In mere seconds, a reckless driver can cause an accident which may result in numerous lost and ruined lives. In Wisconsin, serious car wrecks occur on an almost-daily basis. In many cases, victims of crashes face months or years of recovery, during which they will accumulate enormous medical bills and lost wages. If this situation sounds familiar, you need the help of a Milwaukee car accident lawyer.
At Urban & Taylor, S.C., our attorneys are equipped to handle your Wisconsin car accident claim—no matter how serious the wreck was. We believe that no one should ever have to suffer physically, financially, or emotionally because another driver was acting negligently or recklessly while behind the wheel. All drivers have a legal responsibility to prioritize safety. When this responsible is neglected, legal action can be taken.
The Facts About Wisconsin Car Accidents
According to data from the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 28,801 Wisconsin car wrecks resulted in injuries during 2014. 498 of those injuries resulted in fatalities. Many of these accidents were unavoidable, but many others were almost assuredly linked to negligent driving. When a driver gets behind the wheel and is distracted, 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 car crash.
Here are some other facts you should be aware of:
U.S. Citizens Have a Legal Right to Fight for Financial Compensation
When a driver is careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent and causes an accident that causes injuries, the injured victim has a legal right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Insurance settlements do not always provide enough coverage to cover the costs of serious injuries or pay for time spent away from work. Filing a lawsuit lets the injured victim get the medical care and time off they need to get back on their feet again while still providing for their family.
Time is of the Essence When Filing a Lawsuit
In the state of Wisconsin, car crash victims have three years to file a lawsuit after the accident occurs. After three years, a claim cannot be filed. This is what’s commonly referred to as a statute of limitations. It’s important to note that statute laws and other car accident laws can differ significantly depending on what state the accident occurs in.
Establishing Liability Quickly is Important
Getting legal help as soon as possible after a car crash is integral. The most difficult aspect of most accident injury lawsuits is the matter of establishing or proving liability or fault. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help accomplish this by gathering the right types of evidence and contacting key witnesses who can help you prove your case.
Successful Lawsuits Require Thorough Documentation
During the process of filing a lawsuit, you’ll need to document and keep track of any information that may potentially benefit your lawsuit. This includes following all suggestions and recommendations offered by your doctors and any hospitals you visit, documenting your medical records as well as the time you’re forced to take off work, and obtaining photographs and witness contacts from the scene of the accident.
Immediately following the aftermath of your crash, be sure to gather as much evidence as possible if you’re considering hiring a lawyer. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene as well as your vehicle, any debris on the road which may have contributed to the accident, and the conditions of the road after the crash.
You will also want to speak to any nearby witnesses who saw the crash occur. If they’re willing to provide testimony for your case, write down their contact information so your lawyer can contact them later. Solid testimony is vital during most car accident lawsuits.
Common Types of Wisconsin Car Accidents
Car accidents in Wisconsin happen for a wide variety of reasons, but some accidents are inherently more dangerous than others. Here are some of the most common types of accidents that occur in our state:
- Pedestrian Accidents – Pedestrian accidents are becoming increasingly common because there are more pedestrians and joggers on Milwaukee streets as well as more motorized vehicles. A pedestrian accident can be caused by a driver who is distracted or fails to see a pedestrian or by a pedestrian who steps out into a crosswalk early or fails to see a car.
- Bicycle Accidents – Many Wisconsin residents are taking the healthy route by commuting to work by bicycle. Cyclists and drivers alike need to be cautious. Drivers, especially, need to watch out for bikers who share the road with larger vehicles and can easily be missed.
- Motorcycle Accidents – When a motorcycle and passenger vehicle get into a collision, the motorcyclist almost always suffers from serious injuries. Like bikes, motorcycles can be difficult to see on a busy street. Drivers must be aware of this fact. Wisconsin motorcyclists also have the same rights as passenger vehicle drivers. Proper right-of-way must be considered at all times.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents – When a vehicle causes any type of crash then leaves the scene of the accident, we call this a hit-and-run accident. Leaving the scene of any type of accident is a federal offense and can lead to criminal charges in addition to any civil charges already in place.
- Head-on Collisions – When a speeding vehicle crashes directly into the front of another car, we call this a head-on collision. Head-on crashes are rare, but can lead to serious injuries or even death.
- Rollover – When a vehicle hits a curb, piece of debris in the road, or another vehicle and flies into the air and rolls over or is turned over from the force of the accident, we call this a rollover accident. These types of accidents can be incredibly dangerous.
- Rear-end Accidents – When a car crashes into the back of a vehicle that’s in front of them, we call this a rear-end accident. These types of crashes are often caused by a driver who is distracted or is driving too fast and unable to stop in time when the traffic in front of them comes to a slow or stop.
- T-bone Accidents – T-bone accidents are common and result when one vehicle crashes into the side of another, forming a “T” shape. These accidents are often caused when one vehicle fails to stop at an intersection or when one vehicle swerves into another.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Wisconsin
Almost an infinite number of situations and circumstances can lead to a possible car accident, but many reasons can be traced back to negligent, reckless, or careless actions or behaviors. Here are some examples of common causes of Wisconsin car accidents:
- Speeding – When a driver controls a vehicle at unsafe speeds, an accident can quickly result when they must slow, turn, or stop. Excessive speeding can also cause a vehicle to spin out of control and cause a crash.
- Distracted Driving – If a driver is distracted by their smartphone, for example, while driving, this may cause an accident. Distractions of all types—from texting and using a smartphone to changing a song on a music playlist, talking to a passenger, eating in the car, or reaching for a dropped object—may cause a driver to lose their sense of focus and become distracted. Distracted driving claimed almost 3,500 lives in the United States in 2015 and is one of the leading causes of car accidents in our nation.
- Drowsy Driving – When a driver gets behind the wheel while drowsy or sleepy, they stand a higher chance of falling asleep while driving or failing to pay attention to their surroundings. Our reaction times slow to a halt when we’re overtired. Statistics state that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- Drunk Driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in the U.S. yet remains one of our nation’s leading causes for car accident fatalities. Every day, 28 people in our country die in an alcohol-related crash. Driving under the influence of drugs is also a major killer.
- Inexperienced Drivers – If a young, inexperienced driver isn’t familiar with the conditions of the road or a driver of any age is new to an area, they are more likely than an experienced driver to cause an accident due to their inexperience. By ensuring teen drivers get the knowledge and experience they need as well as making every effort to drive cautiously when in a new area, we can help avoid accidents caused by inexperience.
- Elderly Drivers – Elderly drivers, unfortunately, are more likely to cause accidents due to their potential slower reaction times and reflexes. Many elderly drivers also have difficulty seeing. Older drivers can help keep others around them safe by ensuring they regularly visit the doctor and take extra precautions when behind the wheel.
- Reckless Drivers – A driver of any age can cause an accident by ignoring the basic laws of traffic, driving recklessly, ignoring traffic signs and/or conditions, or by failing to give other drivers the proper right-of-way.
If you or someone you love was involved in a serious car crash and your feel the accident was caused by one of more factor from the above list, you may be able to file a civil claim against the guilty driver or the insurance company that is offering you an unfair settlement. Doing so may potentially allow your family to receive financial compensation that can go towards recovery costs, loss of wage costs, and more. In addition, filing a civil claim will not interfere with any criminal charges that may be in place.
Finally, filing a lawsuit against the guilty party sends a message that can’t be ignored. Driving recklessly or failing to prioritize safety when behind the wheel isn’t acceptable behavior. We must all behave responsibility when controlling a motorized vehicle. Lawsuits send this vital message loud and clear.
Help from a Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer is Available
If you’re thinking about filing a car wreck claim in Wisconsin, you deserve to know that you and your family’s needs will be taken care of. Urban & Taylor, S.C. is a legal firm dedicated to helping those who have been injured recover from their losses. We can pair you with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer who will do everything they can to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
When you contact our law office, you can rest assured that you will have a tough advocate on your side who you can trust to fight on your behalf in and out of the courtroom. Give us a call today to learn more or receive a free, zero-obligation case consultation.