Hydroplaned on a Freeway On-ramp...

by Anonymous
(Washington state)

While traveling in the carpool lane getting onto the freeway, I hydroplaned and did a loop with my car. The person in the right hand lane behind me hit my rear end and pit maneuvered me to turn and face oncoming traffic.

My only damage is to my driver's side rear-end corner. Their damage is from right behind the front driver's tire all the way down to the rear tire on the driver's side. Who is at fault here? I hydroplaned due to water in the road but the other driver was behind me and rear-ended me.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hydroplaned on a Freeway On-ramp...":

Anonymous (Washington State):

Before liability can be determined a couple of issues must be factored in. Depending upon your speed, if the driver was a safe distance behind you, you may be liable for the accident. In the alternative, if the other driver was following too closely, she may be liable.

Most insurance companies proceed with determinations of liability under the "rule" stating, "...a car must maintain one car length behind the car in front for every 10 miles per hour the lead car is traveling." Therefore if you were traveling at 50 miles an hour at the time of the crash, the other car should have been 5 car lengths behind.

If the other car was any closer than the one car length behind you for every 10 miles per hour rule it is likely she will be liable for the crash. If she was one car length behind for every 10 miles per hour you were traveling it is more likely you will be liable.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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