While only the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda struck southern Texas on September 18-19, the rainfall has still been immense, with parts of the state due to see as much as 40 inches of rain in the next few days. While the heaviest rainfall appears to be targeting areas east of Houston, it is still worth taking precautions to ensure that you are safe in the rain, especially if you wind up having to drive through heavy rainfall. Rain and wet roads can be one of the leading causes of auto accidents, causing injuries that can be very severe.
Take Water on the Road Seriously
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, as many as around 950,000 accidents each year take place on wet pavement, with a smaller percentage of those taking place in flood-like conditions. Drivers simply do not take water on the road as seriously as they should, with many not even slowing their speed, and even those that do slow down may not know certain tips and tricks that can safeguard them and their vehicle. For example, authorities recommend not using cruise control during a rainstorm, as it can actually cause your vehicle to go faster if you hydroplane.
If you have no choice but to drive through water, that is one thing, but many drivers do not adequately evaluate their ability to make it through flooded streets. Authorities generally recommend, for example, to not drive through water where the bottom cannot be seen, and to refrain from ‘off-roading’ lest you damage your vehicle’s undercarriage. However, drivers often ignore these recommendations, then causing issues for either themselves or other drivers they may run into or obstruct.
An Accident During a Flood
It may seem unlikely that accidents would happen during flood conditions, but for the few drivers who are on the road, they can actually be more likely to happen per capita. The environment is exponentially more dangerous, but drivers and property owners do not always take the precautions that they should. Negligence leads to accidents, which leads to injuries, and it can be difficult – especially during a flood – to determine who is potentially liable if anyone (some accidents can be classified as single-vehicle and thus have no defendant to sue).
If you are involved in an accident, you need to be able to establish four things before you are able to recover. You must establish that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to exercise reasonable care and that that duty was then breached. You must also be able to show that the duty of care was breached directly because of the defendant’s conduct, and no other reason. You must also be able to show that you actually suffered an injury – negligence is not an issue if no harm resulted from it. Keep in mind, however, that if you are judged to be partially at fault for your own injuries, it does not bar recovery as long as your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent.
Contact a New Braunfels Auto Accident Lawyer
One can only hope that Imelda will not move further west, but if she does, accidents will happen. If you are involved in an accident in bad weather, you need an attorney who understands just how high stakes these cases can be. The skilled New Braunfels auto accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are happy to try and assist you with your case, offering dedicated and experienced representation. Contact our office today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.