Last month, a quick-thinking man in Aransas Pass, Texas, saved a driver’s life after he saw the man’s vehicle drive off a boat ramp and into the water.
While this hero was able to spring into action, there isn’t always someone on hand to help when a car starts to flood. When this happens, drivers and passengers need to know what to do to keep themselves safe.
Read on to learn what to do if you ever find yourself in a car-flooding situation from our Houston car accident attorneys.
Common Car Flooding Accidents
While auto accidents involving submerged vehicles might not be an everyday occurrence, there is still always the possibility for them to occur — especially in regions with bodies of water or during a heavy storm.
Most obviously, a vehicle can end up underwater if a driver simply drives off a dock or ramp, like in the incident mentioned above. However, drivers can also end up in the water if they lose control while on a bridge.
During heavy rains, drivers may also underestimate the depth of puddles and flooding, leading to submerged vehicles.
Thankfully, one of the most common reasons that cars end up underwater is relatively harmless: drivers forget to put the parking brake on, and their empty vehicle rolls into the water. In these instances, coverage may be available through the vehicle owner’s insurance.
Keep in mind that this sort of coverage is not mandatory in Texas, meaning it may not be included in your policy.
What To Do if Your Car Is Heading for Water
There are few accidents more frightening than those involving drivers and passengers trapped in a sinking or submerged vehicle. Certainly accidents on dry land are stressful and dangerous enough, but once we find ourselves and our vehicle in the water, panic can quickly set in.
If you are in your vehicle when it starts on its way into the water, there are some actions that you should take immediately in order to protect yourself in this potentially deadly situation.
Below, you can find our car accident attorneys’ guide to getting out of a car that’s going underwater.
Protect yourself and your loved ones from one of these horrifying accidents by downloading and sharing our tips for escaping a sinking vehicle.
Seeking Compensation From Your Insurance
In the majority of cases, seeking compensation for flooding accidents will involve contacting your own insurance adjuster. This is because flooding accidents are rarely caused by someone other than the driver or something other than the weather.
However, before you contact your insurance, you may wish to speak to an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
The job of an insurance adjuster is to determine how little compensation the insurance company can give you under your specific policy. Your adjuster is likely to use any excuse available to avoid paying out or to diminish any payout that is made.
Flooding incidents can be particularly difficult to seek insurance coverage for because all kinds of damage may not be included. If you think your insurance company isn’t giving you the coverage you are owed under your policy, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Seeking Compensation From an At-Fault Party
There are still a few instances in which someone else may be held accountable for your flooding incident.
If a roadway isn’t maintained properly, and that poor maintenance results in flooding that isn’t clearly marked, a government agency may be held liable for any submersion car accidents that occur. If a flood zone is insufficiently marked, you may also have a case. Similarly, if a bridge or curve has insufficient guard rails resulting in your vehicle entering a body of water near the road, a government agency could be held partially liable.
Still, proving that another party is to blame for your vehicle flooding is likely to be incredibly difficult.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car flooding incident, reach out to the experienced Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns for help making your case or claim.