Car accidents in Milwaukee happen each and every day. However, just like the injuries you suffer in a car crash are unique, not all types of accidents are created equal either. From rollover crashes to hit-and-run accidents, here are 7 of the most common crashes our Milwaukee car accident lawyers see on a weekly basis.
7 Common Types of Car Accidents in Milwaukee
- Rear-End Collisions
- Rollover Accidents
- Wrong Way Car Accidents
- Intersection Collisions
- Multiple-Vehicle Crashes
- Head-On Collisions
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
Below, our experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer goes into detail about each of these types of crashes. Not interested in reading about all the different kinds of crashes and just want information on the specific types of accident you were involved in? Click the links above to jump to that particular section. However, if you’re interested in learning about each of these types of accidents, keep scrolling and feel free to contact us at any point to schedule a free case evaluation for your car accident in Milwaukee.
Rear-end accidents are among the most common type of automobile accident reported in Milwaukee, and around the United States. According to a study by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), almost 30 percent of car crashes are rear-end accidents. However, while rear-end accidents are common, the effects of these crashes are anything but common for the people left suffering from injuries or from the loss of their loved ones.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Milwaukee
In almost every rear-end crash case, the fault is found with the driver who was following. This is because a safe driver should leave enough space between his vehicle and the car he is following to allow for a sudden braking. Thus, common causes of rear-end car accidents in Milwaukee include:
- Speeding. A speeding car may not have the time needed to slow down or stop when the car in front of it slows down or stops.
- Aggressive driving. Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely can result in a serious rear-end crash.
- Distracted driving. A distracted driver may not realize that the car in front of him has slowed down or stopped until it is too late to prevent a crash.
- Bad weather. Following a car too closely in snow, ice, rain, or fog can result in a serious rear-end crash.
Rollover accidents account for only about 2 percent of crashes in the United States. Yet about 35 percent of passenger vehicle deaths occur during rollover crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people die in rollover accidents each year in the United States.
Types of Rollover Car Accidents in Milwaukee
A rollover accident in Milwaukee is when a vehicle tips onto its side or roof. A vehicle riding forward at a certain speed acquires inertia that can only be gradually changed by braking or turning. If you turn brutally, the vehicle starts skidding on the road surface, continuing its forward movement even though it is no longer facing in the direction of travel. Because the tires maintain their grip on the road, the car’s momentum tips the car over. The amount of inertia will determine whether the car skids along its side or turns over more times.
There are two types of rollover accidents, tripped and untripped. The more common type is a tripped rollover. A tripped rollover occurs when a motor vehicle slides sideways off the roadway. When the tires reach soft soil or an object, the force on the tires causes the vehicle to flip over. The less common untripped rollovers occur when there is no object that serves a tipping mechanism. Top-heavy vehicles that are speeding are at greater risk for untripped rollovers.
Wrong Way Accidents
It seems like wrong-way crashes should be easy to avoid if all drivers stayed in their own lanes. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always stay on their sides of the road or travel the right way on one-way roads, and dangerous wrong-way head-on collisions can result.
Six Causes of Wrong-Way Car Accidents in Milwaukee
A driver may be on the wrong side of a two-lane road, in the wrong lane on a highway, or traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street, if, for example:
- The driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs
- The driver is distracted by a cell phone, GPS, passenger, or for any other reason
- The driver is not familiar with the area
- The driver tries to pass another car
- The driver loses control of the vehicle and ends up in the wrong lane after speeding, or a tire blow out
- The road is not well marked
When a driver is on the wrong side of the road, catastrophic injuries may result. Both drivers may be traveling at relatively high speeds and may be unable to avoid a direct head-on collision. According to our Milwaukee car accident lawyer, the collision can cause a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, broken bone, internal injury, or death for one or both drivers and any vehicle passengers.
Some view intersections as nothing more than an inconvenience during a busy day. What’s more frustrating than sitting at a red light or stop sign when you’re in a hurry and every minute counts?
Instead of putting safety first, many drivers are preoccupied with beating yellow lights or rolling through stop signs to shave a couple seconds off their commute time. In so doing, they make the road dangerous for themselves, other motorists and pedestrians.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDT) estimates that 21 percent of fatalities and 50 percent of serious injuries occur at intersections.
Types of Intersection Where Car Accidents in Milwaukee Can Occur
- Traffic Lights. If everyone correctly follows traffic signals, there’s no danger. But that doesn’t always happen. The USDT estimates that only 10 percent of intersections have traffic lights, yet nearly 33 percent of intersection fatalities occur at signalized intersections. Furthermore, about 165,000 people are injured annually by red light runners. The red light runners themselves only account for half of those victims.
- Stop Signs. Running a stop sign can be just as dangerous as running a red light. Intersections with stop signs may not have as many cars as traffic lights, but they’re more dangerous. According to the USDT, more fatalities occur at stop signs than traffic lights. This is partly because traffic lights are clearer about who has the right-of-way.
- Uncontrolled Intersections. Though rare, uncontrolled intersections are dangerous because there are no signs or signals telling anyone to stop. Instead, drivers are supposed to be aware of and yield to one another. Uncontrolled intersections will typically be T-shaped, but some have four directions of traffic. When multiple cars arrive at the same time, the driver on the right side has the right-of-way.
Multiple Vehicle Crashes
As the name implies, these types of accidents involve multiple cars (more than 2) and generally occur at intersections or when you are stopped in traffic or on the highway.
Often, more than one driver will be legally responsible for injuries. However, before any insurance company settles your case or a court awards you damages for your accident injuries, you must prove who caused your accident injuries and the percentage of liability that should be attributed to each driver.
Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Crashes
All kinds of car accidents in Milwaukee are dangerous, but head-on collisions are particularly risky. A direct, head-to-head crash concentrates the maximum amount of kinetic energy and momentum into the collision. This drastically increases the chance of injury for all parties.
Why Head-On Collisions in Milwaukee Happen
Head-on collisions can occur for any reason that any other crash may occur. However, according to our Milwaukee car accident lawyer, some of the common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Impaired driving. Alcohol and drugs are often cited as a contributing cause for head-on crashes. Alcohol use rises in the afternoon and evening hours, which increases the chance of nighttime disorientation causing a driver to enter a lane of oncoming traffic. Alcohol’s ability to impair driving judgment is greatly intensified by certain over-the-counter medications. Drivers should not get behind the wheel if they are impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Fatigue. In many cases, the driver causing the accident was drowsy or actually fell asleep at the wheel. The monotony of driving after dark can lull a driver into a semi-hypnotic state. Obviously, the best solution to this is for a driver never to drive when he is feeling tired. Instead, a driver should leave the road and find a place to sleep. Other strategies for fighting off sleepiness, such as opening windows or turning up the radio, have been proven ineffective.
- Fog or snow. Surprisingly few head-on crashes cite weather conditions as a crucial factor. However, bad weather that limits visibility could cause an accident.
- Distracted driving. Cell phones, electronic gadgets, eating, drinking, daydreaming, and other distractions take a driver’s mind off driving safely, a driver’s hands off the wheel, and a driver’s eyes off the road.
- Confusion over one-way roads. Poor signage indicating that a road is one way, or the failure of a GPS to warn a driver about a one way road can result in a serious head-on crash.
- Other issues. Other things, such as debris in the road that causes a driver to swerve into another lane, can also result in a head-on accident.
Wisconsin law makes it a crime to leave the scene after being involved in a car accident. Anyone who leaves the scene of a car accident in Milwaukee that resulted in an injury could face jail time, a fine, and a civil personal injury lawsuit.
4 Important Steps to Follow After a Hit and Run in Milwaukee
- Make Sure Everyone is OK. First and foremost, the most important thing you should do is make sure you and everyone else in your vehicle is ok. Hit-and-run car accidents in Milwaukee are dangerous and can be scary, but ensuring everyone’s safety is vital.
- Call the police. The police will come to the scene of the crash and investigate what happened. They may be able to find the driver who left the scene of the crash based on any damage that was done to your car, your description of the vehicle, or the descriptions provided by eyewitnesses. Additionally, the police will ensure that you get any necessary emergency medical attention for your accident injuries.
- Call your insurance company. You need to report the accident to your own insurance company. Even if the police can't find the other driver, you may still have the right to make a financial recovery for your injuries. In Wisconsin, uninsured motorist coverage is a mandatory part of car insurance policies. The minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you must have is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage. At the time that you purchased your car insurance policy, you may have elected additional coverage that could provide you with more significant benefits if you are badly hurt in a hit and run crash. When you make an insurance claim pursuant to the uninsured motorist coverage provisions in your car insurance policy, your own insurance company becomes like an adversarial party. All of a sudden, the company that you pay to insure you wants to pay you as little as possible for your recovery.
- Call a Milwaukee car accident lawyer. As is the case after any car crash involving an injury, you may benefit from working with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer. Our injury attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion for our clients. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we are not afraid to go to trial. This makes most insurers more likely to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations to avoid a costly trial. After a hit and run accident injury, our Milwaukee injury attorneys can represent you before your own insurance company to help you get the full and fair recovery for past and future medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Schedule a Free Consultation With the Best Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer in Wisconsin
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in Milwaukee, and someone else’s negligence is responsible for your crash, then you have the right to pursue fair compensation for the damages (and other people in the automobile) are entitled to.
Our car accident lawyers have over 50 years of experience helping clients in the Milwaukee area recover financially and holding those responsible for the accident accountable.
There’s no time to wait, if you’ve been involved in wreck, contact our experienced and proven Milwaukee car accident lawyer today for your free case evaluation.