your claim and help you build a strong case for maximum compensation.
We offer a free consultation and there are no upfront fees. There is no risk in calling us today.
How Does Hydroplaning Occur?
Hydroplaning occurs when too much water gets between the road and the tires of a vehicle, causing the tires to lose traction. Drivers often lose control if a vehicle hydroplanes, which is why it often results in a collision with another vehicle or object. Generally, hydroplaning accidents occur during heavy rainfall, but snow can also cause hydroplaning.
When a vehicle hydroplanes, the driver may feel a jolt and the sliding of his or her vehicle on the road. Depending on the amount of water on the roadway, a car could hydroplane for only a moment or an extended period. If a vehicle hydroplanes for a long time, the chances of the driver losing control over steering can increase dramatically.
Worn, old tires are more likely to lose traction in heavy rain. That is why drivers need to monitor the health of their tires and change them out if the treads wear down too much.
What Are My Options When Filing a Claim?
You have the right to file a claim for compensation after a hydroplaning accident. If your injuries were due to another driver’s negligence, you have the option to file a claim with that person’s liability insurance. When you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, you may be able to recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. This includes things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
If your hydroplaning accident only involves your vehicle, you may still be able to recover compensation from your own auto insurance policy.
For hydroplaning accident victims who have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on their insurance policies, a first-party claim may be filed to help cover the costs of medical bills and lost wages. First-party insurance claims do not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
How is Liability for a Hydroplaning Crash Determined?
While rain or snow may be the reason vehicles hydroplane, the weather cannot be held financially responsible for your damages. Therefore, liability for these types of crashes may still come down to who acted negligently and caused the collision.
Drivers have a duty of care to others sharing the road to avoid driving in a manner that would result in a collision. This responsibility to other drivers may be elevated during inclement weather events like heavy rainfall.
Liability for a hydroplaning accident could fall on a driver who:
- Follows too closely
- Uses the phone while driving
- Weaves in and out of traffic
Aggressive and reckless driving could also result in heavy fines or jail time.
Proving Another Driver Caused the Collision
When filing a claim for compensation, the injury victim must always prove someone else’s negligent actions directly resulted in his or her damages. In a hydroplaning accident, this could be more complex, as the at-fault party will likely try to blame the weather to avoid liability. Fortunately, there are ways our attorneys may be able to help you prove that another driver’s actions resulted in the collision.
Remember that hydroplaning only occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose traction, causing a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. Our attorneys may be able to help you prove that the tires on the driver’s vehicles were worn and that the driver failed to have them changed in a timely manner to avoid an accident. This may be done by requesting vehicle maintenance and upkeep documents from the owner.
If speed was the reason a vehicle hydroplaned before a crash, our attorneys may be able to collect statements from witnesses who observed the speeding driver prior to the collision. The police report may also provide supporting evidence to prove the driver was speeding.
In single-vehicle hydroplaning accident cases, our attorneys might be able to help investigate your case to prove another driver ran you off the road.
Call an Experienced Attorney for Assistance
Filing a claim for compensation for a hydroplaning collision may be complicated. Crash victims may be concerned about their ability to deal with the legal process because they need time to focus on recovering from their injuries. Due to strict time limits, it is best not to wait to talk to an attorney after a crash.
Our attorneys are prepared to investigate your claim and help you through the legal process. There are no fees while we work on your case, and you do not owe us anything unless we win.
Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation.