Truck Accidents Caused by Hydroplaning
Heavy rains increase the risk of truck accidents caused by hydroplaning. Wet roads can impact the driver’s ability to control the truck and how well the tires perform. Truckers must drive cautiously on rainy roads to reduce the chances of a crash. Similarly, the mechanics employed by truck companies should regularly inspect tires and replace worn ones immediately. When they don’t, they make the truck vulnerable to hydroplaning in inclement weather, leading to accidents that can cost victims their health, livelihoods, and financial security.
If you were hurt in an accident involving a hydroplaning truck in California, you could be entitled to compensation from the responsible party(s). At The Law Offices of Pius Joseph, we can pursue that money for you. Going up against a trucking company may feel intimidating, but not with our law firm by your side. We will thoroughly investigate the truck accident, identify the potentially liable parties, and demand they pay what you deserve. And if they refuse, we won’t hesitate to take them to court.
Ready to get started? Contact us today for a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Pasadena, CA. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options for pursuing justice with no obligation.
What is Hydroplaning?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) defines hydroplaning as “a vehicle riding on water because the tires lose all contact with the road.” If you’re a seasoned driver, you’ve probably had the scary experience of feeling you have no control over your vehicle under these conditions. Changing direction, braking abruptly, or even being hit by wind gusts could cause a truck to hydroplane. That sudden loss of control can lead to accidents that leave victims with extensive injuries, particularly given the size and weight of commercial trucks.
What Causes Trucks to Hydroplane on Pasadena, CA Roads?
Hydroplaning occurs when wet or rainy conditions cause standing water to accumulate on the road surface. The following factors may also contribute to truck hydroplaning:
- Tire tread depth – Worn tire treads provide less traction with the road surface, making them the most significant risk factor for hydroplaning.
- Speed – The faster a tire rotates, the worse it is at displacing water. In other words, as speed increases, traction decreases, making the vehicle likelier to hydroplane.
- Vehicle weight – Trucks carrying lighter loads are at a greater risk for hydroplaning because the weight of heavier vehicles can better displace the water on the road.
Truck drivers must undergo extensive training to obtain and maintain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), including how to respond when their vehicle hydroplanes. Unfortunately, truckers don’t always remember their training, especially if they’re more concerned about meeting tight deadlines than safe driving.
Factors Contributing to Truck Hydroplaning and Accidents
Although wet road conditions are the principal cause of hydroplaning accidents, other factors may be at play. Drivers must adjust their habits to suit poor road conditions. Otherwise, they could be held legally and financially responsible for any accidents and injuries. Examples of negligent driving behaviors that can lead to hydroplaning truck accidents include:
- Speeding – Excessive speed on wet pavement may cause a truck to hydroplane uncontrollably.
- Driver inexperience – Truckers without the proper training and experience may not know what to do if their vehicles hydroplane.
- Failure to perform a tire check or replace worn tires – Worn tires have poor traction with the road surface. If a truck driver, mechanic, or trucking company does not inspect or replace the vehicle’s tires as needed, it is much likelier to hydroplane on wet roads.
Who is Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Hydroplaning?
You can’t control the weather. And since hydroplaning typically happens due to environmental conditions outside any driver’s control, you may wonder if you have a valid truck accident claim. You might even ask, “Is hydroplaning my fault?” It certainly raises questions of liability. But just because bad weather contributed to an accident doesn’t mean Mother Nature is the only one to blame.
Depending on the circumstances, you could file a personal injury claim after a truck accident involving hydroplaning. You might argue the truck driver was reckless given the poor road conditions. They might blame their vehicle’s braking system or defective tires. How can you tell who’s right?
Ultimately, the person or parties at fault for an accident depends on the facts of the case. It could be that worn tires and the truck driver’s negligent handling of their vehicle played a role.
Furthermore, determining who might be liable for a hydroplaning truck accident also depends in part on the ownership of the vehicle. A trucking company might lease the truck to the driver, or the truck driver could own the vehicle themselves. The trucking company might employ the driver, or the driver might be an independent contractor working for the trucking company. If a defective component was to blame, your personal injury lawsuit might include a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Identifying the potentially liable parties is complicated, but an experienced hydroplaning truck accident lawyer can make this critical determination as they help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Recovering Damages from Hydroplaning Trucks
By hiring an attorney who understands the complexities of truck accidents, you can rest easy knowing you are doing everything you can to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses. Potential types of compensation you can receive in a Pasadena truck accident claim include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
The Law Office of Pius Joseph is ready to fight for you. We can start by collecting your medical bills, repair estimates, and payroll records to calculate your financial losses. If you suffered catastrophic injuries that have left you unable to work, we have connections to top financial and vocational experts who can testify about how your injuries impact your ability to earn a living. If the insurance company fails to make a fair settlement offer, we won’t hesitate to file a truck accident lawsuit to hold those responsible for your injuries and losses accountable.
Get a Free Consultation with a Pasadena, CA Hydroplaning Truck Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a hydroplaning truck accident, you need an attorney who knows how to deal with the trucking industry. You need the Law Office of Pius Joseph. We fight aggressively for the compensation accident victims deserve. Let us help you pick up the pieces as you heal from your injuries. Call or contact us online now for a free consultation with a hydroplaning truck accident lawyer in California.