Auto Insurance Facts and Statistics

The Insurance Information Institute collects all kinds of data regarding auto insurance throughout the country. For instance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average costs of carrying auto insurance in 2013 was $841.23, which is an increase from recent years, but no higher than insurance premiums were in 2004. These figures indicate that premiums for maintaining insurance have remained relatively steady over the years, although there are always some variations based upon the make, model, and age of the insured vehicle and the age, sex, and driving history of the insured driver. Wisconsin has one of the lowest average auto insurance rates in the country, which is $621.05. This average cost is higher than only four other states, which are Indiana, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

At a minimum, Wisconsin residents are required to carry liability insurance on their vehicles. The required liability insurance must include at least $25,000 for one person who sustains injuries in an accident, as well as at least $50,000 for multiple people who sustain injuries in an accident, and $10,000 for property damage that occurs in an accident. Despite these legal requirements, however, many drivers still fail to carry insurance with the required coverage, or to carry insurance at all. In these situations, however, your own insurance policy is likely to cover the bulk of your damages, as underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage often will be a part of your regular coverage.

Dealing with insurance companies following an accident can be frustrating, and may be even more so when the other driver has very limited insurance coverage or no insurance at all. The Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan know that the aftermath of an accident can be very traumatic and difficult for you and your family. Recovering from your injuries can be stressful, emotional, painful, and financially draining for you, and we are here to make it easier on you and your family. If you allow us to take some of the burden of this situation from you and your family by allowing us to handle your personal injury claim, you will have more time and energy to focus on recovering from the injuries that you have suffered. As skilled Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, our goal is to represent your interests from a legal perspective, while you work on getting better.











Is There Anything I Can Do if the Insurance Company for the Driver Who Caused My Accident is Being Unreasonable?

When you are involved in a car accident and suffer injuries and property damage as a result, you may be entitled to compensation from the other driver through his or her insurance company, provided that the driver acted negligently or was responsible for causing the accident in some way. You should expect that an insurance adjustor from the other driver’s insurance company will contact you relatively quickly following the accident, or may even come to visit you in person.

You must understand that the goal of the insurance adjuster is to settle as many claims as quickly and cheaply as possible on behalf of the insurance company. The adjuster typically will have the authority from the company to settle your claim for a particular amount. He or she is likely to offer you an amount of money fairly quickly, or even give you a small sum of money immediately so that you can take care of any essential accident-related expenses. If you balk at the amount of money that the adjuster is offering, however, the adjuster will do everything in his or her power to change your mind and accept the amount of money that is being offered to you.

Your recourse for dealing with an insurance adjuster is to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney who can handle the negotiations with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Taking this step will remove a great deal of pressure from your shoulders, and allow you focus on other issues, such as getting medical treatment and car repairs. Additionally, an attorney may be able to get farther along in the negotiations process than you did. Furthermore, if the results of negotiations with the insurance adjuster are still unsatisfactory to you, your attorney can file a formal personal injury lawsuit in court in order to obtain a larger payout on your claim.

The skilled Wisconsin motor vehicle accident attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash. We know how great your damages may be, and how difficult your recovery may be for both you and your family. Allow us to look into the facts surrounding your accident, evaluate the situation, and consider the availability of any claims that you may have for damages. The determination of fault is not always easy, but we know how to best present your personal injury claim based on the strongest theory of fault available in your case. Call our office today in order to schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claims for damages that you may have, and see how we can help you.





How Important is It to Take Pictures at the Scene of an Accident?

The most important thing to do first following an accident is call 911 for emergency medical services if you or anyone at the scene has suffered any type of injury. This should always be your priority, even ahead of gathering evidence about a potential personal injury claim or getting contact and insurance information from the other driver. Taking care of any medical needs that exist should always come first.

Nonetheless, if you are not injured or have suffered only minor injuries, it is helpful to get as much information about the accident as possible, including pictures of the scene and any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident. Make sure that it is safe for you to take pictures of the scene. For instance, if taking good pictures would require you to walk into the center of a busy highway, then you should probably skip the photography and focus on obtaining other sorts of evidence.

Pictures of an accident scene can be instrumental in helping insurance adjusters or jury members understand what exactly occurred during your accident. A picture showing damages to a vehicle involved in a collision is likely to leave more of a lasting impression on a person than a mere description of the damages. Pictures also are useful when causation of the accident is a factor. The relative positions of the vehicles following a crash, as well as the surroundings of the accident scene, can help a jury decide which driver was at fault for the accident. Likewise, pictures can show weather conditions, time of day, and lighting in the area, all of which may contribute to an accident.

At Boller & Vaughan, we are experienced Madison personal injury lawyers who know Wisconsin personal injury law and how to best advocate on your behalf in any personal injury claim that you might have. If you or a family member is involved in any type of car accident that results in injuries, you need to call our office today and learn how our attorneys can help you and your family recover from your damages through holding a negligent driver accountable for his or her actions.




Am I Responsible if I Let Someone Borrow My Car and He Causes an Accident?

As a general rule, so long as you gave permission for the individual to borrow your car to drive, and he or she did so pursuant to you giving permission, your insurance policy will cover damages that result from an accident. However, any vehicle insurance policy that the driver of your vehicle has also may cover some of the losses on a secondary basis, especially if your policy is maxed to the limits by the damages from the accident. The downside to this situation, of course, is that any accident or insurance payout is likely to be placed on your insurance record, which can result in a substantial increase in your insurance policy premiums.

Whether an individual had permission to drive your case is not always as clear-cut as it might first seem. Common situations in which another person might have to consent to drive your car include a babysitter driving your kids to school or to the park, or your sister-in-law borrowing your car for a few days while she is getting her own vehicle repaired. However, if a friend simply borrows your car without your knowledge on a particular occasion, even if he has done some regularly in the past, there may be a question as to whether you have any liability for any accidents that result.

The amount and quality of the insurance coverage that you have available also is a factor that determines your responsibility for an accident that occurs when another driver crashes your car. For instance, if the driver is uninsured, you may face additional liability under your own car insurance policy. If your policy places certain limits on personal property damage and bodily injury damages, then you could be personally liable for any expenses of a car accident victim that exceed your policy limits.

Personal injury law can be complex, and the outcome of personal injury claims can be extremely fact-specific. As a result, you will need the legal advice and guidance of experienced Madison personal injury attorneys in order to make certain decisions about your potential claim. For more information about whether a personal injury claim is an option for you, based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.











Are Punitive Damages Available in Wisconsin Personal Injury Cases?

There are several different types of damages, or kinds of compensation, that are potentially available to personal injury accident victims. Whether you are entitled to a particular type of damages depends largely on the circumstances of your case. Punitive damages are available in some kinds of personal injury cases, but not in the vast majority of regular personal injury cases.

Most damages or forms of compensation that are available in personal injury cases are designed to make the victim of the accident whole, or to compensate him or her for the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. However, punitive damages are not about making the victim whole. Rather, the goal of punitive damages is to literally to punish the wrongdoer for his or her actions, and to deter similar actions in the future.

Generally, the wrongdoer’s actions must be particularly reprehensible in some way in order to merit an award of punitive damages. In other words, the defendant must have acted maliciously toward you or in a way that intentionally disregarded your rights. Malicious actions might include acting with ill will, hatred, or a desire for revenge against you.

If your situation involves a potential claim for punitive damages, Wisconsin law places a cap on the amount of punitive damages that may be available to you, which is directly to linked to the amount of compensatory damages to which you are entitled. In many cases, the available punitive damages are capped at either $200,000 or twice the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

All too often, negligent driving behavior results in motor vehicle crashes that cause serious injuries to you and your loved ones. If this is the case, you may be entitled to damages pursuant to a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. In order to determine your eligibility for a valid personal injury claim, you should contact Boller & Vaughan today by calling (608) 268-0268 or going online at You can set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, and learn what we can do to help you with any potential claims that you may have.




The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that drowsy driving is a serious problem on roadways throughout the United States. The dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness can and does easily result in injuries or deaths from motor vehicle accidents. Whether it is the result of insomnia, lack of consistent sleep patterns, a sleep disorder, certain medications, or drinking alcohol, driving while drowsy can have a great impact on you and your passengers, as well as the drivers and occupants of other vehicles on the road.

One study showed that one of every 25 drivers admitted to having fallen asleep while driving over the past 30 days. However, even if a driver does not actually fall asleep, drowsiness lessens a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road, slows a driver’s reaction time in terms of braking or slowing down suddenly, and affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions overall while driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving caused about 72,000 crashes in 2013, which resulted in 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. However, data shows that many drowsy driving-related accidents go unreported, which suggests that as many 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be attributable to drowsy driving.

Some individuals who are particular risk for drowsy driving include over-the-road truck drivers, swing-shift workers, commercial bus and tow truck drivers, drivers who use certain medications, and drivers who simply do not get enough sleep. Additionally, drivers who got less than six hours of sleep or who snored were more likely to report falling asleep while driving.

When drowsy driving or other negligent behavior causes a motor vehicle crash resulting in serious injuries to you or a loved one, the impact can be immeasurable. Although some accidents are just that – accidents – others are caused by the negligence of another, such as a drowsy, inattentive, or distracted driver. If you or a family member is in this situation, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Call Boller & Vaughan for an appointment, and learn how our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys stand ready to advocate on your behalf.






Does Wearing a Seatbelt Really Protect Me?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of one and 54. Although studies show that the regular usage of seat belts is an effective way to minimize injuries and save lives in car accidents, many individuals still choose to drive or ride in vehicles without using seatbelts. In most cases, seatbelt usage can reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. When combined with air bag features in vehicles, wearing seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to avoid injury if you are involved in a car crash.

Seatbelt usage in the state of Wisconsin continues to lag behind the rate of nationwide seatbelt usage. Whereas about 86% of drivers and front seat passenger nationwide use seatbelts, only about 80% of Wisconsin residents do so. Research has found that seatbelts work to reduce or prevent injuries to motor vehicle occupants in a number of different ways:

  • Seatbelts keep the occupants inside the vehicle when a crash occurs.
  • Seatbelts restrain the strongest parts of the body.
  • Seatbelts spread out any force from a collision.
  • Seatbelts help the body to slow down in the case of a crash.
  • Seatbelts help protect you from brain and spinal cord injuries.

Despite the fact that motor vehicle accidents still result in deaths and injuries to occupants, the National Safety Council reports that seatbelt usage has been a major factor in the overall reduction of motor vehicle fatalities over the last several decades.

Seatbelts are an important safety feature that all drivers and passengers in any type of vehicle should use on a routine basis whenever entering a vehicle. However, sadly, seatbelts are sometimes not enough to prevent the occupants of vehicles from suffering serious injuries or even death in vehicle accidents. Fortunately, the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan handle personal injury cases on a daily basis, and we know how gather evidence and present your claim in a way that is best designed to get you the compensation that you and your family needs and deserves. Don’t hesitate to take the first step and call our office today in order to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Wisconsin auto accident lawyers.





2016 Fatal Car Accident Statistics in Wisconsin

Despite significant efforts made to improve safety in vehicles, drivers’ behaviors, and roadways nationwide, fatal accidents still occur throughout the United States on a relatively frequent basis, and fatalities from car accidents remain unacceptably high. In 2014 alone, there were 460 fatal crashes in the state of Wisconsin, resulting in a total of 507 deaths. This figure represents 8.8 deaths per 100,000 Wisconsin residents.

According to statistics provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, 46% of the fatally injured car crash victims in Wisconsin were occupants of a car, while 26% were occupants of a SUV or pickup, 2% were occupants of a large truck, 13% were motorcyclists, 9% were pedestrians, and 1% consisted of bicyclists. Oddly enough, 45% of these fatally injured occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, and 44% were not wearing their seatbelts, facts which suggest that seatbelts are not sufficient to protect vehicle occupants from death or serious injuries in some situations. This data shows that regardless of the safety features available in cars, SUVs, and pickups, including air bags, seatbelts, and the protective structure of a vehicle frame, traffic-related fatalities still continue to occur at an alarming rate.

Other data reveals that 54% of fatal crashes were single-car accidents, whereas 46% involved multiple-vehicle accidents. Of the 265 drivers killed in fatal car accidents in 2014, 33% of those drivers had blood alcohol content measuring more than the legal limit of 0.08%. In the state of Wisconsin, 67% of fatal car accidents occurred in rural areas, where only 33% occurred in urban areas.

All too often here at Boller & Vaughan, we see the devastating aftermath of traffic accidents that resulted in serious or even fatal injuries to our clients. We know how hard these situations are, and how difficult it is to think about legalities when you find yourself in this situation. At our law firm, you will find the Wisconsin traffic accident lawyers to whom you always can turn in this type of situation. While you focus on your recovery and healing, we are here to focus on holding negligent drivers responsible for the injuries that they cause to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Contact the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan today and talk to us about your case for free.

Can I Sue if I Am Hit and Injured by a Drunk Driver?

Statistics indicate that about three out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related vehicle crash at some point throughout their lives. Therefore, you should have at least some knowledge about your rights in the event that you suffer injuries in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Any drunk driver who is involved in an accident undoubtedly will face criminal charges and penalties that law enforcement officials and the criminal justice system will handle. However, a drunk driver also may have civil liability under Wisconsin law if he or she caused a crash that caused you injuries. Pursuing compensation from the drunk driver for your injuries, however, is a multi-step process.

The first step is for you to file a formal claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company. If the drunk driver had no insurance or insufficient insurance, your own auto insurance company also may become involved. If you are unable to resolve your claim with the driver’s insurance company, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver under certain circumstances.

Potential damages that you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit include the following:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgical, and rehabilitation expenses
  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Loss of future income or earning capacity
  • Emotional distress and pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship to a child, parent, or spouse
  • In the case of a death, funeral and burial expenses

Drunk driving accidents, and any type of motor vehicle accidents, often result in serious bodily injuries to drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians. When an individual’s negligence leads to such an accident, he or she may be financial responsible or liable for the resulting injuries. Personal injury claims are not always a straightforward or easy process, particularly if you and your family are struggling to recover from the incident. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation and learn what options may be available to you.





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