Category Archives: Milwaukee Litigation Attorney

Stadium Injuries

On July 26th, The Milwaukee Bucks released long anticipated information about the naming of the new downtown arena. Fiserv Inc. entered a 25 year naming rights deal with the Bucks to call the new stadium The Fiserv Forum. Fiserv is based in Brookfield, Wisconsin and provides financial services technology. The arena opens in September with popular band, The Killers, leading the Grand Opening event.

With all of Wisconsin getting ready to cheer on the Bucks in their upcoming season, it’s a good time to reflect on keeping your family safe at sporting events. Whether it’s poorly maintained bathrooms, simple food spills, or flying balls or shirts, there are a host of dangers to be cautious of. For instance, if you were to slip and fall on concessions, what are your next steps? First, immediately seek medical attention. Even if you feel like you are able to “walk off” an injury, most major stadiums have medical transportation available and at the ready. Depending on the circumstances of your incident, you will want to make a report as soon as possible. These reports are useful in determining whether or not the stadium owner was negligent. Next, contact The Groth Law Firm so that we can start working on your case. If you are injured at a stadium, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with insurance and paperwork. The Groth Law Firm is your Milwaukee firm that has the expertise required to take on your injury case.

Although premises liability cases are the most common instance of injuries at a sports stadium, fans could also be injured by flying baseballs, pucks, and even players. Most stadiums have safety measures in place to protect fans, as well as disclaimers in the fine print on many tickets. Although these injuries are less common, they can be severe. In 1970 the L.A. dodgers Manny Mota fouled a ball into the stands the struck a young fan in the head. Tragically, the fan passed away four days later. A fan at a Chicago Blackhawks game was struck by a puck in 2013, despite sitting beyond a safety net. This ultimately resulted in a lawsuit. In 2015, at the Daytona International Speedway, a vehicle crashed into the fence protecting the spectators, injuring five. Auto racing accidents are among the deadliest as debris from crashes can fly into the stands at an extremely high rate of speed.

Owners of these stadiums have a legal obligation to minimize the risk of injuries to fans. If an owner is aware of damages, such as a loose railing or slippery floor, they must repair it or warn others of the dangers. If an owner fails to take these reasonable steps, they may be liable for your injuries and other damages.

With the recent draft pickup of Donte DiVincenzo and new Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking forward to a strong season and playoff push in a weak Eastern Conference. The Bucks will start regular season play in the new Fiserv Forum in October of 2018.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a sports stadium contact Groth Law Firm at 877-375-7001.

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

.

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 414-395-8976

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]

©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.

It’s Motorcycle Season!

The weather is getting warmer, and that means riders are anxious to get out on their motorcycles. Although it is very exciting to enjoy a nice motorcycle ride, it is important to keep certain things in mind. Rider’s must keep in mind that it has been a long winter and they might be a little out of practice. Before enjoying the first ride of the season, riders should take it slow at first and be very cautious.

Rider’s should also be aware of their equipment and make sure that they inspect it thoroughly. It is advised that riders inspect certain aspects of their motorcycles and motorcycle gear, these include:

  • Tires
  • Fluids
  • Lights
  • Controls
  • Throttle
  • Brakes
  • Horn
  • Mirrors
  • Helmet
  • And any other gear used.

Motorcycle accidents can be avoided if time is taken to prepare. When riders are ready to get back on the road, they should test their reflexes first. It is advised that rider’s test their legs on their first time out. Testing your legs can ensure that a rider doesn’t feel unsteady. They can practice stopping fast until they become comfortable on their bikes.

It is also advised that riders keep an eye out on the weather at all times. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast can prepare riders for their day on the road. Strong winds and rain can be dangerous to riders and can increase their chances of getting into an accident.

Riders are also advised to be aware of the road conditions. A long winter can cause damage to the roads and be hazardous to individuals on their motorcycles. Potholes created because of the snow and ice of the winter can cause damage to the bike’s suspension, tires or wheels. Apart from the damage to the bike, potholes can lead to swerving and can cause the driver to lose control of the motorcycle. Riders should be aware of their surroundings, and if the pothole is unavoidable, they should slow down as much as possible.

If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle wreck, contact our attorneys at Groth Law Firm, S.C. You can call or text us at 414-375-2030.

Uber and Lyft Injuries: Who Pays?

Uber and Lyft are everywhere. Most major US cities have drivers for at least one of these two ride-sharing companies. Uber operates in cities from Abilene to Zacatecas – including Milwaukee.

One of the most common concerns that riders have is who pays for their injuries if they’re hurt by or while riding in an Uber or Lyft.

As Uber celebrates one million drivers worldwide and Lyft hits 60 US cities, some still have concerns about using services like Uber or Lyft. One of the most common concerns that riders have is who pays for their injuries if they’re hurt by or while riding in an Uber or Lyft.

Over the holiday weekend, Sean Conley, 32, died at the hospital after the Lyft he was riding in was hit by another car causing a crash on the north side of Milwaukee. According to Conley’s brother, he was taking a Lyft home when another driver hit his Lyft.

For both Uber and Lyft, their drivers carry third party liability coverage of “at least $1 million of total liability coverage.”[1] What does this mean? If you are injured because your car was hit by an on-duty Uber or Lyft driver or you are injured in an Uber or Lyft as a rider—whether the injury is the driver’s fault or the fault of another party—your injuries are covered by the company’s insurance.

With the growing number of ride-sharing cars on the road more and more people are becoming passengers. As a passenger in someone else’s car, your own car insurance might not cover your injuries if an under- or un-insured driver hits you. It is more important than ever to understand your rights as a Lyft or Uber rider.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a Lyft or Uber, contact a skilled, dedicated, and proven personal injury attorney to discuss your options as a victim of a crash.

[1] https://www.uber.com/drive/insurance/, https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013080548-Insurance-Policy#duringride

 

Supervised Or Not: Do You Really Know

With the Warm Weather Comes Dog Bite Season

It’s every parents fear: leaving their child in the care of someone else, only to have them severely injured while being “supervised.” This nightmare recently became a reality for a half-dozen families in North Carolina. On March 20th, a stray male pit bull managed to make his way into a Charlotte elementary school. Upon entering the school, the children (many of them understandably frightened) reacted by running and screaming. The dog became overstimulated by this reaction and began to chase after, jump on, and bite no fewer than seven children before a teacher was able to confine the canine. Fortunately, all seven children suffered “minor” injuries.

Nonetheless, with winter coming to an end it is important to note that the number of reported dog bites increases dramatically. With warmer weather, and the end of the school year, more children are outside. The same goes for dogs. Not surprisingly, this combination means that the summer season tends to be the peak season for dog bites.

The attorneys at Groth Law Firm, SC are highly experienced when it comes to representing clients who have been bitten by a dog. Whether the injuries are minor or catastrophic, Groth Law Firm handles every case diligently and aggressively. From the very beginning, the attorneys and investigators work together to determine the dog’s owner, the owner’s insurance policy, and whether the dog has previously attacked someone. This latter fact is especially important when considering that Wisconsin has a law specifically designed to hold dog owners accountable when their dog has attacked more than once.

Wisconsin Statute §895.045 states that the owner of a dog is liable for 2 times the full amount of damages caused by the dog biting a person with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement if the owner was notified or knew that the dog had previously done so. That is, if the dog owner was previously made aware that their dog had bitten someone else, and the dog does it again, they are liable for twice the amount of damages.

The attorneys at Groth Law Firm are not only aware of this law, but also investigate every case extensively to determine if the statute applies. In cases where the law does, in fact, apply client settlements can increase tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is this attention to detail, as well as a comprehensive understanding of Wisconsin’s dog bite laws, that separates Groth Law Firm from other firms in the state.

If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, call Groth Law Firm, SC today. The staff is experienced and knows exactly what it takes to win a dog bite case and maximize your settlement. We are here to make sure that our clients are represented, protected, and compensated.

Attorneys are standing by 24/7 to answer all questions that you might have, and can help navigate you through an undoubtedly difficult time.

For a free consultation, please call (414) 375-2030. You can also visit our website at www.grothlawfirm.com and live chat with someone who is eager to assist you.

 

USA Gymnastics Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuits Related to Larry Nassar

Michigan State University was the first to attempt to distance itself from lawsuits related to Larry Nassar’s sexual misconduct because, according to MSU, Michigan’s statute of limitations blocks the suits. Now, USA Gymnastics is making the same argument.

In briefs it’s filed with the courts, USAG argues that the majority of the claims against it are barred by law because of the statute of limitations.

In Michigan, the statute keeps personal injury suits from being filed three years after the date of the injury for adults and three years after the victim’s nineteenth birthday for injuries as a minor.

Because of the statute, MSU and USAG argue they are not liable for Nassar’s actions because victims waited too long to file suits.

Of the 149 cases against USA Gymnastics currently, USAG claims that at least 101 of them should be dismissed outright simply because the statute of limitations has run out. This means that the court could, if it agrees with USAG, drop the cases of 101 victims of sexual assault.

While Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University have been in the national headlines, here in Wisconsin, James Kivisto, owner and operator of Wind Lake Gymnastics Center in Racine has been charged with ten counts of possession of child pornography.

At least some of the photos and videos may have been taken with a camera Kivisto hid in the girl’s bathroom at the Gymnastics Center. Kivisto has owned the Wind Lake Gymnastics Center for eleven years and has been a gymnastics coach since 1987.

What do the USAG and MSU dismissal attempts mean for Wisconsin victims? It means that it is more important than ever to seek legal representation if you or your child has been a victim of sexual misconduct by a gymnastics coach. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitation for personal injury is three years for adults but ends only two years after a minor victim’s eighteenth birthday.

At Groth Law Firm, S.C., we have a skilled, dedicated, proven, and compassionate team ready to help you seek justice during a difficult and emotional time. If you or your child has been the victim of sexual misconduct by a coach or other trusted trainer, contact us immediately at 414-375-2030, or toll free at 1-800-375-7001

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal 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 may contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

I Don’t See The Guy Who Hit Me? Crash with a Driverless Car

In recent months talk regarding driverless cars has reached a fever pitch as companies continue to pour resources into creating the first consumer-ready prototypes. Uber, an established leader in the ride-sharing gig economy, is on the forefront of this movement. Although is it easy to get excited at the prospect of our cars driving us to our errands, or through rush hour traffic, recent events raise questions about the safety and responsible use of these cars.

Although reports of minor accidents early in the development of these vehicles was met with little media coverage or caution, a fatal accident on March 18th, 2018, exposes serious concerns with this new technology. Elain Herberg, a 49-year-old woman, was struck while walking her bicycle across the street in Tempe, Arizona. Elain was transported to the hospital from the scene and passed away from her injuries at a local hospital. Although preliminary reports are short on details, Tempe Police Detective Lily Duran reported that the car could have been traveling approximately 40 mph in a 35 mph zone. Local authorities from the Tempe Police Department are investigating, and the National Transportation Safety Board is also pursuing it’s own investigation.

Uber offered the following statement via a spokesperson, “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with the local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”

Despite Uber’s condolences to the family of the deceased, it is unclear if the company will accept full liability for the vehicle’s actions. Negligence in the age of driverless cars is uncharted territory, and although there has been significant speculation about how to handle driverless car accidents, very little has been incorporated into any new law.

At the time of the crash the Uber vehicle was in “self-driving mode.” Perhaps as precautionary measure, a vehicle operator was in the vehicle at the time of the crash. As of now, it is unclear how much control this operator had prior to, or at the moment of the crash. Arizona is well known as an early adopter of self-driving cars. In fact, just this month the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, signed an executive order allowing for self-driving cars to be used on state roads without a human driver behind the wheel. A few factors influenced this decision and include; Arizona’s dry, static climate and the large population of nearby retired individuals who are expected to benefit from this technology.

In this instance, the self-driving car that caused this accident was owned and being tested by Uber. Other major manufacturers, such as Google and GM have analogous test models and are still investing heavily in the development of autonomous vehicle tech.

This technology raises a myriad of legal issues. Is there a products liability case if something inherent in the vehicle causes an accident? If the vehicle acts in accordance with it’s programming and an unforeseen variable causes a wreck, is the operator negligent if they do not adapt to this variable? Most self-driving cars have an onboard camera system that shows all angles of a vehicle’s surroundings. Will this affect how accident reports are constructed? If a crash is imminent will a self-driving car take action to save it’s own occupants over other cars? Pedestrians?

It can be scary and almost impossible to approach this issue on your own. If you or someone you know has been in an accident with a self-driving car you need not only an experienced attorney, but a law firm that is willing to dive into unexplored areas of law on behalf of their clients. As mentioned, there is little law on this topic and you can be sure that major corporations will fight tooth and nail to protect their investments. If you want a law firm that is unafraid to take on the big guy, call Groth Law Firm at 414-375-2030.

 

Traffic-Related Deaths Remain High in the U.S.

On February 15, 2018, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “U.S. Road-Death Rates Remain Near 10-Year High.” The article discusses the National Safety Council’s (NSC) statistics on traffic-related fatalities for 2017.[1] The NSC found that traffic-related deaths in the U.S. declined by approximately 1% in the year 2017. While any decline in traffic-related deaths is good news, analysts hoped to see an even larger decline following back to back increases in traffic-related fatalities in 2015 and 2016.

The National Safety Council is one of two primary organizations that publish data on roadway fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also published data but only reports deaths occurring on public roadways. The NSC incorporates incidents from private roadways into their report which slightly increases the number of total fatalities.

The NSC reported a 7% increase in 2014 and a 6% in 2015.[2] Both years’ data came as a surprise because traffic-related deaths per vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have declined since 1921 (see graph below).[3]

The Wall Street Journal article also documents the comments of experts regarding the factors behind the unfortunate trend.[4] A spokesperson for the NSC attributed the rising fatality rate to drunk driving incidents. She cites the differences between the blood alcohol level laws in the United States and other nations and remarks that the best way to drive down roadway deaths is to reduce drunk driving. Automotive executives point to the increased use of hand-held devices as a catalyst for the trend. Automakers have focused resources in recent years to add hands-free technology in their vehicles to reduce this trend among motorists.

Experts are unable to pinpoint the exact reasons the trend in traffic-related fatalities has shifted upward in recent years; however, the problems of drunk driving and smartphone use continue to plague drivers across the nation.

In most cases, traffic accidents result in injuries rather than fatalities. Over the past decade, traffic-related injuries in the U.S. have vacillated between 2.2 million and 2.4 million.[5] The sheer volume of these numbers underscores the necessity of paying attention while driving. Of course, avoid driving while intoxicated and refrain from smartphone use, but it is also imperative to stay alert while operating a motor vehicle realizing that others may not exercise careful driving.

If you think you have been injured as the result of a traffic accident see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. at 877-375-7001 with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of someone else’s negligent actions. Our initial consultations are always free.

 

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-rates-on-u-s-roads-remain-near-10-year-high-1518692401

[2] http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/traffic-fatalities-historical-trend-us-2016-4

[4] https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-rates-on-u-s-roads-remain-near-10-year-high-1518692401

[5] https://www.statista.com/statistics/191900/road-traffic-related-injuries-and-fatalities-in-the-us-since-1988/