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Milwaukee car accident lawyers, winter safety tips, winter weather driving, car accidents, personal injury caseAs the winter season begins in earnest, many of us are preparing for snow, ice, and cold weather. Along with having warmer clothing ready and making sure that our homes’ heating systems are in working order, it is also important to be aware of the increased danger of car accidents that drivers face when driving in winter conditions.

Top Causes of Winter Car Accidents

Every year, more than 1,300 people die and more than 116,000 people are injured in car crashes that occur on roads that are snowy, icy, or slushy. These conditions can make roads especially dangerous, and accidents often occur because of:

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis accident lawyer, Wisconsin car crashe lawyerRecently, two individuals suffered non-life threatening injuries as a result of a three-automobile crash. A motorist driving an SUV rear-ended a motorist driving an Econoline Van, who was attempting to turn, causing the van to hit a pick-up truck. All it takes is for one negligent driver to set in motion a chain of events which results in a multi-vehicle accident. Typically, the more vehicles involved in the accident, the more complex the case will be.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in 2013 there were over 118,000 automobile accidents resulting in more than 39,000 injuries and approximately 527 deaths. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that multiple vehicle accidents accounted for nearly half of the automobile deaths that occurred in Wisconsin during 2013.

Factors That Lead to Multi-Vehicle Collisions

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconis wrongful death lawyer, Wisconsin car crashe lawyerAutomobile accidents can be deadly when two automobiles are involved. When pedestrians are involved in automobile accidents, their injuries tend to be serious, and more often than not they lead to death.

Recently, a pedestrian was involved in accident caused by the automobile driver. The pedestrian was crossing the street when the automobile driver fatally hit him. Although these accidents are often devastating, they happen too frequently here in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2012, there were over 118,000 automobile accidents and 1,273 accidents involving pedestrians. As a result of those accidents, over 1,200 pedestrians suffered injuries while another 35 pedestrians were killed.

Traffic and Pedestrian Laws in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin accident attorney, injury liability, Wisconsin injury lawyerOver the last few decades, mediation has become an essential tool in personal injury cases. Litigation can be stressful and time-consuming, and it may lead to expensive attorney’s fees for both parties. In some instances, mediation permits the parties, lawyers and insurance adjusters to reach an agreement without having to file a lawsuit. In most cases, mediation leads to a sensible conclusion for both parties. However, it does not always work, and if it fails early on in your personal injury case, it might be beneficial to try mediation at a later date prior to trial.

Under Wisconsin law, a judge may, in any case, order both parties to participate in a mediation, in an attempt to settle the claims, especially in personal injury cases. Depending on what county in which your personal injury case is filed, or the judge you are in front of, you may be required to participate in mediation prior to setting a trial date. Sometimes, a judge can decide to order mediation in a case, in which case both parties would be required to personally participate.

Basic Overview of Mediation in Personal Injury Cases

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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 attorneyThe advent of text messaging and the rapid spread of smartphones has led to a common problem, texting and driving. People who are texting and driving take their eyes and concentration off the road and that can cause deadly accidents. In response, numerous states have passed laws making it illegal to text and drive; however, these bans are proving challenging for police officers to enforce. In fact, a local Wisconsin news station recently compiled the citation statistics for the four years that the ban has been in place. It turns out that the state police have only issued 229 citations during that entire period.

The Problem with Texting and Driving

The core problem with texting and driving, apart from the fact that it takes people's eyes off the road, is in the way the human brain multitasks. Although the expression “multitasking” is common enough and many people brag about their skill at it, the actual phenomenon itself is something of a myth. People can certainly do multiple things at once, but the brain cannot. Instead, the brain rapidly switches back and forth between the two tasks. At the speed that it does this switching, it seems like multitasking, but the problem is that the constant switching takes a toll on the brain's abilities. What this means for texting and driving is that even when a person is looking at the road, his or her divided attention is preventing him or her from seeing about half of what is going on in his or her visual field. This sort of carelessness can cause accidents, and it is what led the state legislature to pass the texting ban.

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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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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, wrongful death lawsuitWisconsin state officials are celebrating the continued trend of declining traffic accident deaths on Wisconsin roads. In fact, the last time Wisconsin streets saw as few deaths as they did in 2014 the year was 1943. That statistic is particularly impressive given how many fewer drivers there were on the road in the 1940s. In fact, some estimates put the number of drivers in the 1940s as just 10 percent of what they are today. Although a variety of factors may play a role in this trend of decreasing traffic fatalities, much of it appears to be attributable to drivers’ own increased caution and safe driving decisions.

The Statistics

Wisconsin traffic fatalities have been falling over the past two years. 2013 saw only 517 fatalities, and 2014 figures were even lower, registering just 482. In fact, this drop in traffic deaths is part of a larger trend. Other Midwestern states have been seeing similarly declining fatality rates. Traffic safety officials have put forward numerous different explanations for these positive numbers.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee truck accident attorneyWhile there are many dangers present on the road, one of the biggest is the presence of drunk drivers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 10,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2012, which makes them responsible for almost one in every three traffic fatalities. While other drivers cannot keep people from drinking and driving, they can keep themselves safer. It is important for everyone on the road to know how to identify a drunk driver, as well as what to do when they encounter one to avoid a traffic accident.

Identifying a Drunk Driver

Identifying a drunk driver is largely a matter of spotting erratic driving, especially when it occurs late at night. However, there are certain poor driving behaviors that drunk drivers are more likely to engage in as a result of alcohol's specific effects on the body. One of the most common of these sorts of behaviors is making turns that are overly wide. Alcohol affects people's ability to properly judge distances, so they may end up taking up more space when they turn. Similarly, this inability to judge distances, combined with poor reaction time, may result in a drunk driver braking erratically.

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road construction, Wisconsin car crash attorney. Wisconsin injury lawyerPreventing the deadly crashes that lead to personal injury lawsuits is the responsibility of a lot of different parties. Drivers have a duty to use caution whenever they get behind the wheel. Automotive manufacturers are obliged to design and build safe cars for the drivers to use. Even state and local governments play a role, making sure that the roads and bridges are up to proper safety standards.

As a part of that ongoing effort, the Transportation Projects Commission has recently recommended three separate highway projects to the governor and the legislature. These three projects each focus on roads that have accident rates that exceed the national average. All told, the total price tag for the projects would be $670 million.

The Transportation Projects Commission

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