Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Man driving under the influence in Wisconsin was also texting?

Interstate 94 in Wisconsin was shut down from the Milwaukee-Racine county line to Rawson Avenue recently. This caused traffic to become congested in the Oak Creek area. It was during this traffic congestion that a man was allegedly driving under the influence when he hit a motorcycle.

The motorcycle had either stopped or significantly slowed down when a trailing car slammed into it. The impact caused the motorcycle rider to smack his head into the pavement. A 911 dispatcher was told that the biker was not conscious, but was breathing. Emergency personnel transported the victim to an area hospital. The injuries are currently reported to be non-life threatening.

When police arrived, they determined that the car driver had been drinking and arrested him for drunk driving. As the driver was being interviewed by police, he admitted that he wasn't watching the road because he was texting at the time of the accident. It is unknown whether additional charges will be filed against him as the criminal case progresses.

If it turns out that the man had indeed been driving under the influence, that factor alone likely makes this a completely avoidable accident. This, coupled with the fact that the man admitted he was texting at the time, may make it easier for the victim to prove in a personal injury suit that the driver was negligent. Should the victim prevail in a Wisconsin court, the motorcycle rider may be awarded costs and damages incurred as a result of being injured in this accident. Costs can include, but may not be limited to, things such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering related to the injuries suffered.

Source: Oak Creek, WI Patch, "Police: Driver in Crash Was Drunk, Texting," Mark Schaaf, May 21, 2013

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