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Middleton Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Reasons car accidents occur

There are many different factors that can contribute to drivers in Wisconsin being in an accident. It is the duty of the claims adjuster for the insurance company and the responsibility of law enforcement to determine the causes of an accident and who should be considered at fault. The police require the information in order to know to whom to issue a ticket. The insurance company has to know who is at fault to determine which party should receive a claims payment and the amount of the payment.

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents and appears to be on the rise due to the prevalence of technology devices that are brought into vehicles or have become standard built-in features of vehicles. Drivers can be distracted by not only DVD players and cellphones but also children in the back seat and trying to eat or drink while driving. Although multi-tasking is considered a valuable skill in some arenas, it has no place behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Staying safe by identifying the risks you face while on the road

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and stressful experience, and unfortunately, a collision can take place at any given moment. While you may seek to avoid a similar outcome by driving defensively and having constant awareness of your surroundings, this might not always be enough.

Even as the safest of drivers, you could be at risk of suffering injury in an accident if you encounter negligent behavior from another driver. Those who exhibit dangerous driving behaviors may inherently increase the chances that an accident will occur, and you might not always be able to spot them in time to steer clear.

Death on subway stairs highlights accessibility issues

Wisconsin parents may have struggled at times to take a stroller down a flight of steps. This was what a woman in a New York City subway station was attempting to do when she fell and died. Like about 75 percent of the city's 472 stations, this one did not have an elevator.

The lack of accessibility in the city's subway systems has been an ongoing issue. In 2017, the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York was the main plaintiff in state and federal lawsuits filed by the national nonprofit legal center Disability Rights Advocates. The lawsuits, which allege that the MTA is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York City Human Rights Law, are ongoing.

BLS releases 2017 workplace fatality report

Companies in Wisconsin and throughout the country have a responsibility to keep their workers safe. While it is perhaps their top priority, many of the same mistakes are made in workplaces every year. The recently released 2017 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows this.

According to the 2017 report, workers were most likely to be killed by moving vehicles. Falls from heights, being struck by falling objects and interacting with electricity were other common reasons why workers were killed in 2017. These have also been common reasons for employee deaths in the past.

New study links infotainment systems with increased distraction

Drivers in Wisconsin who wish for an infotainment system in their vehicle would do well to understand what the drawbacks can be. In a nationwide AAA survey, 70 percent of respondents said they desired new vehicle tech, but only 24 percent felt confident that the tech can work without flaws. New technology is complex, and it can make dashboards unnecessarily complicated for some drivers.

These are not the greatest dangers, however. Infotainment systems, burdened as they are with so many features that are irrelevant to driving, can increase driver inattention. Researchers at the University of Utah studied 30 infotainment systems on 2017 vehicles from automakers like Ford, Dodge, Hyundai, Toyota, Tesla and Audi. All of them demanded a moderate or high level of attention.

Haag honored with WAJ Presidents' Award

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The Wisconsin Association for Justice recognized the contributions of Eric Haag to the legal profession as part of its 2018 Presidents' Dinner and Reception, held on Dec. 7. Haag, a partner at Atterbury, Kammer & Haag, S.C., was honored with the 2018 Presidents' Award, presented by WAJ president Heath Straka. Haag led the list of honorees at the annual gala celebrating outstanding legal accomplishments by Wisconsin attorneys.

Haag handles a range of matters, including personal injury, civil rights, medical malpractice, fire loss and class action claims. As a longtime WAJ member, he has served on the association's Board of Directors and co-chaired its Program Committee. He grew up in Wisconsin and obtained his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1996, going into practice in the state.

Drunk driving fatalities spike as year ends

When you and your loved ones gathered for the holidays, you may have taken time to look back over the past year and judge it as either one you are happy to leave behind or one you will long remember. Holidays often bring out the sentimental part of us, and in the warmth of flickering lights, close friends and festive moments, you may have a hard time remembering the bad times of the past year.

Unfortunately, if you are one of the many in Wisconsin whose holidays were marred by the tragedy of a motor vehicle accident, the days of wistful reminiscing may be gone forever. While you were enjoying a gentle holiday, others were overindulging. Their reckless choices left you struggling with injury or loss.

External air bags and reduced injuries

Drivers in Wisconsin who are concerned about driving safely may be interested to learn that the results from testing conducted by a company that manufactures external air bag may make occupants of vehicles safer. In fact, according to the company's testing data, the use of its external air bags can lower the injury severity of occupants by as much as 40 percent.

The company's external air bags deploy from the sides of vehicles and serve as extra crumple zones when impacts occur. The airbags can be likened to massive pillows that absorb some of the force sustained during side impact crashes.

Tips for safer winter driving

Driving in Wisconsin during the winter months means potentially hazardous conditions and the presence of ice and snow on roadways. The risk of car accidents is increased when winter driving conditions exist, so drivers should take precautions to make sure that they are as safe as possible. There are some technologies, like traction assistance, that might help to keep vehicles under control on icy roads.

Before getting behind the wheel during the winter, it's a good idea for drivers to check the weather report so they know what to expect. A lot of people warm their cars up before they drive in the cold. In order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, people should not let their vehicles run in enclosed areas.

Accidental deaths are the greatest threat to young Americans

People in Wisconsin could be taking their lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel. Accidental injuries of various types are the leading cause of death for Americans up to the age of 44, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, in 2016 alone, 61,749 people in this age group died due to unintentional injury. While there can be a number of contributors to accidental injuries, motor vehicle accidents and poisonings were the most commonly fatal.

However, people can take action to make themselves less vulnerable to accidents and injuries on the road. Each year, over 2 million people are injured and 32,000 killed in car accidents. Driving safely and conscientiously can help to avoid many crashes. This means staying within the speed limit and making sure to drive without distractions or other influences that could lessen reaction times. While drunk driving remains a major threat on American roads, distracted driving is becoming one of the most significant risks to life and safety.

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