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Milwaukee Personal Injury Law Blog

Truck drivers often violate these rules of the road

If you've spent any amount of time driving in close proximity to commercial trucks, especially on the highway, you know that many truckers neglect to follow the rules of the road. Instead, the only thing on their mind is reaching their destination as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, when a trucker violates the law, they increase the risk of an accident. Here are some of the many violations that can result in trouble:

  • Excessive speeding: When a trucker is on a tight deadline, they're more likely to speed. And in some cases, this is more than just a few miles per hour over the speed limit.
  • Illegal passing: For example, if traffic is slow-moving in the left lane, an impatient trucker may attempt to pass in the right lane, even though it isn't safe. Even if they're successful in doing so, it's against the law.
  • Distracted driving: Truckers often spend long hours on the road, during which they look for anything possible to pass the time. This can result in daydreaming, talking on the phone, texting, drinking or eating. All of these are distractions that greatly increase the risk of an accident.

Driving in the rain is as dangerous as it sounds

Even the most experienced drivers can become nervous and stressed out when navigating the roads in a heavy downpour.

Despite your concerns, there are steps you can take to maintain a high level of safety when driving in the rain. Do the following:

  • Slow down: Even if you don't do anything else, this one adjustment can save you from trouble. Depending on how slow you're driving and the amount of traffic you're in, you may want to use your hazard lights to warn others of your speed.
  • Keep two hands on the wheel: If you hit standing water, you may begin to feel that you're losing control of your vehicle. With two hands on the wheel, it's easier to maintain stability.
  • Use your headlights: There are two reasons why this is important. First off, it allows you to more clearly see where you are going. Also, it makes you more visible to other drivers, which reduces the risk of an accident.

A shoulder tear can impact your ability to work

Depending on your profession, a shoulder tear has the potential to impact your ability to work at full capacity. For this reason, if you suspect that you're injured, it's critical to receive medical treatment and a formal diagnosis.

A tear can occur in many parts of the shoulder, including the muscles, tendons or the labrum. Furthermore, a tear can be either partial or complete, both of which require a unique approach to treatment.

Can I Get Workers Comp if Laid Off with a Back Injury?

In Wisconsin if laid off with a back injury you can get workers compensation under some circumstances. Here is a common scenario. It can be a man or woman, but in this case let's call our worker Jack. Jack has worked in the trades for years and gained a lot of experience and knowledge of how to get things done the right way. Unfortunately, as a by-product of those years on the job, Jack also acquired a bad back. Jack self-treats for awhile, getting up early to slam some Advil but always going in. His spouse has lived with Jack's back injury for years too and she finally gets him to see a doctor. Jack may get some physical therapy, meds or even injections, but he doesn't put the bills on workers comp or make a claim. Even though Jack and his wife know damn well the back didn't start to hurt on its own or while Jack watched football on Sundays. Time goes by, Jack gets older and guys on the job notice he can't do everything he used to in a physical sense. But that's ok because his experience makes things work easier and better for everyone, something the bosses know and appreciate as well. At some point its clear that Jack is more of a foreman or superintendent on site, but he doesn't have the title or pay. But that's fine, there's a lot of work and its good to have a guy like Jack around, especially when times are busy.

Wisconsin Worker's Compensation and Coronavirus COVID-19

Our office is not representing or advising workers concerning Coronavirus COVID-19. Because people have asked us questions, we can restate what the State of Wisconsin is advising. For more information, please contact the State of Wisconsin DWD at (608) 266-1340.

Safety tips for riding your motorcycle this spring

As the weather breaks, a growing number of people will pull their motorcycle out of the garage and hit the open road. If this sounds familiar, make sure you prepare accordingly before you jump in the saddle.

There are a variety of safety tips you can follow when riding your motorcycle this spring. These three will give you peace of mind:

  • Watch for changing weather conditions: Even though it's warming up, the weather can still take a turn for the worse without much notice. If you're on your bike when it begins to rain or the wind picks up, change your driving style to protect yourself. And if you're not comfortable, pull to a safe place and wait out the storm.
  • Beware of potholes: After a harsh winter, the local roadways are often full of potholes and cracks. This may not be a big deal to those operating a motor vehicle, but it can throw you for a curve as a motorcyclist.
  • Inspect your motorcycle: Proper maintenance is critical to your safety, so inspect your motorcycle and make any necessary repairs before hitting the road. For example, your tires may have lost air over the winter season. If you don't inflate them according to manufacturer specifications, it harms your ability to drive safely.

Avoid these forms of aggressive driving

Defensive driving will give you peace of mind, as you know you're taking steps to maintain your safety. Conversely, if you get into the habit of driving too aggressively, it puts you at risk of an accident.

There are many forms of aggressive driving, all of which you want to avoid. In some cases, you may not even realize that you're making a big mistake. Here are three examples of aggressive driving:

  • Excessive speeding: Everyone drives a bit over the speed limit from time to time, but doing this in excess is considered aggressive driving. For example, if the speed limit is 65 mph, driving 85 mph is extremely dangerous.
  • Illegal passing: There are many examples of this, such as passing in the right lane on the highway or crossing over a solid traffic line in a city or rural setting.
  • Tailgating: You should leave a comfortable amount of space between your vehicle and the one in front of yours. Getting too close will make the other driver nervous, while also increasing the risk of a rear end accident. It's better to leave more space than necessary than not enough.

How to work outdoors in extreme heat

With the hot summer season right around the corner, you may not be looking forward to working outdoors. However, if your job calls for it, it's critical that you prepare accordingly. With the right approach, you can maintain your safety all while completing your job as required.

Here are some tips for working outdoors in extreme heat:

  • Hydrate before you start: Before you get started, consume as much water as possible. This puts you in a good place as you begin your day. And of course, you should continue to hydrate throughout your shift.
  • Take breaks: When necessary, take a break in a cool place, such as indoors or under a tree. Even if it's only for five minutes, it helps your mind and body recover and stay fresh.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration: If your mouth and skin are dry, you feel dizzy and your breathing and heartbeat are picking up, there's a good chance you're moving toward a state of dehydration. You should immediately stop what you're doing, head for cooler temperatures and rehydrate.
  • Wear the right clothes: Choose clothes that allow air to circulate and your skin to breathe. If you're covered in heavy cotton, for example, it'll greatly increase the risk of dehydration.

Teen drivers are at risk of making many mistakes: Help them

As the parent of a teen driver, you're well aware of how nerve-racking it is every time they get behind the wheel. It's natural to have concerns, as you know that the roads are a dangerous place.

Teen drivers are at risk of making a variety of mistakes, all of which can result in an accident and/or trouble with the law. Fortunately, you can help protect them by sharing your knowledge and providing all the tools they need to remain safe.

Here’s why truck accidents remain a major concern

As someone who spends any amount of time on the roads in or around Milwaukee, you know there are large commercial trucks everywhere. While they're most commonly spotted on the area's highways, don't be surprised if you come across these vehicles in a city setting.

Even with laws in place and truckers taking more caution than ever before, truck accidents remain a major concern. Here's why these accidents happen:

  • Distractions: Driving a commercial truck is difficult enough when paying attention to the road. Should a trucker become distracted, the risk of causing a crash is even greater.
  • Drowsy driving: Truckers often push the limit in regard to how long they stay on the road, as they don't want to miss a deadline and jeopardize losing their job. This causes them to continue driving when they should be sleeping.
  • Reckless driving: Everyone has come across a reckless trucker as some point. This is the type of person who drives too fast, changes lanes without signaling or refuses to let you pass.
  • Improper loading: Even if you can't see what a truck is hauling, there's a good chance there's something in the trailer. Improper loading can result in the truck tipping or losing items on the roadway.

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