Car accident negligence means a driver broke the rules of the road. If that negligence caused injury, then the negligent driver and his insurance company have to pay damages to the injured person.

In Wisconsin negligence is defined as a person is negligent when he or she fails to exercise ordinary care.  Ordinary care is the care which a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances.  A person is not using ordinary care and is negligent, if the person, without intending to do harm, does something or fails to do something that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to a person.

In operating a motor vehicle, the Wisconsin statutes very clearly and precisely define what a driver must do in almost every circumstance while driving on the highways and roads. The violation of these rules of the road constitutes negligence.

For example, when traveling behind another vehicle, a driver must maintain a proper lookout so as to see if the car in front is slowing or stopping. A person who has the duty of keeping a lookout must look with such attention and care as to see what is in plain sight.  If a person looks and does not see what is in plain sight, the person did not keep a proper lookout, and the person is just as negligent as if the person did not look at all. The duty to look means to look efficiently.  A person who looks and fails to see what is in plain sight is in precisely the position he or she would be in if he or she did not look at all. So when a driver rear ends a vehicle in front of him or her, it is usually due to a failure to lookout.

Pedestrians have a duty of care as well. A pedestrian, who enters and crosses a street or highway on a crosswalk, must use ordinary care to observe timely the presence, location, and movement of vehicles that may be approaching. When a pedestrian crosses at a place other than a crosswalk, it is the pedestrian’s duty to maintain a lookout reasonably necessary to enable the pedestrian to yield the right of way to vehicles.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin McCormick Law Office attorneys get the best results when the motor vehicle accident report documents the police officer’s impression of what rules of the road the defendant driver violated. However, unless the police actually witnessed the accident, his accident report is not admissible to prove negligence as it is hearsay. The report may give information on witnesses who can give a first hand account of what happened and who caused the collision.