Hydroplane Car Accidents
Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Serving the Wheaton and Schaumburg Areas
Weather conditions can be an important factor in car crashes. Adverse weather can increase the chances of a collision, which is why it is important to drive even more carefully in these conditions. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident caused by hydroplaning, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our experienced Schaumburg and Wheaton car accident attorneys have the skills and resources needed to protect your rights throughout the legal process. Since hydroplane accidents are often complicated, having the right legal team on your side can make all of the difference in your case.
Understanding the Circumstances Involved in Hydroplane Accidents
Hydroplaning occurs when water causes one or more tires of a vehicle to lose total or partial contact with the road surface. Put another way, hydroplaning takes place when the car tire moves over a wet surface but cannot obtain traction, causing there to be a thin layer of water between the car’s tires and the road. Hydroplaning can cause the driver to lose control of basic vehicle functions like accelerating, steering, and braking, thus leading to serious and even deadly accidents. Hydroplaning can be particularly dangerous within the first few minutes of a rain shower or storm because this is when the water mixes with oils from the road, making the surface extremely slick.
Unfortunately, hydroplaning is more common than you may think. According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of car crashes are weather-related. Of these, wet pavement and rain caused the largest percentage of weather-related accidents. In fact, data show that rain causes nearly 600,000 crashes each year throughout the country, and wet pavement causes nearly a million crashes on an annual basis.
Driving carefully is critical to avoiding an accident in inclement weather. The risk of hydroplaning significantly increases if a driver’s speed is greater than 35 miles per hour. If you have been injured in a hydroplane accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing injuries or death to another person. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent driver would act under the same or similar circumstances. In order to win a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyer has the task of proving each of the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to drive while using reasonable care;
- The defendant breached this duty owed to the plaintiff; and
- The defendant’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the hydroplane accident and the plaintiff’s resulting harm.
Once each of the above elements is established by the greater weight of the evidence, the plaintiff’s attorney likely will be able to recover compensation for his or her losses. Some common examples of these losses include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and more. In Illinois, “pain and suffering” is a legal term for the physical and emotional distress caused by a physical injury. While some states impose limits on these types of damages, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that caps on damages for pain and suffering are unconstitutional, although there are caps on these damages when the lawsuit is against the government itself.
Seek Legal Guidance After a Car Crash in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Hydroplaning can lead to devastating or even deadly injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hydroplane accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled car accident attorneys can analyze the facts of your case and help you protect your rights at every step of the way. We proudly advocate for victims from communities such as Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Elk Grove Village. To find out more about your potential claim, call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is important to act as quickly as possible after your accident.