Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd.
When Your Future is at Stake

Appleton drunk driving car accident lawyerOn April 5th, 2019, three people were fatally injured in a car accident outside of the Village of Bristol. The three passengers were killed when a drunk driver who was traveling at speeds over 100 mph rear-ended their vehicle, causing the car to flip into a ditch. The tragic accident was a sobering reminder of the dangers of drunk driving. If a member of your family is injured in a drunk driving accident, you should seek out legal assistance right away. 

Drunk Driving Injury Statistics 

Throughout 2017, one American was fatally injured every 48 minutes in a motor vehicle collision involving a drunk driver. In all, a shocking 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2017. Here in the state of Wisconsin, drunk driving is one of the leading factors contributing to car accidents. According to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 2,872 people were injured in drunk driving accidents statewide in 2015. Of those injured, 190 people ultimately lost their lives due to the injuries suffered. Throughout that year, alcohol was a contributing factor in 34% of all Wisconsin traffic deaths.

How Drinking Impacts a Driver 

When a driver makes the negligent decision to consume alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel of a car, they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk. First and foremost, drinking can significantly impact a person’s motor skills, resulting in substantial declines in coordination. Alcohol consumption can also diminish a person’s reaction time, decision making, and vision. Even if the driver is operating their vehicle in a responsible manner (obeying speed limits and staying in their lane), the diminished motor skills increase the likelihood of a collision. 

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Wisconsin drunk driving accident attorneysEach year, an estimated 10,000 deaths occur because of drunk driving. Scientific experts, who say that these deaths are “completely preventable,” recently issued a report that encourages states to take another look at their drunk driving thresholds. If their suggestion to lower the current BAC threshold is headed, the number of criminal drunk driving cases in the United States could dramatically increase. Drunk driving accident victims, who often have to fight for fair compensation after a crash with a drunk driver, may also start to experience better overall outcomes in their personal injury cases. 

Changes to the BAC Threshold May Be on the Horizon 

Although drunk driving was first ruled as “illegal” in 1910, efforts to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths did not truly start until the early 1980s. Before that, around half of all traffic deaths had been attributed to an intoxicated driver. Over the next 30 years, those deaths would decrease by half; the enactment of a national per se law that made it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, irrespective to any signs of intoxication, was an instrumental part in this decline of drunk driving deaths. 

Sadly, experts say the numbers have grown stagnant in some states and are rising in others. They believe that a lower BAC threshold of 0.05 could drive the numbers back down. One state, Utah, has already enacted such a law, but it is not set to take effect until December of 2018. 

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Wisconsin drunk driving lawyersStatistics indicate that three out of 10 drivers in the U.S. will experience a drunk driving accident at some point in their lives. Sadly, these accidents often involve uninsured or unlicensed drivers who have repeatedly driven while intoxicated, so victims may struggle to obtain compensation. Add in the chances of a hit-and-run and the devastating nature of most drunk driving accidents and you have a frustrating and frightening situation for crash victims. Thankfully, there are ways that you can recover compensation. Learn more, including how the assistance of a seasoned, competent car accident lawyer can help to increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation after an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Criminal Charges and Civil Penalties

Drunk drivers often face criminal charges when their actions have caused an accident, but they may also be subject to civil penalties - or compensation to the victim or their loved ones. Unfortunately, it is often a complex, multi-step process, and few are prepared for it. Add in the stress that injured parties tend to experience after a crash, the lack of income for those that are too hurt to work, and the mounting medical bills, and it becomes clear that drunk driving victims can benefit from qualified legal assistance while navigating the claims process.

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Wisconsin drugged driving accident lawyersDrunk driving accidents have long plagued society. Unfortunately, it is no longer the biggest threat on the road. Instead, that title now goes to drugged driving. The following explains the severity of the problem, and it provides some solutions for staying safe on the road. It also offers useful information on the rights of drugged driving accident victims, including their right to pursue compensation with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.

America’s Drug Epidemic

For years, health experts have expressed concern over the rising prevalence of prescription drug abuse. Of the highest concern is the opioid addiction, which is now thought to impact over 2.5 million Americans. Many of those who are addicted end up getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Some are so drugged that they literally pass out while driving. Others simply have impaired driving abilities. Either scenario can cause a serious or fatal accident.

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Wisconsin drunk driving accident lawyersEach year, nearly 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents. Even more experience injuries of varying degrees. Many victims need at least some form of medical treatment, which can result in costly medical bills. Further, some drunk driving accident victims may lose time at work. Still, others may experience permanent disability and may never be able to return to work – and all because one person acted with negligence. Thankfully, victims do have the right to pursue compensation for their losses. The following explains what types of compensation victims may be owed, and how they can increase their chances of a fair settlement.

Common Types of Compensation

Like with most auto accidents, victims may pursue compensation from the negligent driver’s car insurance company. Handled much like any other claim, this type of compensation is known as a personal injury claim. However, drunk driving victims may also be owed restitution from the drunk driver. Such damages are sought through the dram shop laws; though they are limited, they may increase the overall amount of a victim’s settlement.

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Appleton Office
800 North Lynndale Drive
Appleton, WI
54914-3017
(920) 739-7366
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Green Bay Office
2740 South Oneida Street
Green Bay, WI
54304-5751
(920) 468-7366
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105 East Waupaca Street
New London, WI
54961-1227
(920) 982-9652
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Oshkosh Office
510 North Koeller Street
Oshkosh, WI
54902
(920) 385-0616
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  • American Association for Justice
Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. is located in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves clients in Fox Valley, Outagamie County, Brown County, Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, including Appleton, New London, Clintonville, Neenah, Oshkosh, DePere, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, Neenah, Chilton, Menasha, Shawano, Waupaca, Wausau, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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