Car accidents can be fatal. In Appleton, an average of 1.6 fatal car accidents occur each year. Approximately 44 percent of these accidents involved alcohol. Among the recorded fatal collisions, approximately one third occurred on roadways with speed limits 25 miles per hour and lower. Accidents occurred on all types of roadways in the city, both local roads and highways. The interchange with the greatest number of fatal accidents was where Interstate 41 meets US Route 441.
If you are injured in a car accident, you have the right to work with an Appleton personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. If you lose a loved one in a car accident, you may seek compensation for damages related to his or her death through a wrongful death claim.
Fatal Car Accidents in Wisconsin
In total, 603 people died in car accidents in Wisconsin in 2017. This was up from 2016’s figure of 588.
Appleton is uniquely situated in three counties: Calumet, Winnebago, and Outagamie. In Calumet County, five people died in car accidents in 2017. In Winnebago County, nine people died and in Outagamie County, the number of victims was 20.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation data from 2016 shows the following statistics about fatal car accidents in Wisconsin:
- 186 people died in speed-related collisions;
- 49 pedestrians died;
- 11 bicyclists died; and
- 143 fatalities were linked to alcohol.
Reducing your Chance of being Killed in a Car Accident
There are ways you can reduce your chance of being injured or killed in one of Appleton’s fatal car accidents. Do not mistake this for being able to eliminate your chance of being killed in a car accident – the only way to guarantee that you will never die in a car accident is to spend the rest of your life inside your home. But by taking certain safety precautions, you can reduce your chance of being involved in an accident and if you are in an accident, increase your chance of surviving.
- Always wear your seatbelt when you are in a motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a seatbelt reduces drivers’ and front seat passengers’ risk of dying in an accident by 45 percent;
- Put the phone down when you are driving. Reading a text message can take your eyes off the road for up to five seconds, which is plenty of time to get into a fatal collision. Even talking on a handheld phone can increase your chance of being involved in an accident because it takes a hand off the steering wheel and your attention off the process of driving;
- Adjust your driving to your environment. When the road is covered in ice or snow, slow down and take turns less sharply. When you drive at night, use your headlights and when necessary, your high beams; and
- Never drive if you feel drowsy. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. If you feel too tired to drive, drink a cup of coffee, eat a snack, or take a short nap before you get behind the wheel.
These safety tips will help you avoid causing accidents and help you avoid getting into accidents caused by other drivers. When another driver is speeding or swerving aggressively, staying alert by choosing not to use your phone while driving can help you avoid a potentially fatal collision.
Seeking Compensation After Losing a Loved One in a Car Accident
When a victim dies in a car accident, his or her loved ones can seek compensation for their damages through a wrongful death claim. These damages can include:
- The victim’s medical bills;
- The victim’s funeral and burial expenses;
- The family’s loss of the loved one’s companionship;
- The family’s emotional trauma from the death; and
- The loss of the victim’s earnings and employment benefits.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Car Accident Attorney
Losing a loved one in a car accident is devastating. When you lose a loved one in a preventable accident, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages through a wrongful death claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing this type of claim, contact our team of experienced car accident lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us. We can answer your questions and provide you with the legal guidance you need.