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Passenger injured in car accident might have grounds to sue

People in Wisconsin do not always pay enough attention to the risks they face when getting into other people's cars. Similarly, not all drivers realize that the safety of passengers is their responsibility and that any negligence can lead to a car accident and potential legal claims. However, passengers can take precautions to protect themselves, even though the driver has control of the vehicle.

Typical causes of car accidents include distracted and impaired driving, along with speeding and violating traffic laws. Tailgating and weaving between traffic lanes are dangerous driving habits, and the failure to adjust driving techniques in snow or rain can cause a crash in the blink of an eye. Drowsy drivers cause many accidents, and also inattentive drivers that fail to keep a lookout for road construction zones, debris on the roadway and animals or pedestrians walking on or across the road.

Passengers can protect themselves by being particular about the drivers they trust with their lives. The ones to avoid are those without valid licenses and those who are known to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Passengers must always wear seat belts -- but never share them -- and avoid making hand gestures at other drivers that might annoy them. A passenger can discourage the driver from using his or her cell phone while driving and make sure that any children are securely strapped in and calm so as not to distract the driver.

Any passenger who suffers a car accident injury due to the negligence of the driver likely has grounds to sue for recovery of damages. Proving negligence might be tricky, but an experienced personal injury attorney can assist. If the lawyer determines that there are grounds for such a claim, he or she can provide representation in the Wisconsin civil court or dealings with insurance providers.

Source: consumersafety.org, "Car Safety", Caitlin Hoff, Accessed on March 9, 2018

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