Personal injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Often referred to as accidents, they are frequently the result of another person’s reckless or negligent actions.
When an individual is injured as the result of the actions, negligence, or inaction of another, the injured victim may be eligible to seek monetary compensation from those who are responsible for causing the injury and/or those who can be held liable for the injury. A personal injury attorney can help with this process.
At Groth Law, S.C., we understand the impacts your injuries can have on every area of your life. In these situations, our Wauwatosa personal injury lawyers act as strong legal advocates on your behalf. We work to hold responsible parties accountable so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
If you were injured in an accident, you likely have a lot on your plate, including recovering from your injuries, dealing with the pain those injuries caused, and even financial difficulties due to medical bills and lost time from work. Filing a personal injury claim is a time consuming and complex practice. Personal injury lawyers spend years obtaining education and training so that they can assist accident victims in recovering the compensation they need to get on with their lives after an accident. Some of the services a qualified Wauwatosa personal injury attorney can provide include:
- Investigating all of the facts of the case in order to determine the value of damages and potentially liable parties and insurance sources for compensation.
- Obtaining certified medical records from their client’s health care providers, which are required if the case goes to court.
- Interviewing witnesses and working with a network of individuals with specific expertise, such as accident reconstructionists, doctors with experience in the client’s type of injuries, engineering or manufacturing experts, and more.
- Negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled through the negotiation process before the case makes it to trial.
- Providing information and thoughtful guidance to help clients understand the pros and cons of accepting an offered settlement or pursuing litigation.
- Filing all necessary paperwork to proceed with a personal injury suit and representing their client at pre-trial conferences and in court.
- Ensuring that their clients receive the settlement or award that was ordered.
- Representing their client in appeals.
What Kinds of Accidents Are Involved in Personal Injury Cases?
According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 30-million people suffer some type of unintentional or accidental injury each year. As a leading cause of death in the United States, these injuries claim more than 130,000 lives each year. Even in situations where seemingly minor injuries occur, they can end up resulting in temporary or permanent disabilities.
At Groth Law, S.C. we know the variety of situations in which personal injuries happen, and the devastation they can cause in the lives of victims. For months after, you may be unable to work or even perform simple tasks at home, while facing the need for ongoing medical care and treatment. Our Wauwatosa personal injury lawyers help victims get the compensation they need to recover from a wide number of physical, mental and emotional injuries stemming from a number of causes, including:
- Traffic accidents: As reported by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were more than 129,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2016, including more than 31,000 injury crashes and 524 fatal crashes. These numbers are higher than the five-year average for crashes, injury crashes, and fatal crashes in 2011-2015. In all, 43,669 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes during the year. Rural state highway accidents accounted for just over 25,000 of the accidents, as compared to 19,466 crashes on urban state highways.
- Pedestrian accidents: 49 pedestrians lost their lives to traffic accidents in Wisconsin in 2016, and nearly 1,200 more were injured. There were 1,252 accidents statewide involving pedestrians during that year.
- Bicycle accidents: In 2016, the state Department of Transportation reported 918 crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in injuries to 849 bicyclists. 11 bicyclists were killed.
- Motorcycle accidents: There were 2,250 motorcycle crashes statewide in 2016, resulting in nearly 2,000 injured motorcyclists and 82 fatalities. Due to the absence of protection such as a metal frame, airbags, and seat belts, motorcyclists often suffer serious and even catastrophic injuries that require years—if not a lifetime—of special care. Having a personal injury attorney is an important way to ensure that the compensation you receive is enough to cover the long-term nature of many motorcycle injuries.
- Boating accidents: As reported by the state’s Department of Natural Resources, in 2017, there were 106 boating accidents in Wisconsin, resulting in 79 injuries and 25 fatalities.
- Airline accidents: With eight commercial airports and more than a hundred general aviation locations throughout Wisconsin, there are thousands of airplane departures and landings every month. With each one of these, there is the potential for something to go wrong. Injuries can be caused in a number of ways, not limited to crashes. Overhead cargo bins, obstacles in the walkway, wet flooring, defective plane parts, pilot error, improper maintenance, and other incidents may also result in injury to passengers.
- Dog and other animal attacks: Wisconsin follows strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites, meaning that the dog owner is liable for the full extent of damages caused if their dog bites someone, even if there was no other negligence involved. If the dog has previously bitten another person, then the owner of the dog may be liable for double the amount of damages.
- Workplace accidents: As reported by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, in 2016, workers in the state suffered 8,380 strains, mostly due to overexertion from heavy lifting. 5,571 workers were injured due to slips, trips, and falls. 2,353 workers were injured due to being struck by an object or another person. Other common workplace injuries were suffered due to miscellaneous reasons, such as repetitive motion, a foreign object in the eye, or electrocution.
- Intentional acts, such as assault claims. The CDC reports that in addition to unintentional injuries, roughly 1.4 million persons are hurt each year as the result of violent assaults. While punishments are determined by the criminal court system, we can advise you on how to hold those who commit these crimes financially accountable for the injuries you suffer as a result.
- Accidents involving a trip, slip or fall: Trips, slips, and falls are among the most common premises liability cases and can result in a number of injuries. Elderly individuals are at particular risk of severe injuries due to falls, with falls commonly resulting in hip fractures.
- Accidents involving defective products or drugs: Product liability cases cover three types of defective products—those that are defective by design; those that were damaged or made defective during the manufacturing process; and marketing defects, such as incorrect labeling, poor labeling instructions, or poorly worded or lacking safety instructions regarding the use of the product.
- Medical malpractice: Examples of medical malpractice include incorrect diagnoses or failure to diagnose; injuries occurring before, or during childbirth; surgery or anesthesia errors; failure to inform a patient of potential adverse reactions to a treatment; or medication errors.
- Pharmaceutical negligence: Some examples of pharmaceutical negligence include giving the wrong dosage or the wrong drug to a patient, failing to advise a patient of possible side effects or drug interactions, entering a patient’s information incorrectly, providing incorrect prescription labels or incorrect dosage instructions, a lack of pharmacist supervision over technicians and other employees.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect: As noted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, nursing home abuse and neglect complaints involve anything that negatively impacts a resident’s quality of care or quality of life. Some examples include abuse, neglect, lack of staffing, unsafe conditions, poor care, mistreatment, transfers and discharges, and caregiver misconduct.
- Wrongful Death
- Bus, train, and other public transportation accidents
- Sports and recreational injuries
Common Personal Injuries
Even an otherwise minor accident can cause injuries that are severe and life threatening. It is vitally important to always seek medical care immediately after an accident occurs, as many potentially dangerous conditions have symptoms that can take days or even weeks to appear. Common types of injuries suffered by clients we represent include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as muscle or tendon strains, sprains, and tears
- Broken bones and multiple fractures
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Burn injuries, either due to exposure to heat or to chemical substances
- Abdominal injuries, which can cause organ damage and internal bleeding
- Back and neck injuries, such as slipped discs and fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or complete paralysis
- Head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the costs associated with personal injuries, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and future losses in income due to lasting disabilities, total more than $800 billion each year in the U.S., with the average claim falling anywhere between $10,000 and $200,000.
Compensation for Personal Injuries
When serious injuries occur as the result of another’s reckless or negligent actions, Groth Law, S.C. can assist you in seeking compensation either through an insurance company settlement or by filing a personal injury claim. Under Section 802.05 of the Wisconsin statutes, damages you may be entitled to from the court include:
- Medical expenses: These include current and future costs for testing, treatment, medications, and physical therapy;
- Lost wages: These include current lost wages as well as future losses in earnings and income due to lasting disabilities;
- Punitive damages: These include compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. They may also include compensation for your spouse if your injuries have an impact on your ability to engage in marital relations.
Before accepting an insurance settlement or signing any type of documents or releases, it is urgent to speak with our Wauwatosa personal injury attorneys first to ensure your rights are protected.
How Do Attorneys Prove Personal Injury Cases?
At the heart of every personal injury case is a negligent, intentional, or reckless act. Here is the process of proving negligence and liability:
- The case must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. This duty of care could be as simple as operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is safe for everyone else on the road.
- The case must show that the defendant breached his or her duty of care. For example, using the above scenario, a breach in operating a motor vehicle safely could be caused by the defendant texting while driving, or driving drunk.
- The case must show that this breach in the duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injuries and resulted in the damages that the client is now seeking.
Do Not Delay
Personal injury claims are subjected to a statute of limitations, meaning that a claim must be filed on the injury within a certain amount of time after the injury occurred in order to seek compensation on the claim. Failure to file a personal injury claim in a timely manner will result in the claim being time-barred, and the victim can never seek compensation for the injury. Your personal injury lawyer can help you sort out your legal options and can make sure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations.
Let Us Help You in Wauwatosa
Personal injury attorneys in Wisconsin typically charge a contingent fee of 1/3 of the settlement or verdict plus costs. What this means is that your attorney does not get paid unless a successful settlement or verdict is reached. Having a personal injury attorney on your side who understands the law and aggressively represents you will likely result in a much higher settlement offering or verdict than you would receive if you represent yourself, and increases the chance of a successful claim. We would be happy to explain this in further detail at a free consultation and case review.
Wauwatosa victims with personal injury claims should never have to bear the financial burden of medical care and lost wages when they have suffered harm at the hands of another. The professionals at Groth Law Firm can provide you with the comprehensive legal representation that you need for your personal injury claims. We can conduct a thorough investigation into the scope and extent of your injuries, and can complete an assessment in order to determine who should be held liable for the harm you have endured. Additionally, our lawyers can work with insurance companies to get your claims handled quickly and efficiently.
Call or write to Groth Law S.C. today to get the professional legal representation you need during this difficult time. We serve clients throughout Wisconsin and can arrange a face-to-face consultation to discuss your case and the types of damages you may be entitled to. You have just one chance to get the compensation you deserve. You can trust our experienced Wauwatosa personal injury attorneys to help you get the maximum amount you are entitled to.
Contact our offices at Groth Law Firm online now for a free, confidential consultation, or by calling (414) 240-0707. We can help you determine if you have a case and let you know what the next steps need to be.