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Middleton Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Obeying Wisconsin seat belt law could prevent fatal injuries

Wisconsin has one of the nation's strictest seat belt laws, and road safety advocates have urged lawmakers in other parts of the country to follow the Badger State's example. All passenger vehicle occupants in Wisconsin must fasten their seat belts, and the results of a study published recently in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reveals that taking this safety precaution could prevent them from suffering potentially fatal liver injuries in a crash.

The researchers studied motor vehicle accident statistics gathered between 2010 and 2015 from the National Trauma Data Bank, and they discovered that accident victims who suffered severe liver injuries died almost twice as often as those who suffered moderate or minor liver injuries. They also found that vehicle occupants who were properly restrained were far less likely to suffer a serious liver injury. The researchers say that this is a key discovery because the liver is one of the organs most often injured in car accidents and cannot be removed by surgeons.

Could a third party be liable for your car accident?

A car accident can change your life and leave you with injuries that affect you and your family for years to come. You know it is important to fight for the full and fair recovery you deserve, but you might be unsure how to do this. If you are the victim of the reckless and dangerous actions of another driver in Wisconsin, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

Seeking legal recourse through a civil claim is not an option for everyone, but you would be wise to take steps to fully understand all of your options after a serious accident. While the other driver could be to blame for the injuries and losses you experienced, it is also possible a third party shares liability. An evaluation of your case can help you understand your options.

Distracted driving varies by state

Using a cell phone while in a moving vehicle could be considered a form of distracted driving. Those in Wisconsin use their phones on 36 percent of all car trips in 2017, which is below the national median phone use rate. Drivers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama used their phones during 47, 45 and 44 percent of car trips in 2017, which was the highest in the United States.

This data was obtained by reviewing the habits of 300,000 users of a safe driving app called Everdrive. In 2015, there were 3,477 fatalities related to distracted driving in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There were also 391,000 injuries because of distracted driving during that year. It is important to point out that there are many types of dangerous driving, many of which do not involve phone use. The NHTSA data included all instances of distracted driving such a eating while a car was moving.

Daydreaming a bigger problem than cellphones, study says

Wisconsin motorists might be cautious about using their cellphone while they are driving, but according to one study, a greater danger may come from drivers who daydream instead of keeping their thoughts and eyes on the road ahead. Erie Insurance looked at national data for fatalities over five years and found that more accidents in which distracted driving was a factor involved daydreaming than cellphones.

Of the 172,000 fatalities, roughly 10 percent happened because of distracted driving. In 61 percent of those cases, at least one driver was daydreaming. Cellphones were in second place but were the cause of a much smaller percentage of distracted driving deaths at 14 percent.

The dangers of distracted driving

Wisconsin motorists may be interested to learn that a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that nearly half of the participants reported bad driving behavior. Even so, more than half of the participants viewed talking on a phone while driving as being a major threat while 78 percent viewed texting while driving as dangerous as well.

The survey collected data from more than 2,600 drivers who were 16 and older. All of the participants had reported that they had driven a vehicle in the past 30 days prior to taking the survey. When asked about dangerous behaviors they participated in when driving, about half of the participants reported that they talked on a cellphone. About 45 percent reported that they read texts or emails while driving while 35 percent reported that they actually sent texts or emails while behind the wheel.

Record Recovery of $18.9 Million for Severely Brain Injured Girl

Our firm recovered a record breaking settlement on behalf of a client injured while under the care of state employees. While at Copper Lake School for Girls in Irma, Wisconsin, the client suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury. Staff failed to intervene in a timely manner allowing the preventable injury to occur.

Drunk drivers often do these 4 things

As a conscientious driver in Wisconsin, you no doubt try to be as aware of your surroundings as possible when you drive. However, you certainly aren't responsible for monitoring every action of every other motorist on the road. In fact, your main job is to focus on your own driving, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.

So what happens if someone operating another vehicle near you is intoxicated while driving? What if you notice suspicious driving behavior but can't react in time to avoid collision? If a drunk driver causes you injury, there's no reason you should be left holding the bag when it comes time to pay medical bills and other expenses associated with your accident.

Questions about the bridge collapse demand answers

Many Wisconsin residents were horrified to learn about the pedestrian bridge collapse that happened in Florida on March 15. The collapse occurred in Miami, Florida, crushing eight cars and killing six people just five days after the bridge had been installed.

The collapse is raising several questions. The bridge was still undergoing stress tests, leading people to wonder why the street was not closed and vehicles were able to drive underneath it before the testing was finished. It is unclear if the stress test that was performed earlier that day contributed to the collapse.

Safety tips to avoid power take-off injuries

Power take-off injuries are common on farms. The invention of the power take-off (PTO) shaft revolutionized the farming industry in the 1930s and is still widely used today. It efficiently transfers power between a farm tractor and its associated implements by rotating rapidly—up to nine times per second.

While PTO technology dramatically reduces the amount of man power required to conduct farm work, it nonetheless poses an extreme entanglement hazard. Clothing, hair, and limbs that get caught in the PTO shaft often result in severe injury or even death. In fact, PTO accidents are one of the leading causes of farm accidents.

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