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330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee accident lawyerThe use of cell phones and other types of handheld electronic devices has grown significantly over the last couple of decades, and it is likely to continue to increase in the future. The dangers of using electronic devices while driving has become well-known, and to prevent car accidents, talking on cell phones or texting while driving has been discouraged. Many states, including Wisconsin, have passed laws prohibiting drivers from using handheld devices while behind the wheel. However, drivers are still allowed to use hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets or speaker systems that connect with their phones. While these types of devices are often seen as safe ways to make phone calls while driving, they may also contribute to dangerous motor vehicle accidents.

Are Hands-Free Devices Safer Than Handheld Devices?

Distracted driving can involve three components: visual distractions in which a person is not looking at the road, manual distractions in which a person uses their hands for tasks other than driving, and cognitive distractions in which a person pays attention to non-driving conversations or activities. While hands-free devices can reduce manual distractions and visual distractions (although a person may still need to look at and touch a phone to make and receive calls), cognitive distractions will still be present while a driver is carrying on a conversation with someone.

The false sense of security provided by hands-free devices is based on the myth of multitasking. While many people believe that they can complete multiple tasks at once, putting one’s attention toward one task will reduce the amount of mental energy used for other tasks. By taking part of their attention away from driving, drivers become more likely to miss important details, and they may be unable to react in time to the sudden movements of vehicles or pedestrians and take action to avoid a collision. In fact, research shows that a person’s field of vision narrows by as much as 50% while they are talking on the phone, and this greatly increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident.

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Milwaukee personal injury law firmMilwaukee, WI drunk driving accident attorney for third party liabilityBy Attorney Christopher Strohbehn and Law Student Quron Payne

The simple answer to this question is “yes”.  Alcohol or drug use can have a huge impact on a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. While the dangers of driving while under the influence are well-known, many people still do so. This can lead to dangerous car accidents. While a drunk driver may be held liable for injuries inflicted in these types of accidents, victims may wonder whether other parties may also be civilly or criminally liable. The answer to this inquiry is “it depends.” 

Social Host Liability Laws in Wisconsin

“Social hosts” are people who serve alcohol to others, either in their home, at a venue or other place, e.g., at a work or office party.   

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Milwaukee personal injury law firmMilwaukee, WI rollover car crash lawyersBy Attorney Christopher L. Strohbehn and Paralegal Ruth M. Campos

Rollover accidents can happen for a number of different reasons, and injuries suffered by vehicle occupants are often severe. Though vehicle safety features are continuing to improve in order to better protect drivers and passengers, the force of multiple impacts is still capable of injuring nearly every part of the body, potentially resulting in high medical bills and a long, difficult recovery process. If you have suffered serious injuries in a rollover car crash, it is important to determine whether you can pursue compensation from a negligent party.

Rollover Injuries Vary in Nature and Severity

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other research organizations have studied rollover accidents extensively over time in order to better understand their outcomes and promote measures to mitigate injuries. Through their research, they have determined that certain types of injuries are more common depending on the characteristics of the crash. Some of the most frequently occurring injuries include:

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Milwaukee, WI car accident lawyer for hit-and-run injuriesRecovering fair compensation for car accident injuries is often challenging, as negligent drivers may attempt to deny their fault, and insurance companies may seek to keep payouts to a minimum. Hit-and-run accidents add another layer to these challenges, making it difficult to know whom you can even file a claim against. However, with the help of a personal injury attorney, you can better understand your options and determine the course of action that is most likely to lead to a favorable result.

Identify the At-Fault Driver

One option for recovering compensation after a hit-and-run accident is to work with law enforcement and your attorney to investigate, identify, and locate the driver who fled the scene. You should be sure to call the police as soon as possible after the crash and give them any information you can that may help them find the driver, including a description of the vehicle or the driver’s appearance, the direction in which you saw them leave, and anything you can remember of a license plate number. Your attorney can also help you collect statements from witnesses and determine whether the driver may have been caught on camera.

Leaving the scene of an accident, especially one resulting in injury, without stopping to assist and identify oneself is a criminal offense in Wisconsin, so law enforcement is often motivated to find the offender and make an arrest. Once the driver is identified, your attorney can help you file a personal injury claim for economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, a hit-and-run offense could also justify punitive damages.

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Milwaukee, WI rear-end accident lawyer for tailgatingTailgating, or following another vehicle at an unsafe distance, has been an unfortunately common occurrence on the road for decades. Whether it is due to a driver’s inexperience, carelessness, or aggressive behavior, the results can be dangerous, especially when it is coupled with other risky actions. If you have been injured in a car accident involving tailgating, an attorney can help you recover full compensation for your injuries and damages.

The Dangers of Following Too Closely

Perhaps the most obvious risk of following another vehicle too closely is the potential for causing a rear-end collision. Cars traveling at high speeds can take several seconds and hundreds of feet to come to a complete stop even in ideal conditions, and tailgating reduces the time that a driver has to stop before a collision becomes likely. Following too closely becomes even more dangerous when combined with certain other factors, including:

  • Distracted driving - Checking a phone, adjusting vehicle controls, or attending to people and objects inside and outside of the vehicle can significantly delay a driver’s reaction time when it is necessary to slow down or stop. When a distracted driver is already tailgating, they will have even less time to adjust to avoid a crash.
  • Inclement weather - Weather conditions like rain, snow, and fog that decrease visibility and traction on the road’s surface typically require drivers to leave even more space between vehicles, because safely reacting and braking can take longer. What may be a safe distance in normal weather could essentially become tailgating in adverse conditions.
  • Heavy traffic - Tailgating tends to become more common when roads become more congested. In heavy traffic conditions, a tailgating driver not only risks colliding with and injuring the driver in front of them, but also causing a chain reaction accident that affects a number of other people on the road.

Tailgating and Aggressive Driving

According to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and other sources, tailgating often goes hand in hand with other aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, illegal and unsafe lane changes, or attempting to block other drivers from changing lanes. In some cases, a tailgating driver may engage in acts of road rage, which creates an additional risk of harm for other drivers.

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