Ask The Experts: October 1, 2017

Transcript

MR. NELLES: Good morning. And welcome to Ask The Experts. I’m Mitch Nelles, a/k Thunder. This is The Big 920, thebig920.com. We stream nationwide and beyond via the iHeartRadio app.

And it is my pleasure at this time to introduce our first ever guest on this inaugural episode of Ask the Experts. He is Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. Jon, good morning.

MR. GROTH: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

MR. NELLES: Absolutely. Thanks for coming in bright and early on this Sunday morning. How’s everything going? How you doing? What’s — I’m at grothlawfirm.com. That’s G-r-o-t-h. Grothlawfirm.com. And great picture of you, you know, walking the city streets.

Tell me a little bit about how you got started and what type of law you’re involved in and what you’re all about.

MR. GROTH: Well, how many hours do we have to talk here, Mitch?

MR. NELLES: We got — well, we got up to noon until kick — until kickoff, though the Packers already took care of business Thursday night, so —

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: So we’re good with that.

MR. GROTH: It was a great night. All right. Yeah, thanks for having me again. I’m a Milwaukee kid, born and raised. I was raised on the northwest side of the City.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: About 124th and Good Hope.

MR. NELLES: Sure. Yep.

MR. GROTH: My dad is a retired Milwaukee fireman.

MR. NELLES: Oh, wow.

MR. GROTH: So we had to live in the City.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: I went to grade school in the City. Went to high school in the City. And then I went off to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for undergrad.

MR. NELLES: The Fighting Phoenix.

MR. GROTH: The Fighting Phoenix.

MR. NELLES: Where’d you go to high school?

MR. GROTH: Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: On 84th and Bluemound approximately.

MR. NELLES: Absolutely.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. And like I was saying before, we were just chatting off the air there, about Green Bay in general. It was an interesting place to be in the ’90s. You had Brett Farve, who was just getting started, you know.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: Things were going great. And I graduated before they won the Super Bowl.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: But it was a good few years because you could go and you’d be walking around and see Frankie Winters.

MR. NELLES: Yep.

MR. GROTH: Or Brett Farve.

MR. NELLES: Old Bag of Donuts.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. It was a fun time. So, yeah, I went there. And then I went to Marquette Law School.

MR. NELLES: And you weren’t Snapchatting pictures with them or anything like that?

MR. GROTH: There — no. I can’t even remember if I even saw a flash in some of the bars we were at when they would walk in because you just see them just walk in.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: It was awesome.

MR. NELLES: And it was just normal.

MR. GROTH: It was normal.

MR. NELLES: I have stories — similar stories in Milwaukee, you know. Being — I mean, I went to Madison, but, you know, you’d be downtown and certainly Taylor’s and some of the other places, you know, Favre and Chewy and some of the guys would just walk in.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: And be like, hey, you know. There would be a little buzz, but that was pretty much it.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. Oh, it was a different — I guess a different time, but it was lots of fun. Lots of fun. So then I went to law school at Marquette.

MR. NELLES: Okay. Sure.

MR. GROTH: Graduated in 2000. And then for the past 17 years, I’ve been practicing law. The vast majority of the time, almost since the very beginning, actually before even graduating, I worked for a big personal injury firm in the Chicago area.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And then decided that’s what I wanted to do. And I’ve been doing personal injury plaintiffs’ work, so the victims’ work —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — since then.

MR. NELLES: Wow. Jon Groth joining us on Ask — I’m going to get ax — Ask the Experts here on The Big 920, thebig920.com.

So speaking of personal injury, you know, I think many of us get used to seeing, whether it’s billboards or commercials, there are certain firms

in town. And you go to any city and you see this, you know. There’s always that one or two firm that — that blasts the traditional advertising and stuff like that. But then you know that there’s a number of other really good firms out there.

How — how do you go about choosing a firm and what — you know, what are kind of some of the principles that you believe in that you think set you apart and connect you with the community?

MR. GROTH: Sure. Sure. I think, and it’s kind of — I don’t want to say peculiar, but different to say this because I — the way that I think and the way that I explain this to potential clients is such that you have to look at your lawyer as somebody you’re going to be in a — really a long-term relationship with. It’s kind of odd to say, but I mean —

MR. NELLES: That’s interesting, yeah.

MR. GROTH: — but you could be with your lawyer literally years and years.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: I have cases — I’ve handled cases and I’ve had cases, I have current cases, that have been around for four years. So I’ve known these people for two, three, four years at a time. I’ve had cases that have gone where I argue before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and I’m with that client for five years.

So when you’re looking at a lawyer and looking at the law firm in general, you want to see a group of people that you can see yourself being with for a period of time, people you feel comfortable with.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And it’s not just a lawyer because the staff of a law firm is extremely important. And I’m — I’m very proud of our staff. We have staff — we have paralegals who have been paralegals since 1983 one of them, and 1990 the other.

MR. NELLES: Wow.

MR. GROTH: So they have more experience —

MR. NELLES: So they really know what they’re doing.

MR. GROTH: Oh, my gosh. They have more experience than most — than most lawyers do.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: And we go to them time and time again asking for all kinds of information.

And they can just rattle it off off the top of their heads, and it’s really cool.

So that’s something that I think it’s — it’s important that you have to get the right group of people and the right group of people that fits your needs and just kind of your personality.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Because you don’t want to go to somebody that you’re going to hate talking to for the next two — two, three years potentially. You know, hopefully, and I always say this, hopefully I only know you for a month or two.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: Because that means you’re better and the case is over and that’s it.

MR. NELLES: Yes. And —

MR. GROTH: Worst case scenario —

MR. NELLES: And you’re taken care of.

MR. GROTH: And you’re taken care of. And then we can shake hands and you are going to be fine.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: The worst case scenario is you have a long-term problem and we’re in a relationship for years upon years.

MR. NELLES: Absolutely. He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. Go to grothlawfirm.com, that’s G-r-o-t-h, grothlawfirm.com.

You know, I guess I never thought of it that way. And I’m guessing a lot of people out there don’t think of it that way when they talk about finding a law firm and, you know, something happens, you know, car accident or some sort of accident that nobody could’ve foreseen. That you’re not just looking for, you know — that you have to do your due diligence, I should say —

MR. GROTH: Mm-mm.

MR. NELLES: — in figuring out who you want to work with. I mean, I didn’t think that you got to — you got to think about the relationships, you got to think about the staff. I mean, I just think about, you know, the name of the law firm.

MR. GROTH: Sure.

MR. NELLES: And I know you — you know, it’s your name, so your name’s out there. But there’s a lot more to it, like you just said.

MR. GROTH: There is, yeah. And it’s — I guess to make the sports analogy, you know, you have to act like you’ve been there before. And with a law firm with — with cases that we have, and this is what we try to do on a weekly basis is meet together, all the lawyers, and talk about different cases and certainly the strategy, and how to, I guess I’ll throw out some buzz words, max the case or max your case.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: And things you can do knowing that if we go to trial in a year, or whatever that’s going to be, that we can get certain things into evidence based on what’s going on in the case.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And you have to look at that as to what the end result might be. And that might be where somebody’s getting in front of a jury and swearing under oath. And then how are you going to present that case and things that you have to get out so we can make that case. And those are the things like — well, I guess I’ll tell you last week we had two of our attorneys who were in trial.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And it’s interesting. They come back and they talk about defense counsel and, you know, the insurance companies and what their tactics were.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: And some of the tactics were just such that they’re really nitpicking on particular dates, that dates were so important. So then you have to look back and then think of other cases, and that allows you to go back. And we have a nice roundtable discussion about all the other cases, Okay, now what do we have to do if this defense attorney or this insurance company’s going to do that strategy. And it’s — it’s fun, I guess. Because there is a lot of strategy, there’s a lot of thinking six moves ahead.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: It’s kind of like chess, I guess you could say that, too.

MR. NELLES: Yeah. Sure.

MR. GROTH: Where you have to think as to what’s going to happen a year from now, two years from now, if you’re in front of a jury and you have to present this story to the jury.

MR. NELLES: You talk about it like chess. And I think of it as like Craig Counsell’s job.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: You know, where you’re a baseball manager. And so often people think, Oh, you know, it’s the 6th inning, and the guy’s struggling. Well, you got to figure out who the next pitcher is. Well, no, you got to figure out how that’s going to affect three other guys and tomorrow and the next day.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: You know, it’s not just in a bubble.

MR. GROTH: Because — yeah, your — your closer might be go — going to work now, but he has to go to work 12 hours later because it’s an early game.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: So what are you going to do?

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: I understand. You know, that’s something that we have to — I think we have to get across to the general public is just to understand that there’s a lot that goes on with these kind of situations. And there’s a lot that you have to really watch out for when it comes down to what the insurance companies do and what they want to do. It’s a business for them.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: The process is not fair. This is something where insurance companies are going to do what they have to do and what they need to do to keep their bottom line where they want it. And they’re going to do certain things like try to get you to sign authorizations or try to get you to give statements where you mess something up. And it — and I’ll give you a real life situation here. This was something that I tell the story all the time because it just bugs the heck out of me.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: But it’s — it’s the truth. One time, this is years ago, I had a client who came to me months after a car accident.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And they were still having problems, they were still actively treating. You know, they’re still going to physical therapists —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — and such. And I was retained. And I called the insurance adjuster and say, Hey, Mitch, my name’s Jon Groth, and I’ve been retained by so-and-so. And the adjuster said, Well, Jon, I’m looking at my notes on this day, a couple days after the car accident, I called your client and asked them how are they doing. And they said I’m fine. And they asked me how I was doing. And then my response was, Well, that’s not the truth because they’d been going to physical therapy.

So then I get off the phone and I call my client and the client said, Well, yeah. Whenever anybody calls —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: “Hey, how are you?” “I’m fine. How are you?”

MR. NELLES: “How are you?”

MR. GROTH: And ever since then —

MR. NELLES: It’s your natural reaction.

MR. GROTH: It’s your natural reaction. And so ever since then, you know, when I see these TV ads for my competitors and for other lawyers across the nation, when they say don’t say anything, don’t sign anything, there’s a reason because —

MR. NELLES: They really mean it.

MR. GROTH: They really mean it.

MR. NELLES: Even saying, “I’m fine. How are you?”

MR. GROTH: It was —

MR. NELLES: Because when I see that commercial, I think, Well, you don’t want to give them too many details, but it’s even just how you respond to that initial, “Hey, how are you?”

MR. GROTH: It — it was so eye opening. It was so interesting that this — that this gesture was going to use something innocuous, something as common as “Hey, how are you,” to —

MR. NELLES: That’s unbelievable.

MR. GROTH: — to really hurt them. And, you know, in that case, like all the other cases, then you have to use that information that you have and show the proof, show through physical therapy records, MRIs, CT scans, whatever it’s going to be, that no, they weren’t fine, they aren’t fine. And maybe the day they said they were fine was when they were on — they were taking ibuprofen or they were just back from PT or whatever it was. And that particular moment in time, they were fine. Or they were just being nice.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: So, yeah.

MR. NELLES: We’re Wisconsinites. Somebody asks us how we’re doing, we say, “I’m good. How are you?”

MR. GROTH: Yes, exactly.

MR. NELLES: “I’m fine. How are you?”

MR. GROTH: Yes, exactly.

MR. NELLES: Whether we’re doing fine or not.

He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. This is Ask the Experts on The Big 920, thebig920.com, and the iHeartRadio app. So you brought up dealings with insurance companies.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: And I have to imagine that this is a very big deal to many, if not all, of your clients right now because, I mean, I’m not involved in a current case. I don’t know if I’m — you know, I could say I’m not involved in a current case with you.

MR. GROTH: Right.

MR. NELLES: Or with anyone.

MR. GROTH: Good.

MR. NELLES: And I think insurance companies are slime balls. So how do we get — you know, there’s so much discussion right now about, you know, the National Anthem and the left and the right and the politics and the sports and the — and everything going on that’s divisive in our society.

Well, even before any of this was happening, I think we all kind of thought insurance companies were slime. How do we get to a point where we can have that discussion, whether it’s politically or whether it’s with insurance companies and lawyers or whoever it needs to be, that somebody’s doing the right thing? You know, why is it so hard? I get — you mentioned it. Insurance companies are a business.

MR. GROTH: Mm-mm.

MR. NELLES: I get that.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: And they have bottom lines and they have rules and regulations. But to — you know, to your last example, this person’s clearly still hurt. I’m not saying the insurance company should be bending over backward to give them millions and millions of dollars, but they’re clearly not fine even if they said, “I’m fine. How are you?”

MR. GROTH: But don’t — don’t trick them. You know —

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: — that’s the part, is they’re trying to do tricky business —

MR. NELLES: Yes.

MR. GROTH: — to try and figure things out in their favor. And there are some insurance companies that I wouldn’t go so far as saying slime balls, but there are some insurance companies that are going to use every trick in the book that they can to help their bottom line and to win the game. And many times insurance companies and people in general talk about this as a game when we’re dealing with people’s lives, with their business —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — with their livelihood. You know, I don’t know when we’re going to get to that point, if there’s ever going to be a time when we can get to that the point where we have just a simple conversation where we have two adults talking about, okay, this is somebody who’s injured, let’s do the right thing.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: Let’s — let’s put aside whether we want to win or lose. And let’s not look at it that way and let’s look at it just getting somebody back to where they should’ve been if they weren’t hit while walking across the crosswalk or if they weren’t bitten by a dog or things like that.

MR. NELLES: Because somehow I think, at the end of the day, that’s going to cost less money cumulatively than all of the — you know, I know you make your living on —

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: — that there are cases and clients. But at the end of the day, if the insurance company does what’s right, if you’re doing what’s right, if the — if the person that — if your client is telling the truth, that things are going to work out better if — if people work together than working against each other all the time.

MR. GROTH: But we’re all humans. You know, what’s going to happen is humans have a tendency to — some people do things the wrong way. And —

MR. NELLES: That’s fair.

MR. GROTH: And that happens with insurance companies, too. I mean, there are — I don’t know how many times a week I say this to people when I have new clients call and they say the only reason they’re calling an attorney is because they feel that something’s up with the insurance company, that the person didn’t have, I guess, a good bedside manner or they were rude or they come to their house with a check, and it’s been a couple days after an accident, and it’s like, well, now, it feels like — it sounds like you’re trying to buy me off.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: What’s really going on here?

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: So you have those kind of situations. And maybe my — my retirement job is to just go and consult with insurance companies to say, Be nice.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: Just be humans. And understand it.

MR. NELLES: And it’ll work out a lot better.

MR. GROTH: Yes. Because then you’re not going to have as many lawsuits, in all honesty, because people aren’t going to be driven to guys like me because hopefully you would treat them fairly.

MR. NELLES: We’re going to discuss insurance companies, dealing with the insurance companies. We’re going to talk about some specific cases that Jon’s been involved in and how to — how to communicate, how to deal, what to say, what not to say after an accident, all that sort of stuff as we move on here.

He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. Go to grothlawfirm.com. That’s G-r-o-t-h, grothlawfirm.com. This is The Big 920, thebig920.com streaming nationwide on the iHeartRadio app. This is Ask the Experts.

(When you’ve been injured, the last thing you want to do is deal with the headache and confusion of working with an insurance company to try and receive compensation. Leave the hard work and headaches to the professionals at Groth Law Firm, SC. They can provide thorough and timely representation for your personal injury case no matter the type. They’ve years of experience working with personal injury cases. The Groth Law Firm knows all the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies and will be able to get you the full compensation that you deserve. Often insurance companies and at-fault parties do not want to take responsibility. They will try to get you to settle and take less money than you deserve. But Groth Law Firm won’t let that happen. There is a statute of limitations on your personal injury case, so don’t hesitate. Call the Groth Law Firm offices today for a free confidential consultation. Contact them at 877-375-7001. That’s 877-375-7001. They can help you determine if you have a case and let you know what the next steps need to be.)

MR. NELLES: Continuing Ask the Experts here on The Big 920, thebig920.com. And the iHeartRadio app. My name is Mitch Nelles, AK Thunder. Check out my podcast. It’s all thunder on the iHeartRadio app. I’m going to have some fun guests coming up in the next couple of weeks. But today on Ask the Experts, we are joined by Jon Groth from Growth Law Firm. That’s G-r-o-t-h. Grothlawfirm.com. Grothlawfirm.com.

We’ve been talking about the relationship between an injured client, the law firm, and the insurance company. And we may have said, or I may have said, some not so nice things about insurance companies in the previous segment because that’s my perception. My perception is if I get hurt, my insurance company’s going to kind of try to take care of me, but maybe pay me off a lesser amount than I really need.

So Jon’s here today. And Jon, take us into that process. Because I think a lot of people are scared. I mean, I know if I got hurt or if my wife got hurt, God forbid, having to deal with the insurance company, I’m — just even thinking about that makes me sweat. I’m nervous about that process. How — how does that process start? And then how do you help that process?

MR. GROTH: Sure. Sure. And that’s something that I get quite often where we get people who call and say, Hey, I was just involved in a car accident. Well, I can give you a real life example just a couple days ago.

Last week, I think it was Wednesday, I had a client who called and said — this is somebody who I’ve known for years, past client, said, Hey, Jon, I was just involved in a car accident, and the person wouldn’t give me their information, wouldn’t give me who their insurance was. They were being a jerk, I guess I’ll say it nicely —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — trying to say things.

MR. NELLES: It’s a nice way to put it.

MR. GROTH: And so they called me. And my thing to do, and what our job is then, is to really be the go-between and be somebody who’s going to be the investigator initially and then an advocate throughout.

So we’re going to investigate. I call that person. You want to figure out what information they have. Whether they have insurance, whether they don’t. What facts they might have. Was there somebody else in their car. Are there witnesses.

Initially, you know, we pull 911 call reports. Videos, if there are, from the different cameras in the intersection, if it’s an intersection or —

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: If it’s in front of a business, you know, I’ve gone — I was at a pawn shop recently because pawn shops have video cameras.

MR. NELLES: Have cameras, yeah.

MR. GROTH: So you go there and you get their video and you do all that kind of stuff so that you can be ready. And then help your client go on.

But what I tell clients is okay, now, if you give us that stress, that will hopefully take the stress off your shoulders and you can sit there and worry about what’s more important, and that’s you getting better.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: And then you talk to your doctors and you be fully invested in your therapy in getting back to where we want you to be, which is back to how you were a second before the crash or a second before you were bit or a second before you were dropped, whatever it is.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: And that’s one of the things that hopefully people will understand that’s the job of an attorney is to take away part of the stress and part of the worry.

MR. NELLES: Can I hire you in my daily life, just to take away some of my stress?

MR. GROTH: Well, I don’t know if that would be as — as easy if we’re dealing — I’m, by no means, a go-between between you and your wife or you and your kids.

MR. NELLES: Can you tell my four-year-old what she wants to wear in the morning?

MR. GROTH: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s — so with that, it’s something that we can provide, I guess, that benefit to people. And then going forward, give them the strategy to give them the — the knowledge base or we can use our knowledge base to help them present their case throughout the entire process.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: You know, and that’s something that I’m sure people can go online, and everybody does now, certainly, when you’re taking a break during work, you Google certain things and you figure certain things out.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: And you’re, like, okay. Well, what if I said this? What if I say this? And then will it hurt me if I do X, Y or Z?

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: There’s all kinds of factors, all kinds of moveable parts here. And that’s why you hire a law firm because law firms, I think I said before, act like you’ve been there before.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: You know, we’ve been to trial dozens of times. So we know how to present a case. And what might happen a week after a car accident happens and how that’s going to affect the second day of trial. Or what — what doctors you go to two months after a car accident, what that’s going to mean to the insurance company six months from now. And then it’s something you have to look at how are you paying for the immediate medical care issue.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: Your health insurance. Is it your med pay? Is it workers’ compensation that’s going to pay for it? All those things because those all make a big difference in helping us to maximize the settlement amount for you, or maximize the verdict for you. It’s all about maxing your case and trying to figure out to get the at-fault insurance — I mean, the listeners can’t see this, but I have my right hand as high as I can get it, and I have my left hand as low as I can get it.

And the bigger the gap, the more we can get for that injured person.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And we want to get that gap as just — we have to push and push and push, right hand up, left hand down, to get the biggest amount of money, the largest settlement, largest verdict we can for our clients.

MR. NELLES: So I want to get to that concept of the max in getting to the largest verdict as possible. But first, you listed the number of things that you go through, whether it’s meeting with doctors or talking to insurance company. I’ll be — it overwhelmed me. And so what I think one of the things you’re talking about right now is peace of mind.

MR. GROTH: Sure.

MR. NELLES: You know, really where if I’m in an accident or if I’m — you know, you mentioned a bite or a drop or, you know, whatever — whatever type of accidental injury I befall, you’re here — you’ve a number of roles in this. But one of the biggest roles, in my mind, beyond where we’ll get to in maximizing the settlement, is — is peace of mind. Because that’s — you know, you talk about the stress and you talk about — I don’t know what to do now, and I’m going to physical therapy, and I’m trying to still go to work, and my kids need to get here. And now — and, you know, and my leg’s killing me.

And I — you know, I play basketball twice — and now I can’t do this and I can’t do that. And I was supposed to go on vacation in a month. You know, I’m overwhelmed by my life. Now I got, you know, the insurance company calling me and, you know, all — you know, trying to figure out the paperwork and what I can say and what I can’t say. Not that you can manage, you know, my vacation in a month, but it sounds like you really can provide an element of peace of mind.

MR. GROTH: Sure. And what we could do — it’s almost as simple as one letter. Once we send one letter off to the insurance company, they can’t call you. Then they have to contact us.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: If they do call you, they’ve broken the rules. And then we call the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance —

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: — can get him in trouble. So that’s something —

MR. NELLES: That’s great to know. I mean, that’s great information right there.

MR. GROTH: The insurance companies are going to hound. They’re going to call and they’re going to call, call, call. Different adjusters are going to call you if it’s property damage, med pay, liability. You might get three different phone calls a day. It could be early in the morning. Could be early — or early in the evening. Somebody can stop by the house. But once you hire a law firm, that law firm sends letter out to the insurance company and then they’re dealing with —

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: — the law firm.

MR. NELLES: They’re not allowed to call you.

MR. GROTH: They’re not allowed to call.

MR. NELLES: That’s great.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: And that’s — that’s information I think a lot of people don’t know.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: That hey, hire the — I mean, to me, that’s one of the biggest parts of it. Hire the law firm. Then you won’t — nobody can call you anymore.

MR. GROTH: Sure.

MR. NELLES: And you can — you can figure out, to your point what you said earlier, how to best take care of yourself.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: You need to get to physical therapy or you need to get to, you know, the chiropractor or, you know, you need to be taking — what pain med you need to be taking. Whatever it might be.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: He is Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. G-r-o-t-h, g-r-o-t-hlawfirm.com. This is Ask the Experts. And today he’s a personal injury law expert, no doubt about that. He’s proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

So you mentioned earlier about maxing the payout. And, you know, we’ve all seen the commercials, Well, I settled for this and I could’ve gotten this. Or, you know, how — how does that process work? I mean, are we talking about — are we fighting, you know, an extra year for an extra grand, or is it really, Well, I settled for 20 grand and I could’ve gotten 250 grand. Or, you know, how — people are so hesitant to talk about money.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: How does that conversation happen?

MR. GROTH: Sure. And this is probably a topic for a different show because we could go on for a long time. There are studies that have been done by different insurance agencies, I’ll call them, that talk about whether it’s worthwhile to hire an attorney and whether — if you’re injured and you hire an attorney, whether you get more money or less money.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And the studies show that, I think on the vast majority of types of cases and vast majority of claims in general, people who hire attorneys get more compensation than those who don’t.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And I think it goes back to —

MR. NELLES: So start — that’s Step 1.

MR. GROTH: That’s Step 1.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. And then you have to look at — look at the case and try to figure out okay, who’s going to initially pay for the medical care? Is there med pay available?

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And then when I look at med pay, is med pay something that I buy through my auto insurance, for example.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Or if it’s a fall at a — at a JCPenney, or wherever it’s going to be —

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: — they may have med pay available up to a certain amount. And med pay, in essence, kind of acts like health insurance because they’ll make — they’ll make payments for medical care up to that amount, period. If you have health insurance, and you have to look at that later and say, okay, with health insurance, is it really insurance or is it what’s called a self-funded ERISA plan.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Because you have a contractual duty to pay back your health insurance. You have a contractual duty to pay back your ERISA plan health insurance, I’ll call it —

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: — out of any proceeds from any settlement. But we have certain doctrines, certain rules that we can use to help the victim. And in Wisconsin, there’s doctrines called the Common Fund or the Made Whole doctrine. You can have a Rimes hearing. All these different tactics, all these different strategies, to say, okay, yeah, it’s health insurance, and health insurance paid $10,000 for care, but what we’re going to do because, in essence, the attorney for the victim is acting as a collection company for the health insurance, Now, hey, health insurance, you take a reduction.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: So we can get —

MR. NELLES: Wow.

MR. GROTH: And that’s why the — that left hand pushing down —

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: — we want the paybacks that we have to pay back to go —

MR. NELLES: As low as possible.

MR. GROTH: — as low as possible.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: Yep.

MR. NELLES: All right. I want to get more into this financial conversation. And also some real-life examples.

He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm, g-r-o-t-hlawfirm.com. Go to grothlawfirm.com for all your questions and answers to see what their clients say and to get a real feel for what Groth Law Firm’s all about at 111th and Bluemound right here in southeastern Wisconsin. More with Jon coming up on The Big 920, thebig920.com, the iHeartRadio app. This is Ask the Experts.

Continuing Ask the Experts right here on The Big 920, thebig920.com and the iHeartRadio app. Mitch Nelles here with you. It’s the first episode of Ask the Experts. Remember, join us every Sunday from 8:00 to 9:00. We’re going to be talking to a different expert in their field each week.

And it’s really been fun to catch up today with our expert, Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. Go to grothlawfirm.com, that’s G-r-o-t-h, grothlawfirm.com. Learning a lot about how the personal injury field works, how the insurance company field works. And maybe not every insurance company’s as bad as I have in my mind because, as Jon has told us, a lot of times he takes over that — that dialogue where if you’ve been injured or if you’ve had a situation, you don’t have to deal with the insurance company because he’ll do it for you. That’s pretty sweet. I like that. So go to grothlawfirm.com to check that out.

Now, we were talking about settlements. And how to maximize. And I understand we live in America where it’s a capital — you know, you can argue whether we’re real capitalism or some other form of monetary, whatever. And certainly, if we’re injured, we want a fair outcome, a fair settlement. You know, you don’t want to take the first offer. But that’s a hard thing to do. We talked about it in the last segment. It’s hard to negotiate over money sometimes and to say, Well, you offered me a hundred grand and I deserve 150. Or, you know — and I’m sure you’ve seen settlements in the millions as well. How — how do you have that conversation? And how do you manage your client’s expectations so that I’m getting what’s fair to me, but, you know, if I’m — if I’m due $200,000, and I want $2 million, how do you manage that conversation?

MR. GROTH: Well, the big question is how do you know. First off, boy, there’s a lot of answers to those questions in there, Mitch. I’ll be honest with you.

MR. NELLES: That’s what we’re here for.

MR. GROTH: That’s why we’re here.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: Well, we have —

MR. NELLES: Well, that’s why you —

MR. GROTH: I’ll be back.

MR. NELLES: — you have grothlawfirm.com.

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: You’ll be back.

MR. GROTH: That’s true.

MR. NELLES: And people can reach you.

MR. GROTH: That’s true.

MR. NELLES: You’re local. You’re 111th and Bluemound. You’re there most days. And obviously, you know, you have the live chat on the website —

MR. GROTH: Yeah.

MR. NELLES: — where people can chat with you or a member of your staff and get some of these answers.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. So, first off, I have to say that the process just simply is not fair because when you’re talking about what the end game is going to be, that’s going to be where you are in a courtroom in the county that the case was filed. And you’re sitting in front of 12 jurors who are supposed to be your peers, but they’re not.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: And they’re deciding what amount of money to put on certain lines in what’s called a special verdict. So what — what we can’t do, and this is something that I — I think I’ve said in all of my closing arguments for all the trials that I’ve — that I’ve had over my career, that I wish we could go back in time — you know, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I wish we could go back in time, that we had that magic button to push. We can go back a second before the crash happened and tell X driver to stop texting and driving or —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — watch where they’re going or something like that. But we can’t.

MR. NELLES: Yep.

MR. GROTH: So what we have to look at now is how to make somebody put them back in a situation, make them whole, put them where they should have been, where they could have been, if the accident never happened.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: So certainly, you know, past medical expenses, medical expenses in general, that’s kind of an easy one. You know, there’s — many times there’s a situation where the defense or the insurance company hires what we call a defense medical examiner, or somebody who’s going to take the insurance side and say, Well, hey, this physical therapy treatment, it cost 250 bucks. We think it should only cost 219.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Or whatever.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: They’re going to try to nickel and dime and things like that. Or they’re going to say that, Hey, whatever your condition is now, you would’ve had that condition anyway. It’s just a coincidence in time that the car accident happened, or whatever happened.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: So those are things that — that the insurance company is going to try to minimize the settlement or minimize the verdict. What we have to look at is what we, from our combined experience, from the combined experience of many of the trial lawyers in this state, what we think a jury would award to this particular victim based on what their facts are, based on what their care is, based on what the objective or subjective findings of injury are.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And that’s how you figure out what — what really you should have as a range for your settlement. Many times people ask me, gosh, you know, within a couple days of a case, Hey, what’s my case worth? I have no clue.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: And I always say, I hope it’s worth almost nothing.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: Because that means you are good.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: You know, but —

MR. NELLES: That means you don’t need to take $2 million to make you whole again. That means you’re pretty whole as it is.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. Yeah. And maybe, you know, you certainly — you have a right to get paid back your wage loss. Your doctors’ bills certainly. Pain, suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life. If you read the jury instruction itself, the jury would be instructed that — that they have to compensate you for the little things. The loss of enjoyment of life. If there’s scarring or disfigurement, that, too. So back to even as small as mileage to the doctor. You wouldn’t have had to have put those miles on your car if you weren’t involved in the car accident.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: So all that kind of stuff. So we try to take all that before a lawsuit’s filed, we take all this and then send it off to the insurance company and —

MR. NELLES: Do they ever say, Okay?

MR. GROTH: Well, I can tell you, if you want to go to real life situations here.

Years and years ago, we had a case where we sent all the information over to the insurance company. And I was at a different firm at the time. And one of the other attorneys sent a letter off and said, We demand X amount. And the adjuster called and said, Yes. It’s, like, Oh.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Well, we should’ve —

MR. NELLES: Should you have asked for more?

MR. GROTH: We should’ve demanded Y.

MR. NELLES: Right, right. Yep, yep.

MR. GROTH: Because X was too low.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: So my rule, and this is something that, you know, I have relatives who were in — relatives who were in sales, you know, the old sales theory, I guess, is whoever talks first, loses.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: So I don’t want to talk first. And I tell my attorneys we’re not going to put dollar amounts as to what we would accept in our demand letters or in our packages because we want the insurance company to look at the case and then get back to us. And from time to time, we have an adjuster, we have somebody who overestimates or —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — or puts themselves in a position that gives us a strategic advantage, we can get them up higher faster.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And it helps the client eventually. Or in the end, really.

MR. NELLES: Yeah. He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. G-r-o-t-h, grothlawfirm.com. They’re on 111th and Bluemound. I’m going to show my ignorance. Is that Tosa or is that Brookfield?

MR. GROTH: It is Tosa.

MR. NELLES: Okay. Yep. Because I know it’s right near Mo’s, correct?

MR. GROTH: Correct. Highway 100.

MR. NELLES: And I know that’s in Tosa, but I know Brookfield sneaks up on you pretty quickly over there.

MR. GROTH: It’s just down the street, yeah. We — yeah, it’s a great location. I mean, just being right there where — I don’t want to say that — that’s the center of the suburbs, but Highway 100 is a big deal. Bluemound’s a big thoroughfare.

MR. NELLES: Absolutely.

MR. GROTH: So it’s a great location.

MR. NELLES: Yep. No doubt about it. So visit him at 111th and Bluemound. Go to the website or call him first, 877-375-7001.

877-3757-7001 is the phone number on the website. And so we’ve discussed the money part of it. And again, that’s one of the things that I think reassures people, that you take that out of people’s hands. You have that conversation with your clients, but the client doesn’t have to negotiate that with the — with the insurance company or with — you know, or argue that in court, you know. That’s your job.

How many of your cases go to court? How many — you know, I think there’s a perception that certain firms like to never see a courtroom, and certain firms like to always see a courtroom, and then there’s a happy medium. And how do you — you know, if I came to you, you know, how would I know if my — if my case should go to trial or if it should be settled before that?

MR. GROTH: Boy, I think if you just simply run the numbers on a very general — general estimate, really, about 90 percent — I’ll say 90 percent of cases settle before a lawsuit’s filed.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And of the cases where a lawsuit’s filed, really maybe 90 percent of those settle before trial.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: We’ve had —

MR. NELLES: And that’s just the industry standard.

MR. GROTH: And that’s pretty — that’s pretty much the way it is.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Yeah. Now, if it’s a slip-and-fall case, those, on average, go into suit more than a rear-end auto accident case, obviously.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Now, when liability is not — not in dispute, the case has a greater likelihood of settling before you have to go into suit. But in general, I think those are pretty good — pretty good ideas.

The chance that — when you first come to an attorney, the chance that you have of going into a trial and sitting or standing before 12 people is really, I don’t know, one or two percent.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: So I wouldn’t worry too much. But, again, it also makes a difference as to how you prepare a case and how you organize the facts of the case and present it to an insurance company as to whether you’re going to be able to settle a case before a lawsuit’s filed. And this is something that I know attorneys in our area have been saying with their ads on the radio that it depends on what the insurance company knows of the law firm, whether the law firm is one that’s going to be more likely to just settle the case because they don’t want to try it.

MR. NELLES: Mm-mm.

MR. GROTH: You know, like I said, we had two attorneys who were in trial just last week. I have a trial that — that is — just got postponed for next week, but it’s going to happen hopefully in the next few weeks or month.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: We have a couple more trials in the beginning of next year. We’ve had a number of trials this past year. So I think insurance companies know the law firms that are willing to go to trial that actually, I hate to say this, but I kind of enjoy it.

MR. NELLES: Sure.

MR. GROTH: It’s something that, you know, you don’t get to do that often, but when you do it, you kind of get in the groove and it’s a fun time.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: But there are law firms that like to do it and law firms that don’t.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: And insurance companies know which ones are which.

MR. NELLES: I think that’s fair. He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. G-r-o-t-h. grothlawfirm.com, on this edition of Ask the Experts telling us everything — I don’t know about everything because, you know, we can do, like you said, we can do 48 hours of a show and talk about everything that’s involved in personal injury and the process. But you’re giving us a great foundation for what people need to know. And you’ll be back. So I’m excited about that.

MR. GROTH: Sounds great.

MR. NELLES: We’re going to come back and wrap things up here, get some of the nuts and bolts, telling you how to — how you can get in touch with Jon. And what you need to know, again, some of those nuts and bolts as it pertains to the personal injury law profession and using the lawyers so that you get the top settlement that you deserve in your case.

He’s Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. G-r-o-t-h. grothlawfirm.com. This is The Big 920, thebig920.com on the iHeartRadio app. You’re listening to Ask the Experts.

Welcome into the final segment of Ask the Experts here on The Big 920, thebig920.com and the iHeartRadio app. Mitch “Thunder” Nelles here with Jon Groth from Groth Law Firm. g-r-o-t-hlawfirm.com.

And Jon, you know, God forbid, we leave — we leave the studio today and something happens to me later today. You know, I’m checking my Fantasy team on my phone, which I shouldn’t be while I’m driving, or somebody else is checking their Fantasy team on their phone, and hit — that’s better, right? Somebody else —

MR. GROTH: Yes, correct.

MR. NELLES: Somebody else is checking their Fantasy Football team on their phone and hits my car.

MR. GROTH: But you know better, Mitch.

MR. NELLES: Right.

MR. GROTH: You know better.

MR. NELLES: Exactly. I do know better.

All right. So what do I do?

MR. GROTH: Well, the most important thing is take care of yourself. So if you’re injured, certainly call 911.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Wait for an ambulance to come. Wait for the police to come. If there isn’t something that — that needs immediate medical care, I would still make sure you go see a doctor. But, everybody has a phone.

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: So nowadays, there’s no excuse not to take a picture of the damage to your vehicle, not to take a picture of the driver’s license of the other person.

MR. NELLES: Okay.

MR. GROTH: Take a picture of their plate

or —

MR. NELLES: Yeah.

MR. GROTH: — you know, where the vehicles came to rest, for example. And see if — if somebody stops by and says, Hey, I saw. Are you okay? Is — is there anything I can do? Ask that person for their information or take a picture of their number or —

MR. NELLES: Yep.

MR. GROTH: — something like that. You’d be shocked at — at all the times people have said, Well, yeah, three people stopped by and asked how I was and they left and I assumed the cops just got their number. Well, you can’t assume that. And nowadays, it’s so easy with phone —

MR. NELLES: Be your own investigator.

MR. GROTH: You got to be your own investigator initially because you — you never know what’s going to happen later on where somebody talks to somebody else and then all of a sudden well, maybe the light wasn’t red. Maybe it was yellow when I went through it. And they’re trying to justify not injuring you so that at-fault party is going to say certain things that they might then think is true, that they may create those facts in their mind, and you need to be a good advocate for yourself and get all the information you can initially. And phones are — are the best investigators initially.

MR. NELLES: We mentioned the website. What’s the best way to get in touch with you, Jon?

MR. GROTH: Sure. grothlawfirm .com. My telephone number locally is 414-375-2030. You can go onto grothlawfirm. There’s — we also have a blog of jonpgroth.com. There’s maxmycase.com. All those different websites you can access our information. We have Frequently Asked Questions online. Like you said before, it’s a live chat. We’re also, you know, on 111th and Bluemound. You can stop by, I’d be happy to talk to you. Boy, there’s a number of attorneys in our firm. You can stop by almost at any time and we can have somebody sit down and chat with you.

MR. NELLES: Sure. That’s great. Jon, really enjoyed catching up with you today.

MR. GROTH: Great.

MR. NELLES: And looking forward to doing it again in the future.

MR. GROTH: Sounds fantastic. Thanks for having me.

MR. NELLES: Absolutely. He’s Jon Groth, 414-375-2030. Go to grothlawfirm.com, that’s g-r-o-t-hlawfirm.com.

Thanks for listening to this first episode of Ask the Experts on The Big 920, thebig920.com, and the iHeartRadio app. Once again, this has been Ask the Experts.

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