Are You Too Tired To Drive?

The United States is crisscrossed with roads, highways, and interstates. We use them, with the help of our cars, to go just about everywhere: work, the store, to see family, to go on vacation.

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 87% of the trips we make, short or long, are in personal vehicles and 91% of people commute to work using their cars. When it comes to long-distance travel, almost 91% of all trips are in a personal vehicle, as opposed to planes, trains, and boats. Continue reading

What Are Whiplash Injuries?

Whiplash injuries commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents, and often are at least a partial basis for personal injury claims. An individual’s head and neck are often the parts of the body that are most susceptible to injury, since a narrow spine is the sole support for a much larger head. When the impact of a car accident occurs, the occupant of the vehicle often is thrown back and forth in a violent manner, which causes the neck to act as a whip, forcing the head beyond its normal range of motion. Whiplash injuries also are commonly known as soft tissue injuries, since they tend to affect the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck.

Even in what appears to be a minor car accident, whiplash injury is a possibility. The impact of another motor vehicle, even at a speed of only 30 mph, is more than enough to cause a serious whiplash injury that can have lasting consequences for the affected individual. Symptoms of whiplash can include headaches, neck soreness and stiffness, swelling around the neck, and muscle spasms in the shoulders and arms.

Whiplash can result in neck injuries, injuries to the cervical spine, cervical disc herniation or rupture, and even brain injuries. Therefore, it is essential that you get medical treatment as quickly as possible following any type of motor vehicle accident, even if you initially do not feel as if you have been injured. In many cases, soreness and stiffness of the neck do not set in until a day or more following the accident, which can result in a delay in treatment that exacerbates the medical condition.

At Boller & Vaughan, we know that suffering serious injuries such as whiplash in an auto accident or any other type of situation can be a stressful, emotional, physically painful, and financially draining event. 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, which will allow us to work toward getting you the compensation that you need and deserve. As skilled Madison car wreck lawyers, we are here to help you through this ordeal from a legal perspective, while you concentrate on healing from your injuries and recovering from the financial impact of the accident.

Teen Driving Habits: Research From the CDC

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people between the ages of 15 and 24 constitute only 14% of the U.S. population, but they make up 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries to males, and 28% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries to females. This amounts to some $26 billion in motor vehicle injury costs.

In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics regarding teenage drivers are available, over 2,100 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed and over 243,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents. In 2013, males between the ages of 15 and 24 had a motor vehicle death rate that was almost twice the rate of females in the same age range. Furthermore, the risk of a motor vehicle crash increases with the number of teenager passengers that a teenage driver has in his or her vehicle at any given time.

Aside from the presence of other teenage passengers, there are various other factors that increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes among teenage drivers. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Teens underestimate hazardous driving situations.
  • Teens tend to speed and allow a shorter distance between vehicles than is recommended.
  • Teens often drink and drive and have a very low rate of seatbelt usage.
  • Most accidents involving teens occur on weekends and in the late afternoon and evening hours.

When you or a family member suffers serious injuries from a motor vehicle crash or any other type of accident, and another’s negligence caused the accident, you may have a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. Call Boller & Vaughan today at (608) 268-0268, or contact us online at www.bollervaughan.com in order to set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, and see what we can do for you.

 

 

What are the Typical Kinds of Car Accidents That Lead to Personal Injury Claims?

Car accidents occur in many different ways, but some are more likely than others to generate personal injury claims. First, a traffic accident that leads to a personal injury claim often involves two or more vehicles, rather than one vehicle hitting a stationary object. In order to result in a personal injury claim, one driver must have acted negligently so as to cause the crash, which, in turn, led to injuries to another person. Particularly when the collision involves two different vehicles, there are many ways that it can occur. One vehicle may cross into oncoming traffic and hit the other vehicle head-on, sideswipe another vehicle, rear-end another vehicle, or hit the side of the vehicle, which is commonly called a T-bone crash.

Another type of accident that commonly leads to a personal injury claim happens when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist. Given the difference in size and power between a vehicle and a wholly unprotected individual, the risk of serious or fatal injuries to the individual is very high. While a bicyclist or pedestrian may contribute to the accident by ignoring the basic rules of the road or acting with disregard for his or her safety, a driver of a vehicle who strikes an individual often will have acted negligently in doing so, which can result in a personal injury claim.

On the other hand, one-car accidents do not lead to personal injury claims in many cases. In these cases, the driver is likely the one who sustained the injuries, and he or she is responsible for his or her own negligence. One exception, however, is if a business or other entity created a road condition that was unsafe in some way, which then led to the accident. This situation might give rise to a personal injury suit. Another type of scenario involving only one vehicle is where a drunk or speeding driver causes an accident that injures a passenger in his or her own vehicle. In this case, the injured passenger might also have a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.

As this post illustrates, there are many different circumstances that can lead to a motor vehicle accidents that results in injury to another person. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Call our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.

 

 

 

 

How Do You Determine Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

When a car crash occurs, you always must determine who is at fault for the crash. Fault is relevant in a number of ways, but is particularly relevant in a case that involves property damage or personal injuries. Depending on who is at fault for the accident, that individual can be liable for paying for the costs of the damage or the treatment of any injuries, usually through his or her vehicle insurance policy. In some cases, however, it can be difficult to establish who is at fault for a crash, or more than one party may be at fault for the crash. The question of fault also can be a contested issue in a personal injury case, when the parties do not agree about who caused the accident.

Determining fault for a Wisconsin motor vehicle crash is dependent upon evidence, much of which must be gathered at the scene of the crash. Evidence might include witness observations or statements regarding the accident, the placement of the vehicles involved after the crash occurs, the location of damages to each vehicle, and skid marks left at the scene. Whether the drivers involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash also can be relevant under Wisconsin law for determining fault in a motor vehicle collision. Finally, statements made by the drivers following the crash may be useful in terms of determining fault.

The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash, no matter how great the damages or injuries may be. We can look into the circumstances surrounding your accident, assess the situation, and evaluate any claims that you may have for damages. We know how to determine fault in a car accident, and build a strong personal injury claim based on that determination. Contact our office today in order to schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claim that you may have.

 

 

 

Accident Statistics From the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are all too common in the state of Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), there were over 119,000 crashes in the state of Wisconsin in 2014. 451 of these crashes involved fatalities, and another 28,801 involved injuries. Over 90,000 of these accidents involved property damage. All in all, almost 500 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents in Wisconsin in 2014, and almost 40,000 people were injured.

Two major factors that contribute to accidents involving both fatalities and injuries are alcohol and speed. In 2014, almost 5,000 crashes were alcohol-related, resulting in 162 fatalities and almost 2,700 injuries. Likewise, speed accounted for over 20,000 crashes in 2014, causing 163 fatalities and over 8,000 injuries. As compared with previous years, DOT statistics show that while the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents has generally declined, speed-related accidents have generally increased

The DOT further breaks down the accident statistics according to certain circumstances, as well. 1,183 crashes in 2014 involved pedestrians, and another 925 crashes involved bicycles. There were over 2,000 motorcycle crashes, 39 train crashes, and 588 school bus crashes. Furthermore, 2,274 crashes in 2014 occurred in a construction zone. Large trucks were involved in 7,358 crashes, and deer in over 18,000 crashes.

As a result of these statistics, it is clear that not only are thousands of Wisconsin residents and visiting non-residents involved in motor vehicle accidents each year, but there are many potential personal injury and wrongful death claims that may arise from accidents involving injury or death.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one to a vehicle crash, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the accident that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.

I’ve Been in a Car Accident. What Should I Do?

It can be frightening to be involved in any type of car accident, even if there is little damage to the vehicles involved and you do not appear to be injured. When an accident occurs, you may panic and be unsure where to turn first. Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take following a car accident that will not only protect you, but also protect your right to potentially bring a personal injury claim.

First, call 911. You or other individuals who were involved in the accident may need medical attention, even if it doesn’t seem readily apparent. At the very least, you can get checked out by medical personnel and receive any recommendations for future treatment. Additionally, police officers can make a report, get contact information for all parties involved and all witnesses, and write an account of the accident. These details can be essential later on if you have a personal injury claim.

Next, make your own notes and take photographs of the accident yourself. This ensures that you have documentation of everything that happened in case the police officer misses something or does not record some detail that may be relevant to the accident. You need to document the condition of all vehicles involved, the contact information for all drivers and witnesses to the accident, and the insurance policy information from any other drivers.

Above all, be careful about what you say at the scene. This includes apologizing to others that were involved in the accident. By apologizing, it may appear that you are admitting fault for the accident. If you make a statement as to your guilt or responsibility for the accident, you may compromise your ability to make a personal injury claim related to the accident.

Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Call our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.

 

 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving has become an epidemic throughout America, causing many needless deaths and injuries. In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available, over 3,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes that arose from distracted driving, and another estimated 424,000 people were injured. As you can tell from these statistics, distracted driving is a major problem that contributes greatly to motor vehicle accidents that result in injuries and fatalities.

Most people think that distracted driving occurs when individuals are reading or sending text messages while driving. Given the prevalence of text messages, which number 153.3 billion each year, it is no surprise that texting while driving is a distraction that easily has disastrous results. However, distracted driving also occurs when drivers talk on cell phones, use GPS devices, eat or drink, talk to passengers, brush their hair or apply makeup, watch videos, or adjust radios, CD players, and MP3 players. Not surprisingly, it is younger and more inexperienced drivers who make up the vast majority of distracted drivers.

Wisconsin, along with many other states, has made texting while driving illegal as a primary offense for all drivers. Furthermore, novice drivers may not use cell phones at all, whether handheld or hands-free, while driving. Despite these state laws, however, individuals continue to drive while distracted, which, in turn, can have disastrous results.

When a motor vehicle accident occurs as a result of distracted driving, and causes injury to a passenger, driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims in the state of Wisconsin, and you can lose your right to compensation if you do not make your claim in time. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and set up your free consultation today.

Understanding Rental Car Insurance Policies

If you’ve gone on vacation or out of town for a business, chances are you’ve rented car. Rental cars are more convenient than  taxis or calling an Uber every time you need to go somewhere. That’s not to say that they don’t have downsides though.

Renting a car isn’t all that different than driving your own. You have to avoid any dangerous situations or altercations that could damage the car. The only real difference in a rental car is it’s not yours.

If you’re in an accident, you’ll have to deal with the other party’s insurance company, the rental car company and their insurers. That’s where the insurance coverages you choose at the rental counter come into play.

You’ve heard the agent’s spiel about the insurance options they offer through the rental car company. Most likely, they try to talk you into buying as much coverage as you can. But how can you know if this coverage is necessary or if it’s just a waste of time and money?

To help you, we’re looking at a wide range of topics relating to rental car insurance. From coverage options to the benefits and downsides so you can make an informed decision the next time you need to rent a car. Continue reading

Page 1 of 212