Category Archives: Motorcycle Collisions

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 414-395-8976

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.

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/

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

First Driverless Car to Get Ticketed

After the recent incident involving Uber and their driverless car killing a woman in Arizona, yet another incident involving a driverless car has occurred. A motorcycle police officer in San Francisco, gave the first traffic ticket to a driverless car. The officer ticketed the driverless car because it failed to properly yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. California law requires cars to yield right away to pedestrians. The driverless car did have a human test driver and they are the ones responsible for the citation.

The officer pulled over the driverless car shortly after it began accelerating. The owners of the driverless car, Cruise, claim that the onboard data showed that the pedestrian was 10.8 feet away from the vehicle; the human test driver did everything correctly.  Cruise also claims that their number one concern is the safety of the public when testing their self-driving cars.

Many feel that this incident shouldn’t be taken lightly since the death of the pedestrian caused by the driverless Uber. This latest incident puts in question the safety of the public with this new technology. This new incident involving a driverless car won’t help convince the public about the safety concerns they have about these self-driving cars that are in the near future.  Like what will happen when a police officer pulls out a driverless car when there is no human test driver? Driverless car or not, Groth Law Firm helps individuals who have been involved in car accidents and have suffered injuries because of it.

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.

Apple’s Safe Driving Update

Apple Leads the Charge for Fewer Distracted Drivers with new iOS Update

Don’t text and drive. Period. According to the Department of Transportation, distracted driving, including being distracted by a text or phone call, accounted for 16% of all vehicle crash deaths on Wisconsin roads in 2015. In 2016, one-hundred and twenty-one people lost their lives in distracted driving related traffic accidents in Wisconsin. Every year, more than 11,000 personal injuries are caused by distracted drivers.

Statistics like these across the country likely drove a new feature in Apple’s latest update to the iPhone’s iOS 11 – a Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature.

This new feature in iOS 11 is not enabled by default, but can be easily enabled by Opening the Settings app > touching “Do Not Disturb” > scrolling down to “Do Not Disturb While Driving” > and selecting “Activate.” From there, you can set how you want Do Not Disturb While Driving to operate. You can turn it on manually, have it come on automatically when your iPhone detects that your car is moving, or when your iPhone connects to your car’s Bluetooth. Don’t worry though, even with the automatic setting, if you’re a passenger you can easily tap the Do Not Disturb notification and disable Do Not Disturb; and, unlike with Pokemon Go, your phone will regain full functionality when you tell it you’re a passenger.

With Do Not Disturb, you can set an auto reply that will be sent to anyone who texts you while you are driving. You can also customize the reply to your liking. The texter will also be prompted that they can text the word “urgent” to you if there is an emergency and the text will then go through and notify you despite Do Not Disturb being activated.

Apart from texts, Do Not Disturb While Driving will also block phone calls. Though the setting is clever enough to know if your phone is connected to a hands-free or Bluetooth accessory and will route the call through there if available. Otherwise, the call will be blocked just like a text.
iOS 11 also includes an option for parental restrictions that will keep younger users from disabling Do Not Disturb While Driving. This setting will allow parents to lock down their teens’ phones while they’re driving.

With this new setting, Apple has taken a strong stance against distracted driving and the personal injuries and often wrongful deaths that can result from it. The setting can still be turned off, but it is at least available, and users are notified of its availability rather than it being buried in the iPhone’s settings.

If you think you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions. We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of a negligent driver. Our initial consultations are always free.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2017/06/22/bill-aims-curb-distracted-driving-crashes/419618001/
http://www.zeroinwisconsin.gov/DistractedDriving/
http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/drv-behavior/distracted-drv.aspx
https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-distracted-driving-crashes-8-percent-2015

Trauma Causing Foot and Ankle Injuries

Accidents Often Cause Foot and Ankle Injuries

ANKLE INJURIES

Strains, sprains, and fractures are the most prevalent (more than one million people in US annually) ankle injuries, often occurs during sports and recreational activities. But people also commonly suffer these injuries while walking or falling from collapsing stairs or falling of a construction site. Such injuries of ankle are Adduction injuries, Abduction injuries, Pronation–External rotation injuries, Supination-External rotation injuries and Vertical compression injuries. These injuries are usually fracture of bones and strains of the ankle ligaments.  An ankle joint is made up of 3 bones (tibia, fibula, and talus), a fibrous capsule which contains synovial fluid (allows smooth movements of the joint surfaces) and several ligaments that stabilize the joint. Ankle fractures are classified according to the location and type of ankle bone involved. The different types of ankle fractures are:

  • Lateral Malleolus fracture in which the lateral malleolus, the outer part of the ankle, is fractured.
  • Medial Malleolus fracture in which the medial malleolus, the inner part of the ankle, is fractured.
  • Posterior Malleolus fracture in which the posterior malleolus, the bony hump of the tibia, is fractured.
  • Bimalleolar fractures in which both lateral and medial malleolus bones are fractured.
  • Trimalleolar fractures in which all three lateral, medial, and posterior bones are fractured.
  • Syndesmotic injury, also called a high ankle sprain, is usually not a fracture, but can be treated as a fracture.

HEEL BONES FRACTURES

Fractures of Calcaneum bone: Calcaneum bone fractures are usually caused by fall from height onto the heels, thus both heels may be injured at the same time. The fracture may be (i) an isolated crack fracture usually in the region of tuberosity; or (ii) more often a compression injury where the bone is shattered like an egg shell. The degree of displacement varies according to the severity of trauma. The fracture may be one of the following types

  • Undisplaced fractures resulting from a minimal trauma
  • Extra-articular fracture where the articular surface remain intact, and the force splits the calcaneal tuberosity
  • Intra-articular fracture when the articular surface of the calcaneum fails to withstand the stress. It is shattered and driven downwards into the body of the bone, crushing the delicate trabeculae of the cancellous bone into powder. This is commonest type of fracture.

Fractures of the Tarsal bones: Fracture of Talus bone: Fracture of neck of the talus results from forced dorsiflexion of the ankle. This may be associated with dislocation of the body of the talus backward, out of the ankle-mortise. Vascularity of the body of the talus may be compromised.

Fractures and dislocation of other Tarsal bones are uncommon.

Fractures of Metatarsal bones are caused by direct violence from a heavy object falling onto the foot. A metatarsal fracture can be caused by repeated stress without any specific injury (march Fracture).One or more metatarsal fractures of the shaft of the bones can be due to crush injuries.

Fractures of Phalanges of the Toes   These are common injuries, most often resulting from fall of a heavy object, or twisting of the toes. The great toe is injured most commonly.

Our law firm has handled many cases involving ankle and foot fractures.  We have deposed foot and ankle surgeons, life care planners and vocational experts in order to get the proper testimony into evidence.  Call Groth Law Firm S.C. and our Milwaukee, Wisconsin attorneys with any questions you may have.

Bicycles are Vehicles Too!

It’s getting to be pretty nice outside, and that means that you will start seeing a lot more cyclists on the road.  Perhaps, you are one of those cyclists.  I happen to be one of those commuter cyclists, and sometimes, when I am riding my bike on my way somewhere, I have had motorists shout at me to get on the sidewalk or generally to get off of the road.  These angry motorists are typically wrong about the law regarding bicycles in Wisconsin, and this blog is inspired by those folks to help you understand the law in Wisconsin about bicycles, how to follow it, and what happens when you are injured while riding a bicycle..

The law in Wisconsin regards a bicycle as a vehicle. (Click here for a nice summary of relevant bicycle laws in Wisconsin, which I will highlight in this post.)  This means that the bicycle operator has both the rights and responsibilities of any other vehicle on a road with a few certain exceptions.  In fact, in some municipalities, ordinances restrict cyclists from being on sidewalks (this may seem counter-intuitive, but the reason for prohibiting cycling on sidewalks is because motorists will not notice cyclists on the sidewalk when each needs to pass through crosswalks.)

If you are cycling on the road, you should be as far right as is practicable on the road.  Remember to look out for parked cars and opening doors on the side of the road.  On a highway, you are permitted to cycle on the shoulder unless a local ordinance prohibits it.  On one-way roads, you can cycle on either the far left or far right of the road.  Also, if you are cycling, you should signal your turns by extending your left arm out for a left turn, and up for a right turn.  Finally, while cycling at night, you must have a white front light and a red rear reflector (a rear light is also advisable but not required by law.)

If you are a motorist, you should respect the bicycle with distance as if it were a motor vehicle.  Share the road with bicyclists.  When you pass a cyclist, you must give the cyclist at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the bike.  If you are involved in a collision with a bicycle, and personal injuries or property damage over $1,000 is suffered, you are required by law to report it to law enforcement.

If you or someone you love is involved in a bicycle accident, whether with a motorist, as a result of a pothole, or any other cause, contact an attorney to evaluate the case.  I’ve attached a contact form below if you have questions:

 

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