I’m glad I didn’t travel very far this past Labor Day. We travelled “up north” to Marinette County. A beautiful part of Wisconsin.
Anyway, I read this news brief from the AAJ’s website about various safety violations involving over the road truckers (semi trucks, tractor trailers etc.) .
It appears that Wisconsin has a rate of trucker safety violations that are in excess of the national average. The article states:
States that had a rate of companies in violation of safety requirements above the national average include West Virginia, North Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont, Iowa, Montana, Delaware, Idaho, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Indiana, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. A full listing of all companies in violation of federal safety requirements by state is available at www.justice.org/trucksafetyviolations.
I hope everyone had a safe Labor Day weekend. Keep driving safe!
As I’m sure you can imagine I have lots of little stories from my trial last week. One thing I wanted to mention is the Hanson case. Hanson v. American Family Insurance, 294 Wis.2d 149, 716 N.W.2d 866 (2006).
Hanson is a case decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In short, it says that an injured victim of a car accident (or the victim of someone elses’s negligence or intentional acts in general) has the right to recover for medical care even if that care was unnecessary. It’s recoverable so long as the injured person initially went to the doctor in good faith and then followed the doctor’s orders.
In Hanson, the injured party went to the doctor in good faith (i.e. used ordinary care in choosing the doctor). The doctor then performed a surgery. The at fault insurance company, American Family Insurance, hired a doctor to say that the surgery was unnecessary. American Family said they should not be held responsible for unnecessary treatment. The injured victim argued he simply relied on his doctor.
So, when deciding who should pay for this unnecessary treatment the Wisconsin Supreme Court said it should not be the injured victim. The insurance company is in a better position to pay for it. They caused the initial harm, they should pay for all damages that flow from that initial harm.
We had a nice long discussion with the Judge about this case at trial. Interesting stuff.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West Allis, Sheboygan, Plymouth, and Germantown.
If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.
Shouldn’t it be driving, period. Driving while distracted is just plain dangerous.
Time Magazine had a good article about documents recently uncovered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In short, drivers:
were faster to brake and caused fewer crashes when they had a .08% blood-alcohol content than while sober and talking on a cell phone.
In Wisconsin, if you act in an intentional disregard of others and you injure someone you can be liable for punitive damages. That is certainly the case for repeat drunk drivers. Why wouldn’t this apply to repeat “texters” or “talkers”?
“Rotator Cuff Injury”
I think this is a phrase that is pretty widely used. We often hear announcers talk about a rotator cuff injury during a football game. It’s pretty common. But, this phrase is so widely used that it may not be completely understood. Everyone assumes that everyone else knows what it means.
Well, the Doe Report has some medical illustrations of a shoulder and rotator cuff. Take the opportunity to look it over. It is pretty interesting stuff.
Personal injury attorneys use these types of illustrations often to help teach juries about the objective findings of injury. People can talk and talk but looking at picture often makes the information sink in.
I’ll write more about this in coming days but I wanted to link to this “Fact Book” published by The University of Wisconsin Law School.
Below is the “Foreword” from the Fact Book:
Our civil justice system has always been a matter of intense public interest, from television drama to newspaper editorial pages. To some, trial lawyers are the champions of the underprivileged and downtrodden; to others, they are a threat to the state’s business climate. All too often, these impressions are shaped by the attention paid to a single sensational case, severed from the context of the hundreds or thousands of other disputes that people regularly look to our court system to resolve. In the interest of shifting the focus to that broader context, two of our faculty members volunteered to gather the data and provide the commentary that forms this booklet. Their goal was to provide an objective picture of the civil justice system in Wisconsin, focusing on the basic facts about the state’s civil courts and the litigation in them and comparing it with the situation in neighboring states. The authors need little introduction to those familiar with civil litigation and the court system. Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law Emeritus, and an internationally recognized expert on trends in civil litigation. Susan Steingass recently retired from her position as the Director of the Law School’s Communication and Advocacy Program. She brings to the project her substantial experience as a former trial judge, state bar president, and litigator with a long career of representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation. Some readers may well be surprised by some of the statistics that follow. Other readers with a particular stake in the civil justice debate may wonder if this project is an effort to advocate for one position over another. I can assure you that this is neither the project’s intent nor, in my opinion, its effect. Open debate on issues of consequence to our state and nation is one of the hallmarks of our Law School’s educational tradition. This booklet reminds us that collecting the best available information provides a platform for such a debate and leads to the process of finding the best possible solutions to the issues. On behalf of the Law School, I wish to acknowledge and thank the authors and the law students who worked with them for their important contribution to the ongoing discussion of the civil justice system.
Kenneth B. Davis, Jr.
Fred W. & Vi Miller Deanship
University of Wisconsin Law School
You can order the Civil Justice in Wisconsin book at the UW Law School’s website. It is a good read and I’ll have comments in the coming days.