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Wind Lake Gymnastics Center and Claims against James Kivisto

Our firm is currently investigating claims against the Racine County based gymnastics center known as “Wind Lake Gymnastics Center,” its owner James “Jim” Kivisto and USA Gymnastics.  There are possibly hundreds of victims from our community.  It seems that James Kivisto had been videotaping young girls for quite a while and now admits that he recorded his victims changing on “multiple occasions.”  Fox 6 Milwaukee has posted numerous articles about these incidents and the work that the Racine Sheriff and law enforcement now have to undertake to decipher who was, in fact, a victim of these crimes.

The sad thing is that any parent whose child was coached at Wind Lake Gymnastics may be a victim and it’s not unreasonable that all parents have now had to talk with young kids about this.  Many parents are asking themselves whether they can ever trust a coach again.    Attorney Groth recently stated, “The lack of diligence in certifying Wind Lake Gymnastics has cost our community so much.  I hope these kids are able to continue in sports – its such an important part of growing up.  But, as a parent I understand if you want to never let your child out of your sight!”

If you would like to talk about the process involved in claims like those against the Windy Lake Gymnastics Center and James Kivisto please call our office (414-375-2030).  Our attorneys have tried negligent supervision cases and Attorney Groth has helped a number of survivors of assault and rape obtain verdicts (and the closure associated with a verdict) before Wisconsin Circuit Courts.

Contact Groth Law Firm

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

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!

Essure Withdrawn from US Market

Sales of Essure birth control implant have been halted by Bayer; the U.S. was the last to sell the controversial device.

We will talk more about this later on but I wanted to share this breaking news with our readers as soon as possible.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/07/20/sales-of-essure-birth-control-implant-halted-by-bayer-u-s-was-last-to-sell-controversial-device/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4094ab3d5f4c

Please feel free to call our attorneys if you believe you have been injured because of this device. We will be happy to talk with you and remember, as always, our initial consultations are free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Uber and Lyft Injuries: Who Pays?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Supervised Or Not: Do You Really Know

With the Warm Weather Comes Dog Bite Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

USA Gymnastics Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuits Related to Larry Nassar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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