Wet Road Accidents
Weather conditions can greatly affect the risk of accidents on the road. Snow, freezing rain, and ice can create slick road surfaces that can lead to accidents and serious injuries. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a wet road accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our knowledgeable Schaumburg and Wheaton car accident attorneys have more than 35 years of combined experience and understand how to help establish the fault of a distracted or otherwise careless driver in these cases.Wet Road Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
The United States Department of Transportation has found that 75 percent of weather-related accidents involve wet pavements. Hydroplaning accidents are a common type of these accidents. Hydroplaning takes place when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road. Specifically, the vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road due to a thin layer of water that separates the road’s surface from the threads in the tires. Hydroplaning is extremely dangerous because it compromises a vehicle’s steering or braking power and often causes vehicles to skid. Due to these risks, the National Institute of Health has concluded that driver training programs should focus on the specific dangers associated with wet and slippery road surfaces.
You may think that hydroplaning may be out of a driver’s control, and thus no one would be considered at fault. However, every driver in Illinois owes a duty to others on the road to drive safely, regardless of the weather conditions. This includes the obligation to drive cautiously by adjusting speed and driving behavior, such as increasing braking distance between vehicles when there may be a risk of slipping. Of course, proper vehicle maintenance can also reduce the risk of hydroplaning, since low tire pressure or faulty brakes can make you particularly vulnerable to hydroplaning.
If your wet road accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, your injury attorney can likely recover compensation from that driver through a civil claim. Negligence takes place when a driver fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing injuries or death to another person. To establish negligence, you need to show that the driver owed you a duty of care but failed to properly take the wet road conditions into account and thereby caused the accident. For example, if a driver causes a hydroplaning accident because he or she was following another driver too closely, that driver will likely be considered negligent. This is because a driver using reasonable care would understand the risk of accidents associated with such behavior.
It is important to note that Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system, which relatively apportions fault between the parties to an accident. This means that if a plaintiff is deemed to be partly at fault for an accident, his or her recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, a defendant may be 70 percent at fault for an accident for following a car too closely in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain. In the same case, the plaintiff may be deemed 30 percent at fault for suddenly braking, contributing to the rear vehicle crashing into them. In such a scenario, the plaintiff would be able to take home 70 percent of the total award (the total award minus the plaintiff’s percentage of fault). If a plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault for any accident, however, he or she will be entirely barred from recovering any compensation.Discuss Your Options with a Car Crash Attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Wet road accidents can led to serious and long-term injuries. Understanding what to do after a wet road accident can be confusing, but we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our car accident lawyers are committed to taking the stress out of navigating the legal process by protecting your rights at every step of the way. While we aim to settle each case, we are not afraid to vigorously advocate for your rights in the courtroom as needed. We proudly represent victims in cities such as Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Elk Grove Village. For a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.