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Posted on in Personal Injury

Wisconsin accident attorney, Wisconsin bicycle accident lawyer, Wisconsin injury lawyerBicycle accidents, especially ones involving motor vehicles, can result in serious or life-threatening injuries. In Wisconsin, almost every time a bicyclist is involved in a motor vehicle accident, he or she is likely to suffer injuries. In 2012, over 1,100 bicyclists were involved in accidents, and 1,049 suffered injuries while 11 were killed as a result of the accident. This translates to an average of one bicyclist injured every 8.3 hours. As recently as March 24, 2015, a 22-year-old Sheboygan native was riding his bicycle in the morning when a pickup truck collided with him. He suffered injuries as a result of the accident and died the next day.

Bicyclists and motor vehicle operators are required to obey the rules of the road. Generally, these rules include exercising ordinary care for their own safety and the safety of others. They are also required to obey the traffic laws.

If you were riding your bicycle and suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you should consult a bicycle accident attorney who will assist you in getting the compensation you need and deserve.

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Wisconsin accident attorney, Wisconsin injury lawyer, Wisconsin wrongful death attorneyWrongful death actions arise when the negligence or intentional act of an individual causes the death of another. Wisconsin law outlines who has the right to bring a claim, the time limits within which the wrongful death claim may be brought, and the types of damage that could be recovered under a wrongful death claim.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When death is caused by a wrongful or negligent act, the filing of a civil lawsuit is available only when the deceased person could have pursued the personal injury claim had they still been alive. Usually, the family of the deceased individual or the individual’s estate could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual or legal entity responsible for the death of the family member. It is not unusual after murder trials for the family of the victim to bring a wrongful death action against the murderer, even if the individual was not convicted of murder.

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis accident lawyer, drunk driving accidentsCommercial truck drivers have a demanding job. They face long, lonely hours on the road, and their salary is directly related to how hard they are willing to push themselves to keep driving. Consequently, federal law places a variety of restrictions on how long truck drivers are allowed to stay on the road for, in order to reduce the possibility of truck accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to ignore these restrictions, pushing themselves beyond the legal limits. Even more problematically, worldwide research suggests that many of these drivers rely on illegal substances in order to stave off the fatigue and boredom that comes from that type of driving. Drivers who share the road with these trucks should be sure to keep this type of danger in mind. Common Types of Truck Driver Substance Abuse Truck driver substance abuse falls into two main categories, abuse of depressants and abuse of stimulants. Abuse of depressants involves drivers who are using drugs such as marijuana or alcohol when they are behind the wheel. In fact, truck drivers in the United States had the highest incidence of positive tests for alcohol use; 12.5 percent of drivers tested positive. These sorts of drugs can pose a serious danger to drivers sharing the road with truckers because the alcohol and marijuana can impair a driver's concentration, slow their reaction time, and can even cause truckers to fall asleep behind the wheel. The other type of substance abuse that is common for truck drivers is the abuse of stimulants, drugs like cocaine and amphetamines. Truckers often use these sorts of substances to stave off fatigue and keep driving longer. While the fact that these drugs help keep drivers more alert may seem like a good thing, they come with a host of dangerous side effects. Truck drivers using stimulants behind the wheel may experience dizziness, impaired concentration, altered reaction times, and even hallucinations. Responding to a Truck Accident This prevalence of substance abuse among truck drivers adds an extra dimension to the way in which people should respond to trucking accidents. Acquiring evidence of possible substance abuse during the crash can make it easier to prove fault in the case. People should also be aware of the special laws related to substance abuse that apply to truck drivers. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has placed a lower legal BAC limit on truck drivers. Rather than the ordinary 0.08 percent legal limit, truck drivers are considered intoxicated if their BAC rises above 0.04 percent. Trucking accidents can lead to serious injuries because of commercial trucks' massive size. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, and want to learn more about your rights, contact a skilled Milwaukee personal injury attorney today. Our team of lawyers is here to help you fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve.

 

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee car crash attorneyPersonal injury and traffic accident trials are about assigning fault. The court determines who was at fault in the accident, and then it awards damages to the injured parties. Sometimes this fault determination is simple and straightforward. If a drunk driver runs a red light and crashes into the side of a car that was following the traffic laws, the accident was the drunk driver's fault. However, not every accident is so clear. There are some cases where neither side was driving as carefully as they should have been. In the past, courts would have simply said that no one could recover since any level of carelessness made that accident the fault of both parties. That is no longer true. Now courts invoke the legal doctrine of comparative negligence to determine how to assign fault.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a statutory legal doctrine created by the Wisconsin legislature that instructs judges and juries about how to handle accidents where both sides were being somewhat careless. The idea behind the doctrine is that juries are supposed to determine what portion of the accident each party was responsible for, which is usually expressed in percentages. For instance, one party might be 25 percent responsible for the accident and another party might be 75 percent responsible for the accident. People are then allowed to recover from anyone who was more at fault for the accident than they were.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee car crash attorneyMany people's first experience with the legal system comes by way of a traffic accident. In fact, with over a hundred thousand accidents every year, according to statistics published by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, everyone is likely to be in multiple traffic accidents over the course of their lives. Some people may wonder about what good traffic laws are if there are still so many accidents, but it turns out that, in addition to preventing accidents, traffic laws are also useful during traffic accident lawsuits. This is because an accident victim must show that the person who injured them was “negligent” in order to recover, and showing that someone violated traffic laws is a good way of showing negligence.

What Negligence Means

Negligence is a legal term with a specific meaning, but that specific meaning closely tracks how the word is usually used. Showing someone was negligent means showing that they were not being as careful as they should have been. In order to prove negligence in court, a victim must demonstrate four things, known as the elements of negligence:
  • First, a victim must show that the person who injured them had a duty to be careful. While there are some scenarios where this is in question, drivers on the road almost always have a duty to each other.
  • Second, the victim must show that the defendant “breached” that duty, meaning that they somehow acted carelessly.
  • Third, the victim must show that the careless act caused something to happen, such as a traffic accident.
  • Fourth, the victim must show that they were injured by whatever the defendant's carelessness caused.

Much of the dispute in court will center on whether the defendant was being careless. This is something of a difficult thing to show because the amount of care a person was taking is not something that can be easily measured. However, the violation of traffic laws can often help with this, thanks to a doctrine known as per se negligence.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee car crash attorneyAlthough self-driving cars sound like the stuff of science fiction, they may be closer to becoming a reality than people think. Google has been testing and improving its fleet of autonomous cars for years, and the CEO of Nissan recently predicted that automated cars could be available to consumers by 2020. The rapid development of these vehicles means that they are still operating in something of a legal grey area, and open questions about a variety of issues. One of the most commonly asked of these questions is who bears responsibility in the event of a self-driving car crash.

The Problem

The problem with assigning liability in self-driving car crashes is that there are two potential options, and they both come with their own issues. First, the law could simply hold the owner liable in cases where their self-driving car crashes. However, this does not seem satisfying. After all, the person who owns the car has no control over what it does. It would be similar to a car's owner today loaning their car to someone else and had to bear the responsibility for any accidents that the person may cause.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, personal injury lawsuitThere are many good reasons to wear seat belts. For instance, they limit people's injuries in car accidents, and the law requires people to wear them. Yet, most people do not think about another benefit that comes from wearing seat belts: protection from the “seat belt defense” if the person is involved in a traffic accident. The seat belt defense is a controversial defense raised by the person who caused the accident, and it argues that the victim's damages should be reduced because they were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash. While only 15 states recognize this defense, Wisconsin is one of them, so drivers should be aware of how the defense operates.

The Seat Belt Defense

When one driver causes an accident with another, the driver who caused the accident is allowed to raise certain defenses that reduce the amount that the liable driver would otherwise pay to the victim to cover their injuries. One of these defenses is known as “failure to mitigate damages,” meaning that even though the liable driver was negligent, there were steps that the victim should have taken to reduce the harm that they suffered. If the jury is convinced that the victim had a duty to take those steps, the victim's damages can be reduced in proportion to the amount of harm that they could have prevented on their own.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee car crash attorneyOne of the most difficult things for people to deal with in relation to traffic accidents and verbal statements is the fact what they say early in the process can have powerful impacts later on. People involved in traffic accidents will end up dealing with complex bureaucracies like the police department and insurance companies. People should understand that things they say at the scene of the accident or when talking to insurance companies can be used as evidence against them later in the case. In fact, people can even accidentally settle their claims without meaning to when talking to insurance companies because the law and legal ethics give clients a wide degree of authority to settle their own cases.

What Not to Say to Police

The first place many people make mistakes with regard to saying things they should not is when they are talking to the police after an accident. When people get into a traffic accident, it is important to call the police. This will usually involve an officer coming to the scene and taking statements from both drivers. It is important to be truthful when giving these statements, but it is also important not to volunteer more information than a person has access to.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee taxi cab accident lawyerThe law surrounding any car accident can be complex, but taxi cab accidents can have their own unique legal issues. As a passenger, there are special rules related to the fact that taxi cabs are “common carriers,” which means that they have a higher obligation to keep their passengers safe than ordinary drivers do. As a bystander, such as a driver in another car, there are also unique rules pertaining to cabs because they are commercial, regulated vehicles, rather than just normal cars being driven by private people.

As a Passenger

Taxi cabs owe their passengers special duties because of their common carrier status. The leading legal dictionary defines common carriers as “a commercial enterprise that holds itself out to the public as offering to transport freight or passengers for a fee.” These sorts of enterprises typically include taxi cabs, buses, and railroads among others. Taxi cabs' common carrier status is important because it means that they have an increased duty to protect their passengers from harm.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin car crash lawyer, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyerCar accidents can be confusing events, and people are often unsure of what to do afterward. One of the most challenging parts is selecting the right attorney to handle your car accident case. Yet, insurance industry statistics suggest that people will be involved in between three and four car accidents in the course of their lives. This means that it is important for people to understand how to choose the right car accident attorney for them since a good attorney can make all the difference. The two steps to selecting an attorney are to do research on attorneys beforehand, and to ask questions during the initial consultation before committing to anything.

Things to Research

The first step in finding a good attorney to handle a car accident claim is doing research beforehand. One of the best ways to do research is by talking to friends who have had to go through car accident claims and seeing if they had good experiences with any of their attorneys. Absent that, the internet is a powerful tool for finding out more about attorneys as potential representatives.

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