Unique Issues That Older Drivers May Face

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that although it is not always necessary for an elderly individual to stop driving altogether, there are some unique issues that older drivers should be aware of and face head on. As your elderly relative ages, you may begin to notice some uncharacteristic behaviors, such as driving too fast or too slowly, becoming overwhelmed by directions or getting lost on familiar routes, and receiving traffic tickets or becoming involved in minor crashes. If you notice any of these behaviors, then it may be time to have a conversation with your loved one about safe driving.

The fact is that if an older driver is involved in a wreck, he or she is more likely to suffer injuries or death, especially if over the age of 75. Older male drivers are particularly vulnerable to being involved in fatal crashes, as compared to older women drivers, but many older drivers in general do tend to moderate their own driving levels. For instance, older drivers do not tend to drive as far from home or as often as drivers of other ages. These drivers also tend to avoid rush-hour traffic, as well as driving at night if at all possible.

However, the reality is that older Americans are likely to outlive their driving abilities by about seven to ten years, on average. This may be due to changes in physical or cognitive abilities, a loss of confidence in driving ability, a loss of basic driving skills due to disuse of those skills, dementia, and declining central vision. While physical changes tend to be more noticeable, cognitive changes are much more subtle, and, as a result, you may not notice the decline as quickly as you might think.

At Boller & Vaughan, we know that suffering injuries in a serious accident can be both physically and emotional painful. We are here to take some of the burden off your shoulders by allowing us to pursue any legal claims that are available to you and work toward much-needed and much-deserved compensation. As skilled Madison accident lawyers, we are here to help you through this ordeal from a legal perspective, while you concentrate on healing yourself and your family by receiving the proper care and moving forward with your life. Please call us at 608-268-0268 for your free consultation.

Parents Should Place Restrictions on Teen Drivers

According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s National Poll on Children’s Health, while parents report that they place significant restrictions on their teenage drivers, the teens themselves tell a different story. Teenagers report that their parents do not restrict their driving as much as they might think. Since teenagers are the drivers who are at the highest risk for crashes, fatal or otherwise, parents need to rethink the restrictions that they place on their children in order to prevent unthinkable tragedies.

Although nine of out of 10 parents report that they place restrictions on their teen’s driving, only 81% of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 report that their parents place at least one driving-related limit on them. The most common types of limits include the following:

  • Limits on cell phone usage, such as not using cell phones at all unless parked, no texting while driving, and turning off or otherwise putting away cell phones while driving
  • Limits on passengers, such as allowing only one or two friends in the car, allowing only certain friends in the car, or forbidding any teenage passengers altogether
  • Limits on driving times and locations, such as no driving after 10:00 p.m., driving only to and from work, school, and activities, and refraining from driving on the highway

Furthermore, those parents who think that their children are “above-average” drivers are much less likely to place any limits on their teenage drivers. These parents constitute 32% of all parents. While parents are more likely to place limits on their teen’s cell phone usage while driving, they are much less likely to place limits about passengers and driving times or locations. In fact, as much as 25% of all parents report that they place no limits on teen passengers, nighttime driving, and highway driving.

The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you and your loved ones through the aftermath of severe injuries that may impact your life on a permanent basis. No matter how grave the injuries or death of your loved one may be, we can look into the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim, evaluate your likelihood of recovery, and determine the best path to follow in any legal claims that you may have. We know how to build a strong case on your behalf against those who acted negligently in causing your injuries. Take a moment to contact our office today and schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claim that you or your loved one may have.

How Your Personal Injury Attorney Will Investigate Your Trucking Accident Case

Trucking accidents are similar to any motor vehicle accidents in some respects, but they also can be much more complex in some ways. Every truck driver and his or her employer must follow both state and federal trucking safety regulations and laws. One of the most critical aspects of a trucking accident investigation involves determining whether the driver and the employer followed these regulations. If the driver and/or employer failed to meet the requirements of these regulations, then there may be a strong case of negligence that led to the injuries resulting from the crash.

First, your personal injury attorney will take a look at the driver’s traffic history for any past incidents of disregarding traffic safety regulations or truck driver negligence. The attorney also will look into the employer’s history of compliance with safety rules and regulations. If an employer or driver regularly violated these rules, it can be used as evidence to support your personal injury claim.

Next, truck drivers must keep detailed logbooks that show all of their stops, cargo picked up and delivered, time spent sleeping, fuel receipts, weigh station receipts, and any other aspects of their trucking route. A driver’s logbook can reveal important details about the driver’s actions prior to the accident. Additionally, your personal injury attorney physically will look the official accident report, but also at the truck involved in the accident before it is repaired, in order to ensure that any necessary evidence is preserved.

Most trucks contain a so-called “black box,” which records important information about the driver’s travels. For instance, the black box can reveal information about how fast the truck was going near the time of the accident, when and whether the brakes were activated, and the force with which the brakes were activated. This information can give the attorney crucial information about the crash.

Whether the death of your loved one results from a drugged driving crash, drunk driving accident, or an incident caused by another type of wrongful behavior by a truck or vehicle driver, the Madison personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how to effectively represent your interests. We will determine whether a personal injury claim is available to you, and help you choose the best course of action for you and your family to get compensation for your losses. Contact our office today and get a better understanding about how our attorneys can help ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation that is possible in your case.

The Long-Term Consequences of Whiplash Syndrome

A new Danish study presented to the European Academy of Neurology, as recently reported in Science Daily, shows that there is a more effective way to predict the long-term consequences of whiplash syndrome, i.e. subdividing the affected individuals into different risk groups following their accidents. This classification into risk groups occurred as a result of a physical examination no more than four days following the accident, and was based on the type and nature of the pain, the type and number of non-painful complaints, and neck mobility. The risk group in which researchers placed the individual had a direct correlation to the individual’s ability to work a year following the accident. Those in the lowest risk group had the lowest percentage of individuals who were unable to work, and vice versa. For instance, the percentage of individuals in the highest risk group who were unable to work was twice as high as those in the lowest risk group.

Researchers conducted a questionnaire of 326 individuals who had been involved in an accident and sustained whiplash injuries 12 to 14 years in the past. The questionnaire involved the incidence of ongoing pain, prescribed medication, non-medical treatment, and sick leaves resulting from the injuries. As it turns out, the people who had been assigned to the highest risk groups following their accidents continued to suffer more substantially than others. These individuals suffered from more neck, head, shoulder, arm, and lower back pain, as well as from more non-painful neurologic symptoms. They also required more pain medication, ranging from mild analgesics to strong opioids, and suffered more post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Whether you sustain whiplash or another type of injury from a vehicle crash, the Madison personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how to effectively represent your interests. We will determine there are any personal injury claims that may be available to you, and help you choose the best course of action for you and your family to get compensation for your losses. Contact our office today and get a better understanding about how our attorneys can help ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation that is possible in your case.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues an annual edition of Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, which, in part, helps document the most common causes of these types of motor vehicle crashes. The report draws from information collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES), the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), which the FMCSA maintains, and Highway Statistics, a publication of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The most recent report available is from data gathered in 2014.

The report concludes that at least one driver-related factor was present for 34% of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes in 2014. Speeding of any type was the most common driver-related factor in these crashes, followed by distraction or inattention, and then impairment, whether as a result of fatigue, alcohol, drugs, or illness.

When truck crashes occurred, regardless of the driver-related factor(s) involved, one of three scenarios typically occurred:

  • Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road altogether
  • Losing vehicle control due to excessive speed, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane

The report also identified associated factors that were most commonly cited in large truck crashes are, in descending order, brake problems, traffic flow interruption, prescription drug usage, traveling too fast for the conditions, unfamiliarity with the roadway, roadway problems, being required to stop before a crash, over-the-counter drug usage, inadequate surveillance, and fatigue. Other, less common factors include feeling pressure to perform from the employer, illegal maneuvers, inattention, external distraction, tire problems, following too closely, jackknife, cargo shifts, illness, internal distraction, illegal drugs, and alcohol consumption.

Regardless of the issues that led to the truck or other motor vehicle crash that harmed you or your family member, you may very well have a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. Call Boller & Vaughan today at (608) 268-0268, or contact us online in order to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Wisconsin truck accident attorneys. Don’t give up on your losses without a fight for what you deserve from those responsible for your injuries.

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.

 

 

 

 

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