Tag Archives: auto accident

Does Driverless Mean Less Responsibility?

In recent months talk regarding driverless cars has reached a fever pitch as companies continue to pour resources into creating the first consumer-ready prototypes. Uber, an established leader in the ride-sharing gig economy, is on the forefront of this movement. Although is it easy to get excited at the prospect of our cars driving us to our errands, or through rush hour traffic, recent events raise questions about the safety and responsible use of these cars.
Although reports of minor accidents early in the development of these vehicles was met with little media coverage or caution, a fatal accident on March 18th, 2018, exposes serious concerns with this new technology. Elain Herberg, a 49-year-old woman, was struck while walking her bicycle across the street in Tempe Arizona. Elain was transported to the hospital from the scene and passed away from her injuries at a local hospital. Although preliminary reports are short on details, Tempe Police Detective Lily Duran reported that the car could have been traveling approximately 40 mph in a 35 mph zone. Local authorities from the Tempe Police Department are investigating, and the National Transportation Safety Board is also pursuing it’s own investigation.

Uber offered the following statement via a spokesperson, “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with the local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”
Despite Uber’s condolences to the family of the deceased, it is unclear if the company will accept full liability for the vehicle’s actions. Negligence in the age of driverless cars is uncharted territory, and although there has been significant speculation about how to handle driverless car accidents, very little has been incorporated into any new law.

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

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

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

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

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

Life with chronic or long-term pain is difficult and the depression that can accompany long-term pain makes it even worse. “Depression magnifies pain. It makes everyday living more difficult.”[1] Pain is considered chronic or long-term when it lasts beyond what would be expected from the original injury. This kind of pain can cause low energy, depression, and unusually high levels of stress hormones.[2]

Chronic pain can also disrupt sleep and make you more sensitive to other pain. You may even start to hurt in areas that used to feel fine. According to the American Pain Foundation, research shows that around 32 million people in the United States report pain that has lasted for a year or more – that means that one in ten Americans report chronic or long-term pain. Between 25 and 50% of those who talk to their doctors about long-term pain are clinically depressed.[3]

“People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms — usually mood or anxiety disorders — and depressed patients have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain.”[4]

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

“Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. If you have pain, you may also have anxiety, irritability, and agitation. These are normal feelings when you’re hurting. Usually, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response. But with chronic pain, you may feel constantly tense and stressed. Over time, the stress can result in different emotional problems associated with depression. Some of the problems individuals with both chronic pain and depression have include:”

  • Altered mood
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Family stress
  • Fatigue
  • Fear of injury
  • Financial concerns
  • Physical deconditioning
  • Reduced sexual interest and activity
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Social isolation
  • Weight gain or loss[5]

“Researchers once thought the relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.”[6]

The combination of depression and pain is reflected in the circuitry of the nervous system. Pain goes both ways between the body and the brain. Normally, the brain interrupts the signals of physical discomfort so that we can function. When this shutoff valve is broken, physical sensations, including pain, are more likely to become the center of attention. The pathways of the brain that handle pain, including the brain’s center of emotion, use some of the same pathways for regulating mood. When regulation fails, pain is intensified along with sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. And chronic pain, like chronic depression, can alter the functioning of the nervous system and make itself worse in a continuing cycle.[7]

From a common-sense view point, “’we know that simply having a bad headache or back pain for a day can affect our mood. Imagine having that pain every day for six months. It’s actually quite reasonable to expect anxiety and depression with chronic pain,’ says pain management specialist Hersimren Basi, MD.”[8]

If you have pain and depression because of an injury as the result of a someone else’s negligence, 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 negligence. Our initial consultations are always free.

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://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[2] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[3] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[4] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[5] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-pain-anxiety-depression-connection

[7] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[8] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/08/why-chronic-pain-brings-you-down-how-to-feel-better/

New Client Testimonial

Thanks again to our clients for their support over the years. We just received another great recommendation:

I am extremely grateful to have had Jon as my attorney for my personal injury case. I feel Jon went above and beyond to make sure I received the settlement I deserved for my injuries. Every aspect of my case was taken care of by Jon and his wonderful staff and I can honestly say that I was in good hands from beginning to end.

Please contact our firm with any questions or helpful information toll free at 877-375-7001 or visit our website https://www.grothlawfirm.com/contact/

Scary Research About Teens and Texting While Driving

New research released by State Farm Insurance shows that teen may not be getting the message about the dangers of texting and driving.  Some of the figures produced by this survey are quite shocking.  Notably, over half of teens with their license, 57% to be exact, admit to text messaging while driving.  The survey produced by State Farm also makes comparisons between teens views on texting while driving and drinking and driving.  While 83% of teens think they are likely to be in an accident if they regularly drink and drive, only 63% of teens believe they are likely to be involved in an accident if they regularly text while driving.  The study also shows a link between parents who regularly talk to their children about safe driving.  Of teens who responded that they never texted and drove, 82% said their regularly talked to their parents about safe driving.  Of teens that reported that they do text while driving, only 67% reported talking to their parents regularly about safe driving.

Texting and driving became illegal in Wisconsin in 2010 with the passage of Wisconsin Statute 346.89.  The risk of getting a ticket, however, is nothing compared to the safety risk that texting and driving creates.  Text messaging while driving is an extremely dangerous action both the person doing it and those around him or her.

If you have been the victim of an inattentive driver or have been injured in an automobile accident in the Milwaukee area or any other area in Wisconsin and are in need of a personal injury attorney, contact Groth Law Firm S.C.

Hit and Run Reward for Information

A University of Wisconsin student was hit by a driver.  The driver fled the scene.  Taking no responsibility. 

Please, if you know any information about this collision contact the Milwaukee Police.  Today’s TMJ 4 ran the story

Here’s a synopsis of what happened:

Barger was stopped in the southbound lane of Fratney. A red SUV traveling eastbound on Burleigh made a sharp turn onto Fratney and ran Barger over. She was thrown off her bike, which was dragged under the SUV for a block. Barger was rushed to the hospital.

Barger’s injuries are extensive. She has stitches on her face and hands. Severe bruising and scraping all over her body. A chipped tooth.  And serious road rash from being dragged by the fleeing SUV.

If you know any more information please call 414-935-7396.