Category Archives: FAQ Personal Injury

personal injury lawyer in Milwaukee Wisconsin

How To Choose The Right Personal Injury Attorney

Being involved in an auto accident is stressful. Motor vehicle crashes oftentimes leave people injured, without a vehicle and unable to work and provide for their families like they used to. For most, navigating the world of insurance companies and auto accident claims is new terrain and something that they are not familiar with. Injured victims need guidance and compassion, neither of which they usually get when dealing with insurance companies.

Personal injury attorneys can add great value to an auto accident case, both in terms of monetary compensation and simply taking the stress and burden of dealing with insurance companies off of the injured person’s shoulders. In fact, Allstate’s website even admits that “represented claims settle for 2-3 times more than unrepresented claims.” (See page C000011298). It may seem like personal injury attorneys are a dime a dozen, so how can you be sure you are making the right decision? While finding the right attorney may seem like a daunting task, here are some tips for making sure you are selecting the right attorney for your particular case.

#1: Schedule a Free Consultation

Most Wisconsin personal injury lawyers offer a free case consultation. Call the prospective law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation with one of the attorneys to discuss the facts of your case. The free consultations are very informative and you are able to get the attorney’s perspective on the legal aspects of your case prior to hiring him or her. During the consultation, the attorney gathers information to determine if it is a case the law firm will be able to pursue. Prospective clients also have the opportunity to ask the attorney any questions they have, which is especially helpful since dealing with injuries and insurance companies following an auto accident is not something most people do regularly.

#2: Read the Firm’s Online Reviews

When trusting a law firm with your case, you want to make sure that they have a good track record. Take time to read the feedback that past clients have left for the law firm. Not only will this give you a feel for what you can expect when you hire the firm, but you will read about the first-hand experiences others have had with the firm. Hiring an attorney is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. It is important that you do your research and make sure the attorney you chose has the requisite knowledge, experience and results to handle your case and achieve the best possible result for you.

#3: Make Sure You Feel Comfortable With The Attorney

Before signing a retainer contract with an attorney, make sure you sit down with them – or at least speak with them on the telephone – to make sure that you feel comfortable. Reading positive reviews and seeing creative advertisements from a firm may give you an idea of what the firm is like, but make sure to personally connect with the attorney prior to hiring him or her to make sure you feel comfortable talking with them. Depending upon the duration of your case, you may have a long-term attorney-client relationship, so it is important to make sure it is a good fit. By speaking directly with the attorney, you are better able to gauge how confident they are and how easy it is to communicate with them. Before hiring an attorney, it is important that they gain your trust.

#4: Make Sure The Attorney Works on a Contingency Fee Basis

Most people who have just been injured in a motor vehicle crash or a fall do not have the extra cash to put down as a retainer fee for an attorney. For these types of cases, you will want to make sure the attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney does not get paid unless you get paid. This shifts the risk away from you – as the injured party – and allows you to rest assured that unless you are compensated, you do not owe any money out of pocket. Many personal injury firms handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, but it is a good practice to ask about the fee agreement up front so there is no confusion.

#5: Be Thorough In Your Search, But Don’t Wait Too Long To Make a Decision

While you want to be certain that you did thorough research before hiring an attorney, you also do not want to wait too long after an accident or injury to retain counsel. It is most advantageous to get an attorney on board sooner rather than later to ensure that your rights are protected. If an attorney represents an injured victim, the insurance company should not reach out to that person directly any longer, but rather, all communication from the insurance company should go to the attorney. This prevents the insurance company from trying to get an injured party to sign settlement documents prematurely or taking a recorded statement without an attorney present. The best practice is to have the least amount of contact possible with an insurance company and let a skilled attorney handle all communications.

Choosing the right attorney for you can be an intimidating task. At the Groth Law Firm, we make sure that our clients know that they are not in this alone. In fact, we dedicate our practice exclusively to representing people who were injured by the negligence of others. Our main goal is to make this process as stress-free for our clients as possible. We take all of the heavy lifting off of our clients’ shoulders so that they can focus on what is most important: treating and healing from their injuries. The skilled, dedicated and proven attorneys at Groth Law Firm offer free consultations and are available to speak with you seven days per week. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential case, answer any questions you might have and explain the ways we may be able to help. Give us a call at (414) 375-2030 today.

Personal Injury Lawyers WI

Five Common Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident

Being injured in a car accident causes all sorts of stress, including physical, emotional and financial stress. Most people want to get their lives back on track as quickly as possible and put the whole ordeal behind them, even if it means taking some losses financially. This blog article focuses on five of the most common mistakes car crash victims make following an accident and why these mistakes can seriously decrease the value of their claims. If you have been involved in a car accident, read these carefully and do not fall into the insurance company’s trap!

Mistake #1 – Not Calling the Police

While it is not uncommon for one or both parties to be hesitant to get the police involved, you should always call the police after a car accident. In fact, reporting the accident to police is required in certain situations. For example, you must report the accident if there were any injuries sustained or if the property damage to any one vehicle is greater than $1,000.

Not only is it required by law to report the accident to police in many situations, but it is helpful to have the police document the crash in the form of an Accident Report. This report will make the insurance claims process much smoother as it has all of the pertinent information about the accident in one place. Also, an Accident Report eliminates any doubt between the parties about the exact time and location at which the accident occurred.

Mistake #2 – Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company

Another one of the biggest mistakes auto accident victims make after an accident is believing the insurance company when they are told they must give a recorded statement in order to move the claim forward. Do not let the insurance company fool you! While you may be required to give a recorded statement under the terms of your own personal auto insurance policy if you intend to make a claim under your medical payments or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you do not have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company for the at-fault driver.

Insurance companies often try to obtain a recorded statement shortly after an accident occurs and lock you into statements you make while still caught up in the shock of the crash. It is not uncommon for people to exaggerate the facts of the accident or the extent of their injuries because they think it will help their claim when, in reality, the exact opposite is true. It is also common for people to talk too much and give the insurance company too much information, which in turn, also harms their claim. The best practice is to not agree to give a recorded statement, and instead, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before giving the insurance company any information.

Mistake #3 – Not Going to the Doctor

It is extremely important to seek medical care following an accident, even if you do not feel like you are very injured. Many people have a burst of adrenaline following a crash and do not realize how serious their injuries are until hours, or even days, after an accident. Your health should be your number one priority after being involved in an accident. If you do not see a doctor right after an accident, it gives the insurance company power to argue that you must have been injured in some other way (NOT in the accident) or you would have sought medical care right away. Do not give the insurance company a reason to doubt your injuries! Make sure to see a doctor right away and follow their instructions regarding follow-up care.

Mistake #4 – Admitting Fault of Any Kind

When discussing the facts of the accident, use your words wisely. Insurance companies can take your words out of context and use them against you, so it is important to simply stick to the facts as you remember them and not comment on whose fault the crash was. It is also important to not admit any fault at the scene of the accident. While you may want to be considerate of the other parties involved, even a simple “I’m sorry” can be taken the wrong way, so it is best not to say it at all.

Mistake #5 – Settling the Claim Quickly

It is the insurance company’s job to settle a claim as quickly as possible while paying the least amount of money possible. The quicker they settle a claim, the less risk the company is exposed to. It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to call a car accident victim mere hours after a crash and try to convince them to accept a nominal amount of money in full and final settlement of their claim. Until you know the real extent of your damages, which may not be for quite some time depending upon the severity of your injuries, it is a bad idea to settle your claim. What many people do not realize is that once they accept a settlement, they can never go back after the insurance company for the injuries they sustained in the crash, even if the injuries get significantly worse.

Do not accept a nominal offer from the insurance company just for the sake of putting the whole ordeal behind you. Call an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight to ensure that you are receiving the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, the Groth Law Firm may be able to help. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need on your side to ensure that the insurance companies do not take advantage of you. The team at Groth Law Firm will fight to protect your rights and maximize your recovery. They offer free consultations and are available seven days per week to speak with accident victims, answer their questions and put their minds at ease. Do not fall victim to the ploys of the insurance companies. Call the Groth Law Firm at (414) 375-2030 today!

Harley-Davidson Roars into Milwaukee for 115th Anniversary

This Labor Day weekend marks the 115th anniversary of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. With their distinctive “potato-potato-potato” idle and rumble, thousands of riders and their Harleys have roared into Milwaukee this week to celebrate 115 years of an American tradition.

Harley-Davidson and the Harley-Davidson Museum have packed each day this weekend with events. There are museum tours, motorcycle demos, live music acts, street parties, and many more events. Visit Harley-Davidson.com for a full schedule of events

Harley-Davidson Roars into Milwaukee for 115th Anniversary.

The celebration is not without dangers though. With all the extra bikes on the road, Milwaukee’s streets and highways have many more smaller moving vehicles on them this weekend than usual.

Drivers who aren’t used to large numbers of bikes on the road may miss the smaller Harleys if they aren’t careful and some riders may find traveling alone or in larger groups more difficult depending on what they’re used to. All of this is a recipe for a crash or other traffic accident. But there are things everyone on the road this weekend can do.

To help avoid accidents and injuries this weekend, both riders and drivers should:

  • Watch out for each other – check your mirrors and be aware of your surroundings
  • Obey traffic laws and directions from the Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies directing traffic
  • Park in designated spots near events
  • Wear your seatbelt or helmet
  • As always, don’t drink and drive or ride

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend and enjoy all that the 115th anniversary of Harley-Davidson has to offer! If the unthinkable happens and you or a loved one is involved in a crash and injured, see a doctor and contact a skilled, dedicated, and proven personal injury attorney to discuss your options as a victim of a crash. At Groth Law Firm, S.C., we are available 24/7 to discuss your injuries and offer a free consultation. Call or text us today at 414-240-0707

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

The Hop’s Hot New Tracks Aren’t So Hip

Two people have already been injured trying to cross the tracks of Milwaukee’s newest transit option, The Hop, in less than a week. One man was driving a motorcycle over the tracks when his wheel got stuck in the tracks throwing him from his bike on August 10th. And on the 16th, a woman was crossing the tracks on a bicycle when her wheel also got stuck and threw her to the ground, injuring her ribs and elbows. Both riders are considering suing the city because of their injuries and have retained lawyers to represent them.[1]

The Hop is not yet in operation at the time of writing, but its tracks have been laid throughout Milwaukee in some of the city’s busiest areas. The Hop runs from the Historic Third Ward and Intermodal train station up to the Lower East Side of Milwaukee and back. This route puts the street car’s tracks in the path of several of Milwaukee’s major commuter hot spots.[2]

The Hop’s New Tracks (City of Milwaukee)

©City of Milwaukee

Before the two bike crashes in August, there had already been several reports of less serious injuries, including one in June, sparking concern amongst the city’s cyclists.[3]

Through there are several signs near the tracks warning bikers and cyclists to take the tracks at a right angle – meaning to cross straight over the tracks—this is not always possible for people riding two wheeled bikes and motorcycles in heavy downtown traffic. With two crashes on the tracks in less than a week and the Hop not even running yet, there are likely to be more injuries in the future.

On top of the tracks’ risk to cyclists in warmer months, there is also concern that they will be a slipping hazard in Milwaukee’s common winter and spring storms as snow piles up on the roads.[4]

The Hop and its tracks are owned by the City of Milwaukee. As with any claim against a city, or other municipality, someone who is injured by the city or its property only has 120 days to file a Notice of Claim or they will never be able to bring a lawsuit against the city no matter how badly injured they are. Because of this, it is extremely important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an injury involving the city.

If you or a loved one has been injured by The Hop or its tracks, see a doctor and contact a skilled, dedicated, and proven personal injury attorney to discuss your options as a victim of a crash. At Groth Law Firm, S.C., we are available 24/7 to discuss your injuries and offer a free consultation. Call or text us today at 414-375-2030

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

[1] https://fox6now.com/2018/08/16/frustrated-2nd-person-could-be-suing-city-after-accident-they-say-was-caused-by-streetcar-tracks/

[2] https://thehopmke.com/

[3] https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/-the-hop-milwaukee-streetcar-tracks-raises-bicycle-safety-concerns

[4] https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2015/03/31/a-short-history-of-milwaukees-old-streetcar-system/2/

Living the American Dream…Or Not

Wisconsin Litigation Attorney

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorneys

Being involved in an accident can quickly turn your life upside down. Most people hope to recover as quickly as possible and get back to a normal lifestyle free of pain. They do not want to spend their time with doctors and therapists when they could be enjoying time with loved ones.

But what happens if, even after you have “recovered” from your injuries, you are unable to do all of the things you were able to do before the crash? Unfortunately, there are often situations where people are not able to return to the type of lifestyle that they led prior to an accident, especially as it pertains to their work life. This is a claim that should be accounted for before accepting a settlement, but certain things must be done to be able to prove any type of future claim.

The goal of most insurance companies is to pay the least amount possible as soon as possible to limit their exposure on a claim. While an insurance company may consider past wage loss in a settlement offer if proper documentation is provided, the company will not consider what the future holds for an injured victim unless certain things are done to prove that the victim is no longer able to continue working in his or her former capacity due to the accident or injury.

What if the injuries sustained render it very difficult, or even impossible, to return to one’s pre-accident employment in the fullest capacity? If an injured person cannot provide the necessary documentation to substantiate a future wage loss or a loss of earning capacity in the future, he or she will not be compensated for these items that can potentially have a dramatic impact on their future. Frankly, many people who are in a rush to settle their claim may not even think of the future. Most people simply want to return to normalcy and put this devastating experience behind them, but it is important to make sure that you are not only covered for the past, but for the future as well.

To objectively establish an individual’s ability to perform physical, work-related tasks, one must usually undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). An FCE “evaluates an individual’s capacity to perform work activities related to his or her participation in employment.” Oftentimes, the examiner also compares the results to a specific job to determine whether the individual can continue to work in his or her current capacity given the specific duties of the particular job. In many cases, the examiner will have the individual perform the exact duties he or she does on the job to get the most accurate results possible. FCEs also aid treating doctors in determining what types of work restrictions to place on the individual to ensure safety given the injuries sustained.

Along with one’s ability to physically perform tasks, we may want to measure one’s ability to earn as well. This is typically done in the context of an Earning Capacity Evaluation (ECE). An ECE will “determine the evaluee’s skills, abilities, aptitudes, physical and mental capacities, interest and values, and will identify appropriate job titles with associated salary ranges and access to the labor market.” After a serious accident, individuals are oftentimes unable to handle the demands of the job that he or she held prior to the accident. An ECE helps us establish pre- and post-injury earning capacities and determine one’s new capacity to earn a living given his or her new restrictions and ability to function. A vocational expert doing an ECE takes into consideration the physical and functional factors established during the FCE to determine an individual’s ability to earn.

Together, these types of evaluations help treating physicians appropriately impose restrictions and coordinate care for the injured victim according to their post-accident condition. It is important to have documentation from these types of evaluations to substantiate a claim for future wage loss or loss of earning capacity. Losing the ability to work is one of the most devastating impacts on life that an accident can have. If this happens, it is important to have a team working with you to ensure that you take the right steps toward proving such a claim. The Groth Law Firm will walk with you every step of the way and ensure that your rights and your livelihood are protected. Call us today for a free consultation at (877) 375-7001.
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i Soer, R., van der Schans, C. P., Groothoff, J. W., Geertzen, J. H., & Reneman, M. F. (2008). Towards consensus in operational definitions in functional capacity evaluation: A Delphi survey. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 18, 389–400.
ii Foundations of Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation, Rick H. Robinson, 2014.