Teen Car Accidents More Likely in Summer

According to AAA data, summertime is the most common time for teenage drivers to become involved in car accidents. During the “100 deadliest days of summer,” which stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day, more 1,000 individuals are killed in accidents involving teenage drivers each year. This equates to about 10 people per day. This number of deaths involving teenage drivers is 16% higher than during other times of the year. This is because teenagers are out of school and driving more during the summer months.

Furthermore, teens are more likely to stay linked into social media and use their phones when they drive than adults. Therefore, almost 60% of accidents involving teen drivers are the result of driver distraction, whether the drivers are texting, talking on the phone, using GPS, or searching the internet. Another 15% of crashes were caused by the driver talking to one or more passengers in the vehicle, and 11% involved drivers who were looking at or attending to something in the vehicle.

According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of teenagers send daily text messages, at an average of 80 texts per day. In 2009, 92% of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 had cell phones, and 24% of this age group reported being constantly online. These figures show that cell phone usage does not lead to safe driving behaviors. Another study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting while driving results in a 23% greater chance of being involved in a crash. In fact, texting results in more dangerous driving behavior than just using a cell phone to call another person, simply because it requires a driver to divert both hands and eyes in order to send a text message.

Personal injury claims are very complex, and you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process as appropriate. Each type of claim has strict requirements and deadlines that a claimant must meet in order to maintain a successful claim. 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 set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.

What is the ’72-Hour Rule’ for Statements to Insurance Companies?

After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster for the other party’s insurance company to call you and want to get your side of the story. If you don’t know better or figure that you’ll have to eventually talk to the insurance adjuster anyway, you might agree to talk to him or her and even be recorded. A week later, the adjuster calls you and states that they are denying your claim for any compensation based on the recorded statement that you gave. If your claim goes to trial, can the other party’s insurance company use that recorded statement against you?

Wisconsin law specifically prevents insurance companies from using recorded statements that were taken from accident victims within 72 hours of the time that the injury or accident occurs as evidence in any trial relating to the accident, such as a personal injury claim. This law is meant to protect injury victims who may be under the influence of medications or in severe pain shortly following an accident. Therefore, even if you consent to giving a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company, the statement will not be admissible in court if it is taken within 72 hours of the accident at issue.

Even after the 72 hour period has expired, however, you have no obligation to speak or give a statement to the other party’s insurance company. In fact, it is typically not in your best interest to give such a statement. While you must cooperate with your own insurance company if necessary, such as if you are making an uninsured motorists’ claim, you have no such duty to cooperate with the other party’s insurance company.

The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash, including dealing with the insurance companies involved and ensuring that they follow all of the necessary rules and regulations. 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.

Fatal Traffic Accident Update from Wisconsin DOT

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), 41 traffic deaths occurred during the month of April 2017 which, coincidentally, is identical to the number of deaths that occurred during the month of April in 2016. This figure is up slightly from the average number of April travel deaths over the last five years, which is 38. April 2014 was the safest April in history in Wisconsin, with only 25 traffic fatalities. As of April 30, 2017, the total number of traffic deaths is 143, which is slightly down from the number of deaths as of this date last year. The deaths so far this year include six motorcyclists and 17 pedestrians.

David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety, warns that with warmer weather and children out of school for the summer, traffic will definitely increase on Wisconsin roadways. Therefore, drivers should be particularly careful to avoid traffic violations and accident during this time of year. Likewise, Pabst stresses the importance of always requiring everyone in the car to wear seatbelts, as over half of the traffic fatalities last year involved individuals in vehicles who were not wearing seatbelts. Unrestrained drivers were most likely to suffer fatal injuries in traffic accidents, by far, followed by unrestrained passengers.

With the beginning of warmer weather, WisDOT officials also note that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. According to WisDOT, over 550,000 Wisconsin residents have a motorcycle license or permit. WisDOT is reminding drivers to look twice for motorcyclists, as there are likely to be many more bikes on Wisconsin roads, especially starting this month. Since motorcyclists are much smaller than typical vehicles, they are often easy to overlook or end up in your blind spot. Take extra care, especially when changing lanes, to make sure there are no motorcyclists in your path.

Boller & Vaughan are experienced Madison personal injury lawyers who know Wisconsin law and know how to effectively represent your interests in any personal injury claim stemming from a traffic accident, whether it involves a motorcycle, semi-truck, or a passenger vehicle. Contact our office today and learn how our attorneys can help ensure that you receive the compensation in your case to which you are entitled.

Download the Drive Sober App from the Wisconsin DOT

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is highlighting its “Zero in Wisconsin Driver Sober” mobile app, which you can download for free here. The app, which is available for download for both Apple and Android devices, contains various tools meant to curb drunk driving. Since the launch of the app, over 73,000 users have downloaded it to their devices.

The Drive Sober app includes the following features:

  • An estimating tool that measures your blood alcohol level
  • A means of selecting a designated driver
  • A “Find a Ride” resource, which, based on your GPS location, provides you with numbers for safe ways to get home, such as taxis and mass transit stops
  • Video clips aired in the Zero in Wisconsin TV ads
  • Games that measure your vision and reaction time

Using the Drive Sober app can not only save your own life, but it can prevent other incidents of drunk driving, as well. The app simply reinforces the point that you should always designate a sober driver before beginning your night out or celebratory event, and never get behind the wheel of a vehicle – or allow your companions to do so – while impaired. Some bars and restaurants participate in the Tavern League of Wisconsin’s Safe Ride program, which provides customers with a safe way home if they have been drinking.

Drunk and impaired driving contributes to many deadly accidents each year in the state of Wisconsin and nationwide. The goal of the “Zero in Wisconsin” campaign is to reduce traffic fatalities in the state of Wisconsin to zero. Last year, there were 588 deaths on Wisconsin roadways, some caused by impaired driving, and others caused by speeding, distracted driving, and other traffic violations.

We are the Wisconsin traffic accident lawyers to whom you always can turn if you or your loved one suffers serious injuries in a traffic accident, whether it involves drunk driving, distracted driving, or another issue. No matter how complex or difficult your situation may be, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to advocate on behalf of you and your family and hold negligent drivers responsible for any injuries that have occurred.

Should I talk to Another Driver’s Insurance Company after an Accident?

After many motor vehicle accidents, a representative or adjuster from the other party’s insurance company contacts you in order to ask you questions about the accident. Individuals often ask whether you really should be talking with the other party’s insurance company at all, particularly if you have sustained injuries or property damages as a result of the accident. The concern often is that you may be compromising or damaging your own personal injury claim against the other party, or that the insurance adjuster may try to get you to admit to some sort of fault or make a statement that makes you look to be somewhat at fault. After all, the interests of the insurance company for the other driver are completely adverse to your own interests.

Overall, it is generally the best practice to consult with an attorney before you speak with or give information to the insurance adjuster for the other party involved in the accident. The reality is that doing so may severely damage any claims that you might have, and typically is not in your best interests. Rather, you should allow your personal injury attorney to control the flow of information between you and the other driver’s insurance company. This precaution will ensure that you don’t damage your claim and give only the appropriate information to the other insurance company.

Likewise, it is probably not to your advantage to try and settle a personal injury claim directly with the other party’s insurance company. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible on your claim, or preferably, nothing at all. Therefore, you are likely to receive a very low settlement offer that probably will not meet your needs.

If you or a loved one suffers serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the party or parties who are responsible for the accident that led to those injuries. In order to develop your claim for damages, we must determine which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted in a negligent or reckless manner, or otherwise acted in a manner that caused injury to your loved one. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with this inquiry and carefully guide you through any personal injury claims that you may have against various responsible parties.

What if I Am Hit by a Driver Who Doesn’t Stop?

All too often, drivers who cause accidents simply leave the scene, for various reasons. The driver may be drunk, under the influence of drugs, driving without a driver’s license, or driving without insurance. In many cases, even in those involving catastrophic accidents, authorities are never able to find the driver who is responsible for the accident. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, there are certain steps that you should take in order to safeguard your claim for damages if authorities ever are able to identify the responsible driver.

Whether a hit-and-run accident involves bodily injury or just property damages, you always should make an accident report with local law enforcement authorities for insurance purposes. You should contact law enforcement while still at the scene of the accident so that they can document all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. It is generally much easier to identify witnesses and document events shortly after they occur, rather than several months later, when memories are likely to have faded. In some cases, a criminal investigation or investigation by your personal injury lawyer may lead to the individual who is responsible for your damages. Therefore, you need to be prepared to make the strongest claim possible, even if you are unsure as to whether the driver ever will be identified.

Above all, you should not take matters into your own hands and attempt to chase the hit-and-run driver. This could be dangerous and result in further property damage or injuries. Furthermore, you may compromise any claim for damages that you might have by leaving the accident scene and moving your vehicle. It is much more difficult to reconstruct an accident after the fact than it is to accurately document it right after it happens. Nonetheless, you should try and get as accurate a description of the vehicle and/or driver as possible by writing down this information, to the extent that you are able to do so, directly following the accident.

Whether your injuries result from a hit-and-run crash, a drunk driving accident, or an incident caused by another type of negligent behavior by another driver, the Madison car accident 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.

Should I See a Doctor After an Accident if I Don’t Feel Hurt?

Many individuals believe that they aren’t really injured immediately following an accident, so they don’t seek medical attention right away. Unfortunately, the symptoms of some medical conditions or injuries do not appear until hours or even days following an accident. Therefore, if you are involved in some type of accident, you should immediately seek medical attention, even if you don’t think that you have been injured. In addition to ensuring your good health, seeing a doctor following an accident is also likely to help you with any legal claim that you may have arising from the accident.

Car accidents can result in a number of different types of injuries, some of which have lasting effects, and others that do not. Whiplash is a common injury that impacts your neck, spine, and back. Broken bones, sprains, and strains to ligaments and muscles all can occur from being involved in a car accident. Back trauma can result in injuries to discs and vertebrae. The impact of a car crash can not only shake the body, but it can shake an individual’s brain inside his or her skull. This can result in a concussion, which can cause nausea, headaches, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, and difficulties thinking in general.

The bottom line is that even if you think your injuries are minor, or that you don’t have any injuries at all, you still need to see your doctor. Establishing a record of medical treatment can be helpful to your personal injury claim if an injury surfaces later or you find that you have an unexpected health condition that resulted from your accident. If you don’t get medical attention at the outset, you may actually hurt any claim for damages that you have in the event that you did sustain an injury.

Regardless of the issues that led to the 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 at in order to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Wisconsin personal injury lawyers. Don’t give up on your losses without a fight for what you deserve from those responsible for your injuries.

Basic Tips to Ensure Safe Driving

While some accidents are not preventable in any way, others are preventable, if all drivers would follow some simple safety tips. Roadways are full of drivers who engage in risky behaviors, such as cell phone usage, speeding, disregarding traffic signals, and drinking while driving, all of which can lead to accidents, some of which have catastrophic results.

Take care to prepare before you begin driving. Adjust all signs and mirrors before you start to drive, so that you can see all angles and other vehicles while driving. Routinely maintain your vehicle, ensuring that you change the oil on a regular basis, fill the windshield fluid, and keep all lights in working order.

As a safe driver, you always should obey all speed limits and traffic signs. You must remain aware of your surroundings at all time and drive responsibly. Use turn signals, drive with your headlights on for visibility to other drivers, and stop fully at all stop signs. Keep your eyes moving as your drive, and look in all directions before proceeding from a complete stop. Anticipate the moves of other drivers in order to avoid accidents. If you expect the worst from other drivers, you may be able to avoid accidents before they occur.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common cause of accidents. If you are going to be drinking, then you should arrange for a ride home and avoid driving at all costs. Not only do you risk violating the law, but you also could hurt yourself or someone else.

Similarly, using a cell phone for any reason will distract you from driving. Texting, using your GPS, surfing the Internet, and even simply talking on your cell phone can lead to accidents. While cell phones have become a part of everyday life, they should not be part of your life while driving.

The Madison personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan devote their time to advocating on behalf of clients who have fallen victim to all types of car accidents, whether they are pedestrians, drivers, passengers, or bicyclists. Our job is to seek compensation for you and your family through the applicable legal framework, while you can focus on healing from your injuries and rebuilding your life with your family. Never hesitate to call our office for legal advice and counsel about your situation, so that we make our experience and knowledge work for you.

AAA Study Ranks Young Millennials as Worst Drivers

A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that as many as 88% of millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving in the previous 30 days. As a result of these statistics, it is clear that the millennial generation is by far the most badly-behaved group of U.S. drivers. From texting while driving to running red lights to speeding, all of these risky behaviors are dangerous not only for these drivers, but also for other drivers and passengers on the road. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are also at risk of serious injury or death as a result of millennial driving behavior. What is even more alarming is that in 2015, U.S. traffic deaths had grown to over 35,000, which is an increase of over seven percent from the prior year – the largest single-year increase in 50 years.

Even worse, many of these young adults believe that their risky driving behavior is perfectly acceptable. They simply do not understand the potentially fatal consequences of their behavior, both for themselves and for others. Realizing how risky their behavior is may be the only way to reverse the trend of drastically increasing traffic deaths in the U.S. Across the board, as people age, they become less and less likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. By the time people reach the ages of 60 – 74, only 67.3% admit to bad driving behavior. While this number is still unacceptably high, it is certainly better than the percentage of millennials.

Some of the risky behaviors that many millennials believe are appropriate include the following:

  • Reading a text or email message while driving
  • Typing or sending a text or email message while driving
  • Driving 10 mph or more over the speed limit in a residential area
  • Driving 10 mph or more over the speed limit in a school zone
  • Driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely

No matter the age of the driver, if you or a loved one suffers serious or fatal injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the party or parties who are responsible for the accident that led to those injuries. In order to develop your claim for damages, we must determine which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted in a negligent or reckless manner, or otherwise acted in a manner that caused death or injury to your loved one. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with this inquiry and carefully guide you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have against various responsible parties.

When You Are Injured by a Drunk Driver: Settlement Basics

Drunk driving accidents can be among some of the most catastrophic motor vehicle collisions on Wisconsin roads. These types of accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities in some cases. In fact, some studies estimate that a drunk driving accident causing injuries occurs every minute. While drunk driving accidents often result in criminal charges, the justice system cannot account for injuries that you or a loved one have sustained in the accident. As a result, it is essential that you educate yourself about the basics of a personal injury claim that arises from a drunk driving accident.

As your Wisconsin drunk driving personal injury attorneys, we are here to manage the settlement of your personal injury claim so that you don’t have to worry about it. You can focus on getting well, while we focus on getting you the settlement that you deserve.

Our first step will be to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident, which includes a review of police reports, driving records, witness statements, and your own statement of the events that occurred. Next, we will follow any criminal case that results from the drunk driving accident in order to keep you up-to-date on the most recent developments in that case. We will identify the insurance company for the person responsible for the accident that led to your injuries, and prepare a claim that details all of your injuries and resulting demands for compensation. We will ensure that your claim addresses all potential damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy costs, long-term care expenses, and other, less tangible losses, such as pain and suffering.

While some personal injury claims may seem relatively straightforward to you, claims involving drunk drivers can be very complicated. The Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan will meet with you at no cost in order to the facts relevant to your situation. Once we have heard all of these facts, we can evaluate your claim and the settlement offer that you have received from the insurance company, if any. We will assess your claim and place a value on it in order to get the maximum payout to which you are entitled from the insurance company. Take the first step and call our office today to set up your free consultation with one of our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers.

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