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Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee, WI auto accident lawyer for winter driver negligenceBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

During the winter in Wisconsin, snow and ice can make driving more difficult and dangerous on any roadway. However, bridges and overpasses are often some of the most dangerous locations. Milwaukee has recently seen a clear example of this in the form of an accident in which a driver lost control on a snowy overpass and fell more than 70 feet to the road below. Fortunately, the driver survived, and no other people were injured, but if you are injured in a car accident on an icy bridge, it is important for you to understand whether you can obtain compensation.

Why Are Bridges Dangerous in Winter?

Ice tends to accumulate quickly on bridges, overpasses, and other elevated roadways whenever there is winter precipitation, including snow, sleet, and even rain. This happens for a couple of reasons. First, these surfaces are raised away from the ground, removing them from sources of heat that can help to melt ice on roadways at ground level. Second, cold air travels across both the top and bottom of a bridge or overpass, and this can cool any moisture and cause it to freeze.

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Milwaukee, WI winter car accident lawyerBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Each year, winter weather conditions such as snow and ice are responsible for around 50,000 car accidents, 5,000 injuries, and 45 fatalities statewide, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Many of these are single-vehicle accidents related to the increased difficulty of keeping a car under control. However, a good number of these crashes involve multiple vehicles, and when this is the case, driver negligence can still be a factor. If you are injured in a crash with another driver during dangerous weather conditions, an attorney can help you understand your options regarding a personal injury claim.

The Importance of Driving Safely in the Winter

In Wisconsin, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and consideration for the safety of others on the road. This applies even when winter weather conditions make driving inherently more dangerous, which means that anyone who drives in these hazardous conditions needs to take extra precautions.

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Milwaukee, WI drunk driving accident attorneyIn addition to being a criminal offense in Wisconsin, driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the clearest examples of negligence that can justify compensation in a civil personal injury lawsuit. Drunk driving can happen especially often during the holidays. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident with a drunk driver, your injuries may be severe, and an attorney can help you take the necessary steps to recover compensation for your losses.

What Makes Drunk Driving Dangerous?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol impairs a driver’s physical and mental abilities in many ways, and the effects increase as more drinks are consumed. Among other things, alcohol affects:

  • Judgment
  • Alertness
  • Focus and concentration
  • Visual functions
  • Balance
  • Coordination and control
  • Reaction time
  • Memory and information processing

Clearly, getting behind the wheel while your mind and body are in this impaired state demonstrates a disregard for the safety of others on the road. When this breach of a driver’s duty of care causes a car accident and injuries resulting in economic and non-economic damages, the driver can be considered negligent, and therefore liable.

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Milwaukee car accident attorney for distracted drivingDistracted driving is a major issue throughout the United States, contributing to more than 400,000 injuries and almost 3,000 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Wisconsin alone, distracted driving is a factor in over 24,000 annual car accidents, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all crashes. If you are injured by a distracted driver, understanding some of the common causes of distracted driving may help you make the case for the driver’s negligence.

What Behaviors Lead to Distracted Driving?

A variety of different behaviors can occupy a driver’s eyes, hands, or mental processes in a way that prevents them from fully attending to the task of driving and increases the risk of an accident. Some of the most common issues include:

  1. Using a cell phone. Phones and other mobile devices are perhaps the most well-known cause of distracted driving. Texting while driving is illegal in Wisconsin, but any form of handheld cell phone use can also be dangerous.
  2. Adjusting vehicle controls. Attending to the radio, GPS system, air and temperature controls, or any number of other features included in newer vehicles can remove a driver’s focus from the road for enough time to cause an accident.
  3. Interacting with passengers. Talking to a passenger or checking on a child in the back seat may also affect a driver’s ability to attend to the road. This can be a significant issue for younger drivers and their peer passengers or for parents driving with children.
  4. Eating or performing other handheld tasks. Eating, drinking, personal grooming, and reaching for objects in the vehicle can occupy a driver’s hands in a way that may prevent them from driving to the best of their ability, and these behaviors can sometimes take a driver’s eyes off of the road as well.
  5. Looking at objects outside the vehicle. “Rubbernecking” at the scene of an accident, admiring an animal or roadside attraction, or otherwise paying too much attention to external objects can negatively impact a driver’s attentiveness to traffic, pedestrians, or obstacles in the road.

Personal Injury Claims Involving Distracted Drivers

Drivers who succumb to distractions can be considered negligent if the distraction causes an accident that results in injuries to another person. This means that if you are injured, you have the ability to pursue compensation from the distracted driver. Your attorney can help you collect evidence and witness testimony that may demonstrate the driver’s distraction and strengthen your case for receiving compensation for your injuries.

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Milwaukee car accident law firmMilwaukee, WI personal injury attorney for car accidentsBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn and Litigation Paralegal Ruth Campos

If you are injured in an accident, you may understandably be preoccupied with your pain and the need for medical attention in the immediate aftermath. However, when you see the medical bills for your necessary treatment, your concern may quickly shift to your ability to pay. At this point, it is important to identify who was at fault for the accident to determine whether it is possible to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit that can get you the compensation you need to cover your expenses.

When Is a Driver Liable for an Accident in Wisconsin?

Accident liability is determined by a driver’s negligence. In order to obtain compensation through a lawsuit, you will likely need to demonstrate that another driver in the accident acted carelessly or dangerously, violating his or her duty of care to you and causing the accident that led to your injuries.

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