A rear-end collision in Wisconsin is an auto accident covered by negligence law. Almost always the rear-ending vehicle should be 100% responsible for the crash and the damages incurred by the driver and passengers in the vehicle struck, as well as anyone else impacted such as passengers in the defendants own vehicle and others in the area. Damages payable by the negligent driver’s insurance include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
Wisconsin law addressing rear-end collisions include Wisconsin Jury Instruction Civil 1112 OPERATION OF AUTOMOBILE FOLLOWING ANOTHER:
The driver of a motor vehicle should not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent. In determining whether a driver was following the vehicle ahead more closely than was reasonable and prudent, you should consider the speed and location of both vehicles, the amount of traffic, the condition of the highway, and the visibility at the time.
Cleary, impacting the car in front of one is following too close. But another jury instruction applies before the negligent driver gets too close. WJIC 1055 LOOKOUT states:
A driver must use ordinary care to keep a careful lookout ahead and about him or her for the presence or movement of other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians that may be within or approaching the driver’s course of travel. In addition, the driver has the duty [to use ordinary care] to lookout for the condition of the highway ahead and for traffic signs, markers, obstructions to vision, and other things that might warn of possible danger. The failure to use ordinary care to keep a careful lookout is negligence.
To satisfy this duty of lookout, the driver must use ordinary care to make observations from a point where the driver’s observations would be effective to avoid the accident. Additionally, having made the observation, the driver must then exercise reasonable judgment in calculating the position or movement of persons, vehicles, or other objects.
In addition, if a driver does see something in front of him or her, WJIC 1105 MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL provides:
A driver must use ordinary care to keep his or her vehicle under proper management and control so that when danger appears, the driver may stop the vehicle, reduce speed, change course, or take other proper means to avoid injury or damage. If a driver does not see or become aware of danger in time to take proper means to avoid the accident, the driver is not negligent as to management and control.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin represents persons hurt in car crashes by drivers who negligently cause rear-end collisions. Rear-end accidents are probably the leading cause of cervical hyper-extension/flexion acceleration injuries, commonly called whiplash of the neck.