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Personal Injury Lawyer WI

Statute of Limitations: What It Is and Why It Is Important

Many people have heard the term “statute of limitations,” but do not quite know what it means or why it is important. They are generally aware that it is a legal term, but for many, that is the extent of their understanding. For lawyers and their clients alike, the statute of limitations is important because it governs the time frame with which the parties have to take certain actions. By definition, the statute of limitations refers to the amount of time an injured party has to file a lawsuit following their injury. If a case has not been settled by the expiration of the statute of limitations or a lawsuit filed, the claimant loses their right, by law, to recover compensation for their injuries. Their claim is time barred.

This article will focus on statutes of limitation for many types of Wisconsin personal injury cases. Each state has their own rules regarding statute of limitations, and the time frames vary by state.

In general, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Wisconsin is three years. This means that in order to preserve the right to continue pursuing a personal injury claim after the statute of limitations has expired, a lawsuit must be filed before the three year anniversary of the injury. As with most rules, there are exceptions depending upon what type of claim is being made, when the injury occurred, etc. This article will dissect some of those nuances and identify the statute of limitations for various types of personal injury claims that are often made in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Statute § 893.54 outlines the general rule for the statute of limitations in Wisconsin for “Injury to the person.” It states as follows:

(1m) Except as provided in sub. (2m), the following actions shall be commenced within 3 years or be barred:
(a) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person, including an action to recover damages for injuries to the person caused or sustained by or arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle.
(b) An action brought to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another.
(2m) An action brought to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another and arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle shall be commenced within 2 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred.

As mentioned previously, a case involving injuries to the person must be settled or a lawsuit filed within three years of the date of injury, or it will be time barred. Subpart (2m) of Wis. Stat. § 893.54 provides that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death arising from a motor vehicle accident is only two years from the date of accrual. This is one of the exceptions to the three year rule in Wisconsin. NOTE: “Date of Accrual” for a wrongful death claim has been defined by case law as date of death.
It is also important to note that a wrongful death claim not involving a motor vehicle still falls under the general umbrella of a three year statute of limitations.

Generally, most personal injury cases in Wisconsin fall within the three year statute of limitation time frame set forth in Wis. Stat. § 893.54(1m). These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
• Motor Vehicle Crashes
• Premises Liability Cases (i.e. slip and fall, trip and fall)
• Dog Bites
• Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Below is a chart* that contains a more comprehensive list of statutes of limitation in Wisconsin for specific types of cases, many of which changed with the passing of 2015 Wisconsin Act 133, which was enacted into law on February 4, 2016 and officially published on February 5, 2016.

Cause of Action Accidents Occurring BEFORE February 6, 2016 Accidents Occurring On or After February 6, 2016
Auto Property Damage 6 Years from Date of Accident 3 Years from Date of Accident
Bodily Injury Claim (NOT involving death) 3 Years from Date of Accident NO CHANGE – 3 Years from Date of Accident
Wrongful Death (involving a Motor Vehicle) 3 Years from Date of Accrual 2 Years from Date of Accrual
Uninsured Motorist Claim 6 Years from Date of Accident 3 Years from Date of Accrual
Underinsured Motorist Claim 6 Years from Date of Accident 3 Years from Date of Accrual

The statute of limitations for minors in Wisconsin is also an exception to the general rule. Minors have two years after they reach the age of majority (i.e. two years after their 18th birthday) to file a lawsuit for injuries they sustained in an accident while still a minor pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 893.16.

Claims against a government entity or employee are subject to a different rule set forth in Wis. Stat. § 893.80. For claims against government entities or employees, a written notice of the claim must be served on the proper government agency within 120 days of the accident or injury. If a claimant fails to give proper notice within the 120 day time frame, his or her claim could be barred.

While most personal injury claims are governed by a three year statute of limitations, there are many types of claims that are subject to a different statutory time frame as well. If you or someone you know has been injured by someone else’s negligence, you do not want to risk missing an important statutory deadline. Injured parties can lose their right to recover for their injuries if they miss the statute of limitations by one day. At the Groth Law Firm, we will make sure your case is filed on time so that you do not lose your right to continue pursuing your claim for damages. Make sure to have a skilled team of attorneys on your side to ensure that all of the statutory deadlines specific to your case are met. Call the Groth Law Firm today for a free consultation!

*The information contained in this chart was taken largely from an informational chart provided by a representative of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, a plaintiffs’ trial lawyer association.

Personal Injury Lawyer WI

How Much Is My Case Worth?

One of the most commonly asked questions by clients of personal injury attorneys is, “How much is my case worth?” Many times, this question is asked either shortly after an accident has occurred or while the client continues treating for injuries sustained in the accident that they hired the attorney for in the first place. The truth is that this question cannot be honestly answered by the attorney as there are many moving pieces in a personal injury case. Unless the client has made a full recovery, there are too many unknown factors that make it nearly impossible for an attorney to answer this question.

There are multiple components that make up a personal injury settlement. While treatment is ongoing, these factors are constantly changing in value. The purpose of this blog article is to touch on the various components that generally comprise a personal injury settlement and how they are largely all moving pieces until a case is ready to be submitted for settlement.

1. Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are typically one of the largest components of a bodily injury case. The extent of the injuries and the duration of treatment will usually determine how much in sheer medical bills an injured person will incur. The longer a person treats, the more in medical bills he or she will incur. A fractured bone requiring surgery and months of therapy will likely have more medical expenses than a neck strain that resolved in a few weeks. While these injuries are all worth SOMETHING, it is usually not possible to say with any degree of certainty exactly what the value is while an injured person is actively treating and convalescing from their injuries.

While a client continues actively treating for his or her injuries, medical bills continue to add up. Without knowing how much more treatment a particular client will require, whether he or she will be instructed to try a different treatment modality altogether or ultimately whether the injury will require surgery are all unknowns that make it difficult for an attorney to say what a case is worth with any degree of certainty. What we do instead is encourage our clients to continue treating if they are in pain, follow their doctor’s instructions and not let large gaps of time pass with no treatment. We explain that case value is a discussion that will have to be had in the future when we have more certainty regarding the extent of their injuries and recovery therefrom.

2. Lost Wages

After sustaining an injury, it is not uncommon for an injured person to miss work due to their injuries. Lost wages are also compensable in a personal injury claim. In order to make a claim for lost wages, many insurance companies require documentation from a physician, such as a work excuse or some sort of notation in the medical records, that the injured person should remain off of work for a specified period of time. Because injured people do have a duty to mitigate their damages, insurance companies want to make sure that the wage loss was legitimate as opposed to a claimaint remaining off of work and claiming lost wages when they could have safely performed their duties despite their injuries.

In cases with significant injuries, clients may be off of work for long periods of time. Even if PTO or vacation time is used, those hours may still be submitted as part of the bodily injury claim because those hours are no longer available to use for pleasure due to the accident.

3. Mileage

Mileage to and from the doctor for accident related treatment is also compensable in a bodily injury claim. It costs money to travel to doctor and therapy appointments, and as such, mileage expenses are claimed as part of the injured party’s damages. It is important to track your mileage to and from each appointment, so that mileage expenses can be easily calculated at the time of settlement.

4. Permanency and Future Care Needs

In many cases, the injury or pain is permanent and care may be needed indefinitely. For most personal injury claims, Wisconsin has a three year statute of limitations which means that a lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of injury, or the injured party loses their right to pursue their claim. Because many injured people will treat longer than three years, we must somehow be able to estimate the cost of their future care. We do this by getting opinions from their treating physicians and do the math to extrapolate the cost of the care recommended over the time frame set forth by the doctor, or if the treatment is needed indefinitely, over the client’s remaining life expectancy.

5. Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is another well-known component of damages in a personal injury case. Unlike the other items of special damages, however, pain and suffering is not a tangible number we can calculate like medical expenses, lost wages, etc. There is no magic formula that we can use with every case that tells us what each is worth in terms of pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is very factually specific to each case. In many cases, attorneys may even differ on the valuation for pain and suffering because while pain and suffering is real, it is difficult to put an arbitrary number on it. Pain and suffering depends largely on the nature and extent of the injuries, duration of treatment and whether a permanent injury exists. Every case is different, and many cases may include more or different factors than those mentioned here. In a case that involves permanent injuries and future care needs, we must also factor in future pain and suffering.

The components of personal injury claims discussed in this article are certainly not exhaustive. Because no two cases are exactly alike, some cases may have more components that make up the entirety of the claim. The purpose of this article is primarily to demonstrate why the question, “How much is my case worth?”, is nearly impossible for an attorney to answer during many stages of the case. There are many moving pieces and various components that factor into the value of a case, and many of those pieces are changing right up until the time of settlement.

If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another, the Groth Law Firm may be able to help. Call us at (414) 375-2030 for a free consultation today!

Slip and Fall Attorney WI

Winter Slip and Falls

We at the Groth Law Firm are no strangers to harsh Wisconsin winters. Collectively, our law firm has weathered decades upon decades of snowy Wisconsin weather. Accordingly, we know the dangers of walking around outside in icy, slippery conditions. “Black ice” refers to transparent ice that can be difficulty to see, and easy to slip on. Although most such falls result in little more than embarrassment and inconvenience, some slip and falls can have disastrous, life-altering consequences. While bumps and bruises are one thing, fractures, head injuries, and other trauma should be treated as the serious injuries they are. Since insurance companies are in the business of often denying slip and fall claims, you need skilled legal assistance to help you fight for the compensation and justice that you deserve.

Slip and fall accidents are broadly defined as accidents that occurr when you are walking in an area that has a dangerous condition, like snow or ice, that causes a fall, and then subsequent injuries. Oftentimes, we see these accidents occur in un-shoveled parking lots, inadequately salted sidewalks, and in other places of business where the owners are negligent. State law requires both homeowners, and businessowners alike to keep their premises free from dangerous conditions that may cause such accidents. Although Wisconsin weather is un-predictable, the law still requires people to keep their property safe. A failure to clear snow and icy can give rise to a valid claim against their homeowner, or business insurance. If you are involved in a slip and fall type accident, there are a few facts you should be aware of.

Like the old adage states, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Due to the inherently temporary nature of ice and snow, documentation of hazards conditions can be the difference between having a case, and not having a case. Even though snapping a picture after a bad fall, may be difficult, or in some cases, impossible, try to have a trusted family or friend photograph that hazardous condition as soon after the fall as possible. After reports of a fall, or multiple falls on their premises, many business owners will quickly seek to address the hazardous condition so that it appears as though they were not negligent in the first place. Act quickly and take pictures of unsalted, uncleared walkways and sidewalks immediately when possible. Beyond this, if your fall occurs at a place of business, you should report the incident to management. Many times, when we reach out to negligent business owners due to a fall that occurred on their property, this is their first notice of our client’s injuries. Making a full and complete accounting of your fall to management or staff can help preserve early evidence of your claim.

Slip and fall cases are based on a foundational principal of civil law. The principal is that of negligence. In order to establish negligence, you must prove that a property owner had a duty to exercise reasonable care to you; that this duty of reasonable care was breached; and that the breach of the property owner was a direct and proximate cause of the slip and fall that resulted in your injuries. If you are able to prove the aforementioned, then you have a strong claim against the property owner. Once liability is established through this framework, the Groth Law Firm can fight for you and maximize your compensation. Through a valid claim, you are entitled to various forms of compensation as an injured plaintiff. Typically, an injured person can recover compensation for, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future care costs, and any other expenses that the injury and your recovery from the injury incur. If the injury you receive from the slip and fall requires care in the future, or is permanent, you will want to consider the cost of that future care as part of your claim. The Groth Law Firm has experience in helping injured people prepare for future care by fighting for additional compensation for you. Experience matters; you want an attorney who litigated complex, multi-layered cases to ensure that you are receiving every dollar you are entitled to.

In addition to maximizing your compensation, Groth Law Firm utilizes a team of investigators throughout the state. This advantage can make a critical difference in your slip and fall case. If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall or other accident, do not hesitate to call the day of the injury. Some evidence needs to be preserved immediately, and we can send someone from our team to the scene of the injury the day of. In addition to preserving evidence, there are often challenges associated with finding the correct defendant in these cases. If you slip and fall in a large parking lot of a mall for instance, who is the responsible party? Is it mall ownership? The store in front of where you fell? Perhaps it’s a snow removal company that you’ve never heard of before. These challenges are common to slip and fall cases in the winter. This challenge is compounded by the possibility that you may have been injured on a public owned or government property. If that is the case, certain notice documents must be filed. Many such notices are extremely time-sensitive, and if you do not file in the required time period, you may be forever barred from receiving any compensation, no matter how negligent the defendant may be. Some entities may be so complex or hidden that you may have to name a “John Doe” defendant in a potential lawsuit. Experience matters in these cases. You want to hire a law firm that is skilled, dedicated, and has a proven track record in slip and fall cases. Your case needs individual and prompt attention. At Groth Law Firm your case is not just another number. You can expect daily access to a full staff of attorneys, paralegals, investigators, and law clerks.

Accidents happen, but negligent accidents can be prevented. If you are involved in a slip and fall accident and do not know where to start, let us help you. The Groth Law Firm staff is available any day of the week and offers a free consultation regarding your potential case.

Auto Accident Lawyer WI

Auto Insurance in Wisconsin: What Is Covered and Why It’s Important

The Wisconsin Financial Responsibility Law requires all drivers to have an auto insurance policy in force. Unfortunately, many people do not understand what it means to have proper coverage to protect themselves and their assets in the event they cause a serious accident or are injured in a crash caused by an uninsured motorist. Oftentimes people say that they have “full coverage” but do not realize that, when it comes down to it, they are far from fully covered if a horrific accident were to occur. Full coverage simply means that not only does your policy have liability coverage, which pays for damages that you cause to other people or property, but it also includes collision and comprehensive coverage.

A significant, but common problem arises when people mistake the fact that they technically have “full coverage” with believing that the types and amounts of coverage they have are sufficient. When determining the amounts of coverage one should purchase, he or she should work with a knowledgeable insurance agent and consider their assets, income and risk profile. One of the primary purposes of insurance is to protect your income and other assets and prevent you from financial ruin if an accident occurs. It is crucial to make an educated and informed decision when purchasing auto insurance to ensure that your income and other assets are protected.

The minimum limits of auto insurance one can purchase in Wisconsin are as follows:

• $25,000 for injury or death of one person
• $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
• $10,000 for property damage

Additionally, Wisconsin law also requires a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 for two or more people, in uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist, or UM, coverage applies to bodily injuries sustained by you, your family or other occupants of your vehicle when struck by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. Uninsured motorist coverage works by stepping in the shoes of the coverage the at-fault driver was mandated by law to have, but did not, and covers your damages up to the applicable limit on the policy.

Underinsured motorist, or UIM, coverage is not mandatory in the state of Wisconsin. UIM coverage increases the amount of bodily injury liability coverage to you and occupants of your vehicle in the event that the at-fault driver has insufficient limits to pay for the full extent of your damages. If that is the case, the at-fault driver is, by definition, underinsured, and your UIM coverage should kick in as long as you have greater UIM limits than the underlying liability limits of the at-fault driver. Underinsured motorist limits are reduced by what was paid by the underling liability limits.

Medical payments coverage pays medical expenses for you and occupants of your vehicle up to the applicable limit on your policy for injuries sustained in an accident while riding in your vehicle. Medical payments coverage applies to you, as the driver, even if you cause the accident. This coverage also applies to you and your family members if struck by a car as a pedestrian. Medical payments coverage can also apply if you or a family member are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, but depending on the policy language, it may be secondary to the medical payments coverage on the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the accident.

Medical payments coverage is a coverage that is oftentimes rejected as people do not understand why they would pay an additional premium for this type of coverage when they have health insurance. This happens most often when they do not have a knowledgeable agent to educate them about the different coverages and how they work. The minimum limit for medical payments coverage in Wisconsin is $1,000, but it is typically purchased with a limit of $10,000.

If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured motorist and only carry liability coverage on your own policy, there will be no coverage available to fix the physical damage to your vehicle. While collision coverage is also not mandatory in Wisconsin, it is useful to have if you do not have the financial ability to afford a similar vehicle should your vehicle be wrecked. A deductible typically applies for collision coverage. The deductible, usually $250 or $500, must be paid by the insured before the insurance company begins to pay for the loss.

These are the coverages that we, as Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, typically deal with when helping our clients after they have been injured in an auto accident. We help our clients understand the various types of coverage available – both from their own personal policies and the policies of the at-fault driver. While insurance is mandatory in the state of Wisconsin, we often see coverage insufficient to adequately compensate an injured victim for their injuries. This is why we believe it is important to educate Wisconsin motorists on the various insurance coverages available and why adequate coverage is so important.

When a negligent driver has insufficient coverage, the driver puts his or her own assets, income and livelihood on the line. Having full coverage in insufficient amounts can leave people in serious financial trouble. It is important to work with an insurance agent that you know and trust to ensure that you and your assets are protected even if a serious accident does happen.

It is common to have many questions after being involved in a motor vehicle crash. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, the team at Groth Law Firm may be able to help. We help our clients by investigating to find applicable insurance coverage for all parties involved and work directly with the insurance companies on our clients’ behalf so that they can focus on what is most important: getting the care that they need to make a full recovery. The skilled, dedicated and proven attorneys at Groth Law Firm fight for their clients who have been injured in motor vehicle crashes all across the state of Wisconsin. To see if the Groth Law Firm can help you, call (414) 375-2030 for a free consultation.
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https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/coverage/full-coverage.html

https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-233.pdf

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.

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