Who May Be Liable for a Hydroplaning Accident?

vehicle driving over a large puddle of waterThe rainy season in California officially kicks off in November, which means the chances of being involved in a weather-related car accident may significantly increase. Do you know who may be liable for your damages if you are injured in an accident due to a hydroplaning vehicle?

Our Sacramento auto accident lawyers are prepared to investigate your claim to see who may be liable for your damages if you were the victim of an accident. Our attorneys also stand ready to help you take the necessary legal action to help maximize your compensation.

We do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if you do.


Hydroplaning is a dangerous driving condition in which a vehicle’s tires lose traction and contact with the surface of the roadway. This is generally caused by large amounts of water that gets between the road and your tires. Hydroplaning may sometimes occur with snow as well.

When a vehicle hydroplanes, the driver may feel a jolt and be unable to control the vehicle. This may last for only a moment or an extended period, depending on how much water is on the road and how worn the tires are on a vehicle. Either way, hydroplaning is a scary and dangerous situation to be in due to the lack of control over a vehicle’s steering and speed.


If you are involved in an accident with a vehicle that was hydroplaning, there are several factors that must be considered when determining who is liable for damages.

First, it is important to note that every driver on the road has a duty of care to others. This duty requires that a person respond to a situation the way any other reasonable person would to try and avoid causing injuries or damages to another person or property. Failure to respond in a manner that would prevent or minimize harm given the emergency could result in a breach of duty, which would make a driver guilty of negligence and therefore liable for the damages that result.

Drivers may be held liable for accidents caused by hydroplaning if they failed to drive in a manner that would minimize the risk of hydroplaning, such as speeding.

Liability for your damages may also come down to whether the driver whose vehicle hydroplaned was in safe driving condition. For example, were the tires too worn down and unable to keep traction, resulting in a hydroplaning accident?


A driver may try to deny fault by claiming that extreme weather is the sole cause of the crash and that his or her actions had nothing to do with the accident.

While the liable insurance company may take the driver’s side to avoid paying your damages, it is important to note that the sudden emergency excuse may not apply in a situation where extreme weather is involved. Remember that the sudden emergency defense may only be invoked in unforeseen circumstances, such as a medical emergency. If weather conditions created a dangerous situation, it was the driver’s responsibility to act with reasonable care to prevent an accident.


In some rare circumstances, a driver may not be the responsible party for an accident in which his or her vehicle was hydroplaning.

Instead, a vehicle manufacturer may be liable if there was some sort of mechanical error that led to the vehicle hydroplaning.

Some government municipalities may also be liable if the roadways were not kept up to standards to prevent standing water, which is often one of the leading causes of hydroplaning vehicles.

However rare these other potential circumstances, it is important to look for every legal option that may be available to you to help maximize your compensation. Our attorneys are prepared to help.


There are other factors that may play a role in determining liability, which is why you should strongly consider speaking to one of our licensed attorneys as soon as possible to establish who may be liable for your damages.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim with no obligation to take legal action, so there is no risk to you.

Call us today at (916) 777-7777.