Who Is Responsible for a Hydroplane Car Accident in Seattle?

Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on a wet surface or area of the roadway. These incidents occur when the water that typically goes between the tire treads remains in between the tire and the roadway, causing the vehicle to slide across the top of the water. Hydroplane incidents can lead to major injuries and property damage, particularly if a hydroplaning vehicle collides with others on the roadway.

Here, we want to discuss who could be held liable for a hydroplane car accident in Seattle.

How Does Hydroplaning Occur?

A good explanation of why hydroplane incidents occur can be found in Car and Driver Magazine when they ask readers to imagine the treads of attire as little miniature aqueducts. The treads of a tire are made to pump water away from where the rubber meets the water (on the roadway) at a rapid speed. According to an article from Car and Driver, tires on a vehicle moving at 50 miles an hour can disperse around eight gallons of water per second.

However, there are various reasons why a hydroplane incident can occur. Perhaps the number one reason for hydroplaning incidents is inadequate tire tread depth. As tires wear down over time, the tread depth decreases, greatly reducing the ability of tires to disperse water from the road outwards, leading to an increase in the chances of a hydroplane incident.

In situations where the tire tread depth is inadequate due to a driver failing to replace worn-down tires, fault for a hydroplane incident could fall to the driver that hydroplaned. If the hydroplane incident led to injuries or property damage to others on the roadway, an investigation may uncover the inadequate tire depth. Insurance carriers or a personal injury jury could assign fault to the driver, meaning they would have to pay compensation to other parties affected by the hydroplane incident.

Other Causes of Hydroplane Incident

There may be other causes of hydroplane incidents on the roadway, and these other causes could shift liability.

The condition of the road can also influence hydroplaning. On well-paved, modern roads, the road is crowned and tilts downwards slightly towards the shoulders to assist with the flow of water off the roadway. However, if the roadway is poorly designed and there are areas where water can pool or flood onto the surface and affect drivers, entities or municipalities in charge of the roadway design and maintenance could be at fault for the incident.

Compensation for a Hydroplane Incident

Recovering compensation after a hydroplane incident can be challenging. If you or a loved one have been harmed or sustained property damage due to a vehicle that hydroplaned on the roadway, we encourage you to speak to an attorney who can assist you with this process. A skilled Seattle car accident lawyer can examine the facts of the case, conduct an investigation, and determine any possible liable parties.

Some compensation that may be available if thought can be assigned includes coverage of any medical bills associated with the incident, lost income, property damage expenses, and various pain and suffering damages.