Crashes involving semi-trucks can be devastating whatever the cause, but they are more likely on wet roads when trucks may hydroplane. Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle’s tires lose traction in wet conditions, resulting in a loss of control that leads to a serious crash.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, rain contributed to 381 deaths and 12,000 injuries in crashes involving large truck crashes in 2020.
The Michigan truck crash lawyers at Fieger Law can review your accident to help you determine fault and seek maximum compensation from the negligent truck driver or trucking company responsible for your injuries.
What is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning, is a driving phenomenon that occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road due to a layer of water between the tires and the road surface, usually after or during heavy rain. This can result in the driver losing control of the vehicle, as the tires cannot grip the road properly.
Semi-trucks are particularly vulnerable to hydroplaning due to their size, weight, and tire pressure. The truck’s weight causes water to be displaced slower, increasing the risk of hydroplaning. Semi-trucks typically also have larger and wider tires than other vehicles, which means there is more surface area for water to accumulate over, increasing the likelihood of losing traction.
Does Hydroplaning Excuse Fault in a Semi Crash?
No. When hydroplaning is a contributing factor in a crash, it typically does not excuse fault. In the case of semi-trucks, drivers have a duty to exercise caution and adjust their speed for conditions, especially in dangerous weather conditions like rain or sleet.
Fieger Law can help determine if the driver was at fault if you were injured in a truck accident after a semi-truck hydroplaned. We will investigate the circumstances of your accident and help you seek the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Who is Responsible if You are Struck by a Hydroplaning Semi?
If you are in an accident involving a hydroplaning semi-truck, several parties may be liable for your injuries, including the driver of the semi, the trucking company, and even your state’s Department of Transportation (DOT).
The driver of the semi may be responsible if they were driving recklessly, driving too fast for conditions (driving at or even below the speed limit can still be considered speeding in hazardous weather conditions), or failing to maintain proper control of their vehicle. The trucking company may also be liable if they failed to properly maintain the big rig, such as by failing to change worn-out tires or brake pads, or if they forced the driver to operate in unsafe conditions.
If the accident occurred due to a hazardous road design, such as a road that allows water to pool easily without dispersing after rain, the DOT may share responsibility for the accident.
How Fieger Law Can Help
Fieger Law can provide invaluable assistance if you’ve been involved in a hydroplaning accident, including:
- Investigating the accident: A lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the cause(s) and identify all parties liable for your damages. They can do this by gathering evidence like police reports, dash cam video, and smartphone footage, interviewing witnesses, and working with accident reconstruction experts to build a strong case.
- Determining liability: A lawyer can help determine who is responsible for the accident and help you understand the legal issues involved in getting compensation, like comparative negligence.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and time-consuming, especially for claims with potentially substantial payouts like are usually involved in truck accident cases. A lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement to cover your damages.
- Pursuing compensation: A lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can help maximize your financial recovery and protect your legal rights. Because truck crashes often result in severe injuries, victims often are eligible for larger settlements.
- Representing you in court: If you can’t settle with the insurance company, a lawyer can represent you to pursue a legal claim for your damages in court. They can prepare and present a strong case on your behalf.
Seek Compensation for Your Truck Accident Injuries
Even if you are partially liable for a hydroplaning accident, the lawyers at Fieger Law can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Our dedicated legal team represents automotive accident victims in Michigan and across the U.S. and can help you obtain a fair settlement to cover medical costs, lost wages, and non-economic damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.