Hydroplaning Car Accidents
Hydroplaning is a real risk when it is raining or snowing outside. It occurs when a car skids or slides a vehicle across a wet surface due to lack of traction. When a driver loses control of a car and hydroplanes, causing you serious injuries, you may be able to recover damages. However, the other driver’s fault will need to be established, and this can be a tricker issue when poor weather is involved. If you were seriously injured in a hydroplaning accident, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We seek the best results for our clients.Hydroplaning Car Accidents
The first ten minutes of light rain tend to be the most dangerous when it comes to hydroplaning. Water mingles with oil on the road and when a car’s tires are not able to displace all the water such that it loses traction on the asphalt or other material, hydroplaning happens. The driver of the vehicle can lose control over steering and brakes, and slam into someone else. If you are a driver who crashes into a hydroplaning car, you may be able to pursue damages.
In order to establish your entitlement to damages, we will need to prove it is more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) he breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. Another driver may be found to have breached the duty to use reasonable care in a hydroplaning accident if, in bad weather:
- He was driving too fast given the rain or snow.
- He was making a phone call or texting while driving instead of keeping his full attention on the road.
- He was tailgating you and rear-ended you when his tires lost traction.
- He was driving under the influence and couldn’t react appropriately to the hydroplaning to avoid collision with you.
In some cases, it is appropriate to look deeper at the causes of a hydroplaning accident. For instance, if your car’s tires are defective in terms of their manufacturing or design, it may be appropriate to bring a product liability lawsuit. Similarly, a mechanic may bear some responsibility if it failed to adequately address tires during a general tune-up or when the defendant came in to have her car’s tires checked.
Sometimes excess water builds on the road because of improper design, construction or maintenance of the road or gutters. This, too, can increase the chances of hydroplaning, and it may be necessary to hold a governmental entity that owns the road responsible for injuries arising out of the accident in a premises liability lawsuit. There are some more intricate requirements when suing the government, which makes it imperative to consult our trial lawyers right away if your injuries after a hydroplaning accident are serious.Act of God
With bad weather, there are situations in which hydroplaning is unavoidable. Even a reasonably careful driver may not be able to avoid this in certain situations, especially when a road’s gutters are not maintained causing overflow on the road or there is a defect in the tire. The Act of God defense applies when there is an event that causes harm that could not be predicted or prevented and that didn’t involve human error. When this defense applies, the defendant is shielded from liability.
Every situation is different. It is important to talk to us about what you experienced if you’ve sustained serious injuries due to hydroplaning, so that other parties can be held accountable when appropriate and all requisite steps followed.Damages
When we are able to establish another’s liability for a hydroplaning car accident, we can recover damages. In most cases these are compensatory, meaning they are intended to make up for losses, rather than to punish a negligent defendant. These damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket wage loss
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
If you were injured because of another driver hydroplaning in Upstate New York, you should call the seasoned Syracuse serious injuries attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent clients in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, and Elmira. Fill out our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.