Most people attribute car accidents to the negligence of the drivers involved or a defect in the vehicle. However, many accidents occur even when a driver is traveling in a well-maintained car. Faulty construction of a road combined with severe weather can cause a car to hydroplane and crash.
A hydroplaning accident can lead to severe injuries for those involved. If you sustained injuries due to a hydroplaning accident, you might be able to secure a damages award with the help of a Johnstown car crash attorney. An attorney with experience handling hydroplaning car accidents in Johnstown could provide an honest assessment of your case and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
What is a Hydroplaning Wreck?
Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of liquid, such as water from a rainstorm, accumulates on the roadway, causing a vehicle’s wheels to become separated from the road. When a car loses traction with the road, the car may slide, turn uncontrollably, and even flip, which could result in severe accidents. Hydroplaning accidents are unique because they can happen even if a driver is operating a vehicle within the speed limit. Drivers have a duty to safely operate the vehicle, accounting for inclement weather and roadway conditions. Poor weather does not excuse poor driving, and a driver could be negligent – even if driving below the posted speed limit – if the weather conditions would require him or her to drive even slower in order to maintain control of the vehicle.
One common instance of hydroplaning is when a driver drives through a puddle on the road at a high speed. Weather conditions will almost always play a role in hydroplaning wrecks when a road is not adequately or safely built. A properly constructed road would be constructed in such a way that accumulating water drains off the road’s surface instead of pooling on the roadway.
If a roadway was not properly constructed to prevent accumulating water, a person injured in a hydroplaning crash could be able to seek compensation from the municipality or other government entity that constructed the road. A knowledgeable Johnstown lawyer could help pursue a complex claim for compensation after a hydroplaning accident.
Factors in a Hydroplaning Accident Case
When a hydroplaning accident happens because of a liquid on the road, it is important to investigate the road and accident immediately. The liquid will likely be gone if an investigation is put off for even a few days, which could harm a hydroplaning crash case. Some of the factors that will be investigated in a hydroplaning case include:
- How deep, wide, or long the liquid area was when the accident occurred;
- The speed of the vehicle when the accident occurred; and
- The condition of the tires and tire pressure when the accident occurred.
Defectively constructed and poorly maintained roadways can be a significant contributing factor in a hydroplaning accident. Because of this, it is imperative that to contact a Johnstown attorney quickly so that he or she could immediately get to work on reviewing the hydroplane accident and collecting the relevant evidence to assess a claim. If it is safe to do so, you should also take extensive and detailed photographs of the scene – both closeups and wide angle shots – so that the scene can be documented before it changes, whether as a result of repairs or the passage of time.
Pursuing Compensation for a Hydroplaning Crash in Johnstown
An accident caused by hydroplaning or being struck by another driver who was hydroplaning can result in severe damages. The most common losses incurred include medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. The process for obtaining fair compensation for these damages depends on the type of hydroplaning crash and the potential parties at fault.
Under state insurance law, regardless of fault in an accident, the injured driver’s own insurance policy will be used to cover medical bills up to the amount in the policy. Most drivers have $5,000 in medical payments coverage on their policies. Additionally, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a hydroplaning accident is two years from the time of the accident, as outlined in 42 P.S. §5524. Further, there is a six-month notice requirement for any claims against a governmental entity – which means that a particular form of written notice must be sent to the government entity, or the claims could be barred – even if they are filed before the two year statute of limitations expires. Because time is of the essence in these cases, it is important to reach out to a local attorney who is well-practiced in hydroplaning accidents as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your potential case.
Contact a Johnstown Attorney After a Hydroplaning Accident
Hydroplaning accidents are unfortunately common in Johnstown due to road conditions and severe weather. If you suffered injuries following a hydroplaning crash, you might be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault parties. A lawyer well-versed in hydroplaning car accidents in Johnstown could help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Call today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated legal professional at Marcus & Mack.