Category Archives: Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney

Wisconsin Laws

Snow Removal Rules in Wisconsin

With the recent winter storm in Wisconsin, many homeowners and occupants of properties have spent a great deal of time outside clearing snow and ice from their driveways and walkways. Property owners in Wisconsin have a duty to keep sidewalks in front of or alongside their property clear of snow and ice. Property owners should familiarize themselves with the ordinance that applies to snow removal in the city or municipality where the property is located. The rules do vary depending upon the municipality, but in general, property owners have a certain number of hours from when a snowfall ends to remove the snow and ice from the walkways adjacent to their property.

The ordinance governing snow removal in Milwaukee states: “Private property, residential or commercial property owners and occupants are required to clear the sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This includes the corner crosswalk area for property owners with corner lots or those whose property abuts a midblock crosswalk.” When a violation is reported in Milwaukee, the property owner will be charged $50 and receive a notice to clear the walk. If the property owner does not sufficiently clear the walk before the city contractor arrives to inspect, the property owner will receive an additional $75 charge for the first violation and a $100 charge for any subsequent violations in addition to the cost of the snow and ice removal to be completed by the city.

The City of Waukesha ordinance regarding snow removal is as follows: “Within 12 hours after the snow has stopped, sidewalks should be cleared of snow or ice. After 12 hours, if the City receives a complaint of snow or ice-covered walk, the City will begin enforcement action.” Once a violation is reported, the City inspects the sidewalk. If the City determines that there is a violation of the ordinance, the representative leaves a courtesy tag at the property to notify the owner or occupant of the violation and the need for corrective action. The City then revisits the property the next business day. If the violation is still present, the City sends a contractor to remove the snow or ice and bills the property owner for the service. The City charges an additional penalty for repeat violations as well.

According to the City of Waukesha website, common problems that constitute violations of the snow removal ordinance include sidewalks that are not shoveled, ice-covered sidewalks, sidewalks not shoveled to their full width, handicap ramps not sufficiently cleared of snow and ice and snow placed in the street.

The city of Madison takes a bit of a different approach to its snow removal guidelines. The Madison guidelines state: “To make public sidewalks safe for pedestrians, the owner or occupant of the property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk is responsible for the removal of any snow or ice that accumulates on the sidewalk. Residents are required to clear snow from their sidewalk by noon of the day after the snow stopped. And remember, snow plows might create a blockage even after your drive has been cleaned. In the event that removal of ice is impossible, the property owner or occupant is required to use sand, salt or other suitable substance to prevent the ice from being dangerous. This should be done by noon of the day after the snow/ice stopped.” Unlike in Waukesha, the City of Madison notes on its website that it will not issue a warning before citing the property owner for not properly removing snow and ice pursuant to the ordinance because it is a safety issue.

Given that the rules vary fairly substantially between municipalities, it is important for property owners to be aware of the rules for their specific region. Ordinances can generally be found on the city or municipality’s website. Property owners must be cognizant of the rules surrounding snow and ice removal to avoid monetary penalties if they are found to have violated the ordinance, or worse, if their failure to remove snow and ice results in a serious injury for someone who is injured on the sidewalk on their property. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the sidewalks on their property are maintained in a manner such that it is safe for pedestrians who use the sidewalk.

Aside from city sidewalks, homeowners are also responsible if someone, such as a guest or delivery driver, are injured on their property due to their failure to adequately remove snow and ice from their driveways and walkways leading to their home. While there is not an ordinance or statute governing snow removal on private property, a homeowner has a duty to maintain his or her property such that it is free of any unreasonable risks of harm for those who are on the property with permission. For example, if a delivery driver or mailperson are injured because the homeowner did not properly remove snow and ice from their walkways, the homeowner (usually through their homeowner’s insurance policy) can become responsible for paying for the damages sustained by the injured person, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property due to snow or ice that has not been properly removed, there may be grounds to make a personal injury claim against the homeowner and his or her insurance company. Time is of the essence in these types of cases as oftentimes evidence must be gathered soon after the injury or it may be forever lost. The team at Groth Law Firm has successfully handled cases against property owners who have failed to maintain their properties in a manner that is safe for guests and others that come onto the property with permission resulting in serious injuries. The attorneys at Groth Law Firm offer free consultations and would be happy to speak with you to determine if you may have a case. Call the Groth Law Firm at (414) 375-2030 today.
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https://city.milwaukee.gov/mpw/divisions/operations/environmental/sanitation/winter/SidewalkSnowRemoval.htm#.XEUtf1xKg2w
https://waukesha-wi.gov/1677/Snow-and-Ice-Removal
https://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/SnowIce/snowRules.cfm
https://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/SnowIce/snowRulesFAQs.cfm

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer WI

Crosswalk Laws in Wisconsin

Over the years, it has become increasingly dangerous to cross the streets of Wisconsin even where there are marked crosswalks. Whether it is because of an increased population resulting in an increased number of drivers on Wisconsin roadways, or simply a greater number of distractions causing drivers to divert their attention away from the road, accidents involving pedestrians have been on the rise in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the average number of crashes involving pedestrians each year between 2011 and 2015 was 1,248. Of those 1,248 pedestrian crashes, an average of 46 pedestrian deaths occurred and 1,196 pedestrian injuries were reported. The year with the highest number of deaths and injuries was 2015. In 2015 alone, there were 1,289 reported accidents involving pedestrians, 54 deaths and 1,227 injuries in Wisconsin.

Many of these pedestrian accidents occur because Wisconsin drivers simply do not abide by the rules pertaining to pedestrians crossing the road in crosswalks. It is illegal in the state of Wisconsin to fail to stop for a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk. A pedestrian in a crosswalk does have the right of way. A crosswalk does not necessarily have to be marked in order to be considered a crosswalk. As Tom Held, ambassador for Wisconsin Bike Fed, explains it, “Any point where there is a natural crossing for a sidewalk, pedestrians have the right of way. It’s not an option for drivers to stop or not stop – they are obligated by law to yield or stop.”

The pertinent language from the Wisconsin statutes is as follows:

“346.23: Crossing controlled intersection or crosswalk.

(1) At an intersection or crosswalk where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or by a traffic officer, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, or to a person who is riding a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device in a manner which is consistent with the safe use of the crosswalk by pedestrians, who has started to cross the highway on a green or “Walk” signal and in all other cases pedestrians, bicyclists, and riders of electric personal assistive mobility devices shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully proceeding directly ahead on a green signal.”

While pedestrians crossing roadways at any point other than a marked crosswalk (or an area where a sidewalk ends and there is a natural sidewalk crossing) do have to yield the right of way to vehicles, drivers should always be scanning the sides of the roads while they drive to look for pedestrians who may be attempting to cross. Even though pedestrians must yield to vehicles in those situations, many pedestrian involved crashes could be avoided if drivers paid closer attention, even in areas where there are not crosswalks.

346.25, Wis. Stats. governs the rules pertaining to crossing at any point other than crosswalks. It states:

“346.25: Crossing at place other than crosswalk

Every pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.”

On Friday, February 15, 2019, 82 year old crossing guard, Gail Bantes, was struck by a vehicle while performing her crossing guard duties in the Peshtigo School District. Prior to getting struck by an SUV, Bantes pushed two young girls to safety. Before working as a crossing guard for the city of Peshtigo, Gail Bantes was a bus driver for 43 years. Bantes spent several days in the hospital due to the injuries that she sustained.

The Peshtigo police chief confirmed that the woman driving the SUV did receive a citation. She allegedly told officers that she was unable to see people in the crosswalk due to the sun glare.

Barriers to vision do not render the laws pertaining to crosswalks null and void. Drivers must exercise greater caution when their vision is obstructed in order to avoid a pedestrian collision. Sun glare does pose an issue, especially when driving directly toward the sun, but a driver still has a duty to exercise ordinary care, particularly in less than ideal driving conditions. Wearing sunglasses, using a sun visor and reducing speed are several ways to reduce the risk of a crash on very bright days.

In the winter, there are other types of hazards drivers face when it comes to being able to see when approaching a crosswalk. Large snow piles block the view of drivers as they approach intersections, particularly in a winter such as this where there are record snowfalls for the season in parts of the state. Many snow piles are pushed so high that it is impossible to see if pedestrians are walking behind them and are about to step into the crosswalk. In these situations, it is important to slow down and exercise greater caution, especially near school zones. Peshtigo police chief warned drivers, “Slow down, watch at intersections, because if you can’t see them, they can’t see you.”

With the ever-increasing number of distractions drivers are faced with nowadays, it is crucial to be aware of the Wisconsin crosswalk laws and exercise an even higher degree of caution when approaching crosswalks. Pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way, and it is illegal not to stop for a pedestrian who is crossing a street in the crosswalk. Additionally, it is illegal to begin making a turn, even on a green light, if there is a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk if the turn would endanger or interfere with the pedestrian in any way.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a pedestrian vs. vehicle crash while crossing lawfully in a crosswalk, the team at Groth Law Firm may be able to help. Time is of the essence in these types of cases, so call the Groth Law firm today to make sure that your rights are protected and valuable evidence is retained and preserved. Call the attorneys at Groth Law Firm at (414) 375-2030 today.

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https://onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/crossingthestreet.html

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/about-wisdot/newsroom/statistics/final.aspx

https://www.wsaw.com/content/news/-Home-Local-Article-82-year-old-crossing-guard-pushes-kids-to-safety-before-being-hit-by-SUV-506071891.html

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

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.

Insurance Coverage and Driving for Hire Uber and Lyft

In the past few years, rideshare apps have been gaining massive popularity and becoming the preferred transportation choice when compared with taxis, buses or shuttles. With the click of a button, you can arrange to be picked up from the location identified by your phone’s GPS feature and select your destination. You are told who your driver is (and even provided with a photo of them), what type of vehicle he or she is driving, what the license plate number is and when the driver is expected to arrive. It is also not necessary to have cash or a card on you because payment has already been linked to one of your accounts through your mobile device.

As one can imagine, with the ever-increasing popularity of services like Uber and Lyft comes a greater chance of accidents to occur involving Uber and Lyft vehicles. What many people may not know is that one’s own personal auto insurance coverage typically does not apply when driving for Uber or Lyft. This is because most insurance policies exclude coverage when you are “driving for hire,” or being paid to drive as you are as an Uber or Lyft driver.

Uber and Lyft do provide insurance to their drivers but only when certain requirements are met. When a driver has accepted a rider and is en route to the rider’s location, he or she is covered under coverage provided by Uber or Lyft. Likewise, when the driver actually has the rider in the vehicle, he or she is covered through Uber or Lyft. When the driver has the app on and is simply driving around waiting to accept a new fare, however, Uber and Lyft may provide minimal coverage. If you drive for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, it is important that you have adequate liability coverage limits to cover the gaps that exist with the Uber and Lyft policies.

Furthermore, while the commercial policies through Uber and Lyft may provide up to $1 million in liability coverage when a rider is in the vehicle, they generally do not provide collision and comprehensive coverage. If collision and comprehensive coverage is available, there is usually a hefty deductible (sometimes up to $2,500) associated with the policy, so it is very important to make sure you carry adequate collision and comprehensive coverage or you may be on the hook for the total damages to your vehicle in the event of a crash. If your insurer denies your claim because you were “driving for hire,” you may, unfortunately, still be responsible for the damages to the vehicle.

The purpose of this blog post is really two-fold. First, if you are an Uber or Lyft driver, it is crucial that you be aware of what amounts of coverage you carry on your personal auto policy and when that policy is primary versus when the rideshare policy kicks in. It is important to have adequate coverage to make sure that you are covered for any of those gaps not covered by the commercial policy or where the commercial coverage is minimal. If you do not carry adequate personal auto coverage, you run the risk of your personal assets being at stake in the event that you cause a crash.

On the other hand, if you happen to be injured as a result of the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, whether that be in the context of a car, pedestrian or bicycle accident, it is important to know that there may need to be some fact finding completed to determine which insurance policy will cover the loss. You should call an attorney experienced in handling claims against Uber and Lyft drivers to help you navigate the process and find the applicable coverage. The Groth Law Firm has handled these types of cases and welcomes the opportunity to speak with anyone who has been injured due to the negligence of a rideshare driver, such as Uber or Lyft. Call or text today at 414-375-2030 for a free consultation!
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1 https://www.answerfinancial.com/insurance-center/how-does-car-insurance-work-for-uber-drivers
2 https://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/lyft-insurance.axpx

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.

Bird Scooters

For those of you who are wondering why scooters have been popping up all over town, it’s likely due to a recent influx of Bird Scooters. First created in China, and manufactured on the West Coast, Bird Scooters allow pedestrians to rent these  scooters starting at just $1.00. Although you are also required to pay .15 cents for every minute you use the scooter, Bird Scooters (and others with a similar business model) have seemingly taken over our way of getting around. While these scooters are relatively inexpensive to rent, and very useful to get from one place to the next, it is not surprising that this latest influx of scooters has lead to an increase in pedestrian-related accidents over the past few months.

Given the rise in scooter-related incidents, it is important for drivers and riders alike to remember to always keep an eye out for others. It’s bad enough that we have to deal with cars, semi-trucks, motorcycles, city buses, and (soon) trolleys. This latest craze has meant that for those of us behind the wheel there has never been a time where more potential hazards are on the road. Obviously keeping your eyes on the road is a must, and texting while driving is a no-no. But, drivers are now required to look out for any number of scooters that might potentially dart out onto the street. These scooters, which travel up to 15mph, are difficult to see, especially at night. While technology still hasn’t caught up with the longtime issue of keeping our pedestrian safe, especially at night, that doesn’t mean that we cannot minimize these potentially horrific accidents.

In the coming weeks and months, it is probable that more scooter companies will pop up throughout the city, and more people will be exposed to additional hazards while trying to get from point A to point B. Just remember: IPDE: Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. Keeping your eyes on the road, and off your phone will help you to identify those on scooters. Once you’ve identified them, try to predict where they are likely headed. If that seem to be veering onto the road, are appear about to dart across traffic, make sure to provide them with enough space to get through safely. Next, decide. You ultimately need to decide whether it makes sense to avoid certain areas of town at particular times of day given the number of pedestrians on scooters. Finally, execute. Make sure that you are cognizant of the rapid rise of pedestrians on scooters and make a plan. Be sure to execute your game plan, and let others know of potential ways that they might also minimize the dangers that these new scooters are causing. Together, we can make our roads safe again. There are always setbacks when new technology becomes available to the public. Hopefully by recognizing and talking about the issue, we can achieve zero scooter-related accident on our streets.

If you or someone that you know has been injured while on a motorized scooter, one of our attorneys at Groth Law Firm would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. We will be able to tell you what legal avenues, if any, you might have to not only get your medical bills paid for, but also additional compensation for the pain and suffering that you deserve. Call us day or night!

GROTH LAW FIRM, S.C.
SKILLED. DEDICATED. PROVEN.

(414) 375-2030

Hope Christian School Bus Accident Highlights Dangers of Large Trucks And Impaired Driving

Twenty people were injured on Wednesday, May 23, including five critically, when an impaired driver operating a semi struck a school bus. The bus was carrying students from Hope Christian School in Milwaukee. Students were on their way to the Wisconsin Dells for an end of the year field trip.

The bus was pulled over on the shoulder of I39/90 near Lodi due to mechanical problems when the semi struck the bus from behind. Sgt. Greg Jensworld stated that more than half the semi was on the shoulder when it impacted the bus. Twenty of the thirty-three bus passengers were injured, and five had serious injuries. Two passengers had to be airlifted to the hospital.

Impaired Driver

The driver of the truck, Wayne Murphy, was booked on 5 counts of causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Murphy’s employer stated that he had only been driving for an hour. However, state troopers had already received calls reporting Murphy as a reckless driver before the accident. The 42-year-old Murphy, from Indianapolis, reportedly had opioids and a tranquilizer in his system at the time of the crash. Columbia County DA Jane Kohlwey expects to file felony charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence and reckless endangerment soon.

Tragic Impact Of The Crash

School Bus Accident in Milwaukee

Damage From the Accident

To see the impact impaired driving has, you need look no further than 15-year-old Alexis Jenkins. Alexis suffered broken bones, punctured lungs, and was breathing on a ventilator after the accident. In an interview with CBS 58, her grandma described the tremendous grief the driver’s alleged reckless and irresponsible conduct has caused: “He’s put a hole in my heart. My granddaughter was going on a field trip. She was graduating today and he put a hole in my heart. She will never be the same.”

If you’d like to donate to the recovery of Alexis Jenkins, click here.

Large Truck Accident Statistics

This truck accident implicates the extensive damage large trucks can cause on roadways. There are currently more than 2 million semis that operate on U.S. roadways. There are over 500,000 large truck accidents annually which result in approximately 5,000 fatalities nationwide. Fatal large truck accidents tend to occur on weekdays during the daytime. The majority also occur on highways in rural areas. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration illustrates these tendencies:

  • Approximately 61 percent of all fatal large truck accidents occurred in rural areas, 27 percent occurred on Interstate highways, and 15 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
  • The majority of fatal large truck accidents (84 percent) and nonfatal large truck accidents (88 percent) occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
  • In 2016, 4,440 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 2-percent increase from 2015. The number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 29 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009.
  • The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased 62% from 60,000 in 2009 to 97,000 in 2015. In 2016, there were an estimated 119,000 injury crashes, based on NHTSA’s new CRSS data collection.

Although a large truck accident may be caused by an array of factors including road conditions, driver-related reasons are often the issue. Driver fault can be divided into four categories:

  • Non-Performance: The driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, fell asleep, or was disabled by a heart attack or seizure.
  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive, was distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason.
  • Decision: For example, the driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely.
  • Performance: For example, the driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.

In 2016, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes. “Decision” was the most frequent driver-related factor, followed by “Recognition,” “Performance,” and “Non-Performance.”

What To Do If You See A Reckless Driver

Obviously, semis are much heavier than passenger cars and thus often cause more serious injuries and property damage. Therefore, it is essential to be on the lookout for semis that are driving recklessly or suspiciously.  If you see a semi or any type of vehicle display any sort of erratic behavior, do not hesitate to call 911 to report the activity. These reports could save lives.

Unfortunately, many terrible events like the school bus accident near Lodi occur regardless of proper reporting. If you are injured in an accident caused by a large truck in Wisconsin, you may be able to be compensated for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected.

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

https://www.cbs58.com/news/four-injured-after-semi-hits-school-bus-carrying-milwaukee-area-students

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2016

http://fox6now.com/2018/05/30/911-calls-released-after-semi-strikes-school-bus-injuring-20-milwaukee-area-students/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k34zUW9ZpJc

Walk the Line, the Sidewalk Line

Did you know there is an imaginary line across most roads? Some lines have paint near them to help you see where to walk. Others have nothing – just an line from where the sidewalk ends to where it picks up again (or where it should pick up again) on the other side.  It’s true, check out the law.

Unmarked Crosswalk Section 340.01(10) Wis. Stats.:

(b) Unmarked crosswalk. In the absence of signs, lines or markings, that part of a roadway, at an intersection, which is included within the transverse lines which would be formed on such roadway by connecting the corresponding lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of such roadway or, in the absence of a corresponding sidewalk on one side of the roadway, that part of such roadway which is included within the extension of the lateral lines of the
existing sidewalk across such roadway at right angles to the center line thereof, except in no case does an unmarked crosswalk include any part of the intersection and in no case is there an unmarked crosswalk across a street at an intersection of such street with an alley.

Crossing at a place other than a crosswalk Section 346.25 Wis. Stats.:

Every pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

It’s summertime and we have visitors from most every other state.  Just last week we saw a car with a Rhode Island license plate.  My wife actually saw a vehicle with an Alaska plate not too long ago.  Anyway, please make yourself familiar with our pedestrian laws.  It is important to yield to pedestrians.  It only takes a few seconds – it won’t make you late.  A little courtesy will make someone else’s day!