Wisconsin drivers are no strangers to long, harsh winters. Snow and ice are just a part of living in the Badger State. Unfortunately, inclement weather can cause hazardous road conditions, and accidents can and do happen every day. Even careful, defensive drivers can get caught off-guard by slick areas of fresh snow or an unexpected patch of black ice.
The knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC have extensive experience protecting the rights of accident victims in a range of cases, including winter wrecks. We have the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate the evidence in your case and help you pursue the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
If you drive regularly in Wisconsin, you know that slick road conditions are not unusual during the winter months. Part of every driver’s duty is to identify and adapt to a variety of conditions that occur on the road. This may mean driving slower and maintaining greater distances between vehicles.
Drivers may be considered negligent if they fail to use the care that another reasonable person would have exercised under similar circumstances. If a driver fails to use caution when driving in adverse weather conditions and collides with another vehicle, he or she may be held liable for resulting damages. Even if black ice played a role in a collision, drivers may still face liability.
Wisconsin follows a system known as modified comparative negligence, or the 51 percent bar rule. This means that if you are 51 percent or more at fault for an accident, you are barred from recovering any compensation. If your percentage of fault is proven to be below this threshold, you may still recover compensation, but it will be lowered based on your percentage of fault. In other words, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 30 percent.
If you were involved in a multi-car collision in winter driving conditions, determining liability can be very complicated. An experienced car accident attorney will need to investigate the available evidence and work to prove the negligence (or lack of negligence) of each of the involved drivers. When establishing fault, insurance companies often blame the driver who lost control of his or her vehicle first.
When building a case on your behalf, an attorney will gather pertinent evidence to demonstrate that another driver lost control on the ice or snow first. This evidence may potentially include:
It is important to note that just because one driver lost control of his or her vehicle first while driving in adverse conditions, this fact does not guarantee that the driver will be given all—or even the majority—of the responsibility for the wreck. Liability may be distributed among all drivers and parties involved. For example, you may have been the first driver to lose control of their vehicle, but if the other driver was distracted, fatigued, or drunk, he or she may still be the most liable for the collision.
According to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, more than 18,600 auto accidents happen in the winter months when roads are slick from ice, slush, or snow.
When driving in bad weather, or on roads that may be slick from ice and snow, consider the following tips to avoid an accident:
At Studinski Law, LLC, our car accident lawyers have built a reputation for excellence in a range of complex cases. We know that after a serious wreck, you may be facing pain, disability, high medical bills, and time away from work you can’t afford. We are committed to helping you pursue the justice you deserve.
If you’ve been injured or lost someone you love in a winter car accident, call Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 to discuss your case for free. We proudly serve Plover, Marshfield, and all other Wisconsin areas.