Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC

No Fees Unless We Win.



Wisconsin Law Blog

Police officer killed in head on collision

With the holiday weekend approaching, accidents are of particular concern. After all, more than 40 million Americans are expected to travel this week; especially on Wednesday and Sunday. With higher traffic volumes comes the possibility of accidents, so drivers must be especially careful about what they do behind the wheel.

The tragedy that can come with car crashes is exemplified by a crash that took the life of a McFarland police officer. According to a recent report, the officer was driving west on Highway N about three miles from Edgerton when a pickup truck driven by a DNR agent crossed the center lane and crashed head on into the officer’s squad car. 

Top safety tips for driving during Thanksgiving

Last week, when you heard about a possible snowstorm for our region, you probably were thinking “uh oh, travelling during Thanksgiving is going to be hard.” While the snow essentially missed us, it does not mean that travelling by car for the upcoming holiday weekend won’t be difficult.

With gas prices essentially 70 cents less than they were last year, the American Automobile Association expects more than 40 million Americans to be travelling for Thanksgiving. With so many of these people taking to the road, the higher volume of traffic could increase the possibility of accidents occurring. Additionally, the possibility of bad weather could make things treacherous for drivers.

Never too early to review winter driving safety tips

November in Wisconsin is a time of change. It is almost like we are on borrowed time before snow begins to fall and roads become difficult to navigate. While it appears that we will not see flakes before Thanksgiving, travel on roads may not be so treacherous (especially before the Thanksgiving holiday).

Nevertheless, it is never too soon to review winter driving safety tips. With that said, this post will review some of the steps drivers should take to be safe during the coming winter months. 

Seatbelts in school buses could be a federal rule

For kids, getting to school shouldn’t be dangerous; especially those who are riding on school buses. After all, when kids are on a bus, they should be safer than those walking to school. When a school bus is involved in an accident, the children on the bus should be protected. However, there are some instances where kids may be at significant risk of suffering harm because they are not wearing seatbelts.

Unlike children riding in passenger cars, kids on school buses are not required to buckle up as a matter of law. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, this may change. According to a recent CBS report, the head of the NHTSA is pushing for rules that would require school bus companies to include seat restraints.

Three things you should never do after an accident

It is always amazing how quickly seasons turn in retail stores. On Saturday, Halloween decorations, costumes and candy dominated shelves. 48 hours later, it appears that the public is ready to embrace the holiday season even though Thanksgiving is still three weeks away.

Nevertheless, the holiday season is coming, which means that people across Wisconsin will be travelling to spend time with family. With that said, the chances of drivers being in an accident increase because of the larger number of drivers on the road, and the possibility of inclement weather.

Why moving violations are important in car accident cases

When we think about a moving violation, we generally are concerned with how it may affect our driving record and how much it will cost to pay for the violation. After all, a certain number of tickets may lead to one’s driving privileges being suspended or even revoked. 

While the criminal implications are certainly important, speeding tickets and citations for unsafe lane changes and the like can have civil implications as well. We will explain through this post.

Three tips for pedestrians on Halloween

This year Halloween falls on a Saturday; which means that kids don’t have to worry about going to school the next day. This will likely lead to more kids being out to trick-or-treat later into the night. While this may be a bonanza for kids, it may also be a dangerous situation for pedestrians of all ages. Unlike other holidays, which are dangerous for drivers, more pedestrian accidents are likely on Halloween.

Indeed, Wisconsin drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means they have to drive as a reasonable person would and use such care to look out for pedestrians. While the emphasis is on seeing children, drivers must be aware of all foot traffic this particular evening, especially those at 2-way and 4-way stops.

Common motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them

Even though it is the middle of October, motorcycle riders are not ready to but their bikes away for the winter. Indeed, hard core riders will be on their bikes until the first snow falls. Because of this, they must still be vigilant and do what they can to avoid accidents. With that, this post will identify a number of common accidents and what riders can do to avoid them.

A driver changes lanes in front of you – A driver may not see a motorcycle rider before changing lanes. After all, they are not programmed to see motorcycles, even though they have a duty to do so. To avoid this type of accident, riders should stay out of blind spots. While this may seem easier said than done, try to make sure you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirror. 

Why drowsy driving in Wisconsin can lead to accidents

Football season brings out the best in people, and unfortunately, the worst in people. Wisconsin is known for the greatest football fans; from Green Bay to Madison and all places in between. However, with football comes the tradition of drinking alcohol, which opens the gates for drunk driving.

Indeed, law enforcement agencies will be out looking for drunk drivers because of how dangerous they can be to the driving public. The same could be said of those who drive while texting or surfing the web on their phones. But the public safety attention paid to those dangers pales in comparison to the hazard of drowsy driving. 

What parents and teens should know about the '5 for Drive'

If you are the parent of a teenaged driver, you probably are worried every time he or she gets behind the wheel. If you feel this way, regardless of whether your child is a newly minted driver or has had their license for a while, you are certainly not alone.

After all, young drivers are more apt to take chances while driving; whether it is speeding up to beat a red light or trying to do too many things while behind the wheel (i.e. texting or changing the radio station). Because of these things, it is no wonder that car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-20.