If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident in Wisconsin and the crash was caused by a driver or vehicle manufacturer who was reckless, careless, or otherwise negligent, you may feel as though you have few legal options. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. We all have rights under U.S. civil laws that allow us to take legal action when we’re injured due to the wrongdoings of other people, companies, or groups. Our Milwaukee car accident lawyers can fight on your behalf.
When we take legal action, we file an injury claim or lawsuit against the individual or group that made decisions which lead to the crash. Depending on the circumstances of the car accident, a negligent vehicle manufacturer or distributor may be at fault. In other cases, the claim may be against a driver who was speeding, distracted, or driving under the influence. The claim may also be against an insurance company that is trying to get you to sign an unfair settlement.
In any the instances above, an accident attorney can help you and your family potentially receive financial compensation—often referred to as damages—that can go towards medical bills, recovery costs, pain and suffering costs, loss of wage costs, and more. The injury attorneys at Urban & Taylor, S.C. are prepared to do everything we can to help your family find the road to recovery.
Wisconsin Car Accident Statistics
According to data from the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 28,801 car accidents in Wisconsin resulted in injuries during 2014. 498 resulted in fatalities. Even though our vehicles are technologically safer than they’ve ever been, car accidents in Wisconsin continue to be one of the leading causes of injury and hospital visits in the state.
Nationwide, the statistics are even more staggering. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016. This is an increase of 5.6% from 2015.
The data also showed that accident fatalities involving drivers/passengers who did not wear seat belts are on the rise as well as fatalities involving motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. 2016 saw the highest total of both pedestrian and bicyclist deaths in more than 25 years.
When we look at the reasons why these statistics were so high in 2016, one point must be remembered—we have more drivers on U.S. roads than ever before. According to the same statistics, we drove 2.2% more miles in 2016 than in 2015. Despite this fact, we saw 1.18 fatalities per 100 million VMT (vehicle miles of travel)—a 2.6% increase from 2015.
Some of these accidents were unavoidable, but most were almost assuredly linked to negligent driving. When a driver gets behind the wheel and is distracted, is drunk, makes careless decisions, drives too fast, or fails to obey the basic laws of traffic, that driver is potentially one second away from causing a disastrous accident. We call actions that are taken without considering the safety of others ‘negligent’ actions.
Personal injury lawsuits like car accident claims are possible due to the concept of negligence. When bringing a car accident case before a Wisconsin judge or jury, you and your team of injury lawyers will need to prove that negligence in some form occurred—whether it was from the driver, an insurance agency, or a car manufacturer. In the case of a loved one whose life was lost, you’ll file what’s referred to as a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Auto crashes can cause a large variety of injuries and resulting conditions that may require extensive medical care. Surgeries, therapy, amputations, medication, extended hospitalizations, and home care all commonly follow a serious collision.
Some of the most common accident injuries include the following:
- Lacerations, broken bones, abrasions, and fractures
- Bleeding, including internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Amputated limbs
- Electrical burns
- Neck injuries like whiplash
- Head injuries which may lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms and permanent brain damage
- Mental and emotional conditions such as anxiety, severe depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Due to the traumatic nature of car wrecks, symptoms of the above injuries/conditions may not be apparent at the time of an accident. When our bodies undergo a traumatic event like a car accident, endorphins are emitted which may create a feeling of adrenaline. Adrenaline can help us ensure our loved ones are safe and take the actions needed to start the recovery process, but it may also mask pain and exhaustion.
For this reason, it’s common for vehicle accident injury victims to not feel pain or exhaustion for hours or even days following a major collision. Victims should seek medical attention after an accident regardless of their current symptoms or pain levels.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
2016’s road fatality statistics prove that more car accidents are occurring in America than ever, but also that a large percentage of collisions happen due to behaviors that can be prevented.
The above-mentioned data highlighted the following points:
- 10,497 individuals in 2016 died in accidents related to drunk driving (an increase of 1.7% from 2015)
- 10,111 people died in crashes related to speeding (an increase of 4%)
- 3,450 people died in accidents caused by a driver who was distracted (a decrease of 2.2%)
- 803 people died in crashes caused by a driver who was driving while drowsy (a decrease of 3.5%)
While the number of drowsy driver-related accidents and distracted driver crashes both decreased in 2016 in comparison to 2015, the two largest causes of negligence-related accidents saw increases. This is concerning in an era when drivers are constantly assaulted with information and warnings regarding the dangers of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.
The most common causes of car accidents include the following:
- Drunk Driving: We all know that getting behind the wheel after drinking is dangerous, but drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of car accident fatalities in our nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that almost 29 people every day die in crashes related to drunk driving. That’s one fatality every 50 minutes every day.
- Distracted Driving: Whether a driver is distracted by a phone call, a text, a social media ping on a smartphone, a conversation with a friend in the passenger seat, a burger they’re eating, or the GPS monitor on a dashboard, distractions can and do cause innocent people to die every day.
- Drowsy Driving: We’ve all gotten behind the wheel when tired, but when we’re exhausted enough to fall asleep while driving, we pose a danger to ourselves and everyone around us. Statistics from the National Sleep Foundation show that driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
- Speeding: As mentioned above, speeding was one of the leading causes of car accident deaths in our nation in 2016. Speeding or otherwise driving recklessly makes it more difficult to stop or slow in time to avoid potential accidents. Those extra few minutes you save by speeding are not worth the risk.
- Defective Vehicles or Parts: Car manufacturers sometimes try and cut corners when designing a new car or new parts. If your vehicle caused an accident or caused injury during a crash (in the case of airbags, for example), it may be possible that the vehicle or a part was defective or improperly designed. In this was the case, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that may have been caused by any of the above factors, it’s possible that negligence caused your collision. If so, you may be able to file a Wisconsin car accident claim with the help of our legal team.
Get Help From Our Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyers
Filing an injury lawsuit against a driver who acted negligently and caused an accident or the manufacturer of a defective vehicle may award your family with much-needed compensation as well as send a message that can’t be ignored. This message states that highway and roadway safety must be prioritized in the state of Wisconsin and everywhere throughout the United States. Negligent actions or decisions shouldn’t be tolerated. We all have a duty to keep others safe.
The Milwaukee car accident attorneys at Urban & Taylor, S.C. are committed to sending that message and bringing your family peace of mind. We’re ready to fight on your behalf and do what we can to help you recover. To learn more, get in touch today.