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Don’t Text and Drive – Also, Don’t Try to Jam Other Cell Phone Users June 4, 2014

Posted by grothlawjared in FAQ Personal Injury.
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You may know that it is illegal to text and drive in the State of Wisconsin – if you didn’t, now you do.  Texting and driving is a primary offense for which a police officer can stop you – meaning that it alone can cause you to be pulled over.  The police officer does not have to witness any other criminal behavior to pull you over.  Texting and driving is illegal in forty-three States, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Worse yet, texting and driving can cause you to get into an accident or suffer an injury in an accident.  It suffices to say that you should not text and drive because it could hurt your driving record, and it could cause you to get into an accident.  If you have been the victim of someone who was texting and driving, then this could help establish a case for negligence against the at-fault driver.

Here is what you should not do.  Recently, a Florida man took it upon himself to stop those who are texting and driving by installing a cell phone jammer in his vehicle and jamming texts and calls of nearby drivers.  While this man’s aim to stop texting and driving could be laudable, this is also not the appropriate behavior.  Telecommunications are regulated by the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC), and the FCC determined a violation of applicable Federal Law.  Consequently, this cell-phone-jamming vigilante is being fined $48,000.  The rogue cell phone jammer could have jammed signals pertaining to a 911 call or other emergency.

The take home is that you should not text and drive, and you should not try to jam others texting and driving.  If you have been the victim of someone texting and driving, you could have a valid claim and should contact an attorney to determine what action should be taken.

Cat Saves Boy from Dog Attack June 2, 2014

Posted by grothlawjared in FAQ Personal Injury.
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The headline sounds too good to be true, but you can watch the incident here (warning: video may not be for the faint of heart, as it depicts a four-year-old being bitten by a dog, and a cat chasing the dog away).  This incident took place in Bakersfield, California.  The labrador/chow mix dog had escaped from the neighbor’s house and bit the four-year-old with mild autism in the leg while he was riding his bike.  Thankfully, while the boy was being dragged by the dog, Tara the cat came in to save the day and prevent further injury.  The boy was treated for the injury with several stitches and recovered from the incident.

In Wisconsin, the legislature enacted a statute to impose liability on the owner of a dog that injures another person.  Wisconsin Statute 174.02 provides that when a dog injures a person, the owner of the dog is liable for the injury caused by the dog.  If the dog has injured another person in the past and the owner knows of this injury, the owner of the dog is liable for double damages to the injured party.  Also, if the dog has exhibited this pattern of aggression and injury, then a court can order a dog be euthanized.

In short, in Wisconsin, if you or a loved one are injured by a dog, you have a claim against the owner, and if the dog has injured someone or something else, then you have a claim for twice the amount of damage the dog caused.  You should contact a lawyer to evaluate your claim.

Bicycles are Vehicles Too! May 30, 2014

Posted by grothlawjared in FAQ Personal Injury, Motorcycle Collisions.
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It’s getting to be pretty nice outside, and that means that you will start seeing a lot more cyclists on the road.  Perhaps, you are one of those cyclists.  I happen to be one of those commuter cyclists, and sometimes, when I am riding my bike on my way somewhere, I have had motorists shout at me to get on the sidewalk or generally to get off of the road.  These angry motorists are typically wrong about the law regarding bicycles in Wisconsin, and this blog is inspired by those folks to help you understand the law in Wisconsin about bicycles, how to follow it, and what happens when you are injured while riding a bicycle..

The law in Wisconsin regards a bicycle as a vehicle. (Click here for a nice summary of relevant bicycle laws in Wisconsin, which I will highlight in this post.)  This means that the bicycle operator has both the rights and responsibilities of any other vehicle on a road with a few certain exceptions.  In fact, in some municipalities, ordinances restrict cyclists from being on sidewalks (this may seem counter-intuitive, but the reason for prohibiting cycling on sidewalks is because motorists will not notice cyclists on the sidewalk when each needs to pass through crosswalks.)

If you are cycling on the road, you should be as far right as is practicable on the road.  Remember to look out for parked cars and opening doors on the side of the road.  On a highway, you are permitted to cycle on the shoulder unless a local ordinance prohibits it.  On one-way roads, you can cycle on either the far left or far right of the road.  Also, if you are cycling, you should signal your turns by extending your left arm out for a left turn, and up for a right turn.  Finally, while cycling at night, you must have a white front light and a red rear reflector (a rear light is also advisable but not required by law.)

If you are a motorist, you should respect the bicycle with distance as if it were a motor vehicle.  Share the road with bicyclists.  When you pass a cyclist, you must give the cyclist at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the bike.  If you are involved in a collision with a bicycle, and personal injuries or property damage over $1,000 is suffered, you are required by law to report it to law enforcement.

If you or someone you love is involved in a bicycle accident, whether with a motorist, as a result of a pothole, or any other cause, contact an attorney to evaluate the case.  I’ve attached a contact form below if you have questions:

 

Attorneys and Court Imposed Deadlines May 2, 2014

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Attorney Malpractice.
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We are currently investigating claims involving a local attorney who was recently disciplined by the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation.  Attorney Philip Ramthun of Wauwatosa has had a number of upset clients.  One client’s case was dismissed by a Milwaukee County Judge after certain deadlines were missed by Attorney Ramthun.

 

You can research your attorney on websites like http://www.avvo.com or in Wisconsin at https://www.wicourts.gov/courts/offices/olr.htm

 

 

Attorney Groth Accepted to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum January 22, 2014

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Congratulations Attorney Jon Groth for his acceptance as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.  There are currently only 13 individual members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum in Wisconsin. 

 

 

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Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country.  Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

 

Number 3! December 31, 2013

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Thanks to everyone for voting Groth Law Firm, S.C. in WISN’s A List Best Personal Injury Law Firm category.  The comments and votes are humbling and very much appreciated.  We hope everyone has had a safe 2013 and we wish you all the best and safe travels in 2014!

Thanks again for all of your support! 

 

 

 

Wisconsin Roads This Winter November 16, 2013

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Milwaukee Litigation Attorney, Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney, Motorcycle Collisions, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I recently wrote a Legal Guide on Avvo. If you have questions about most any legal practice area you can find help at Avvo.

Attorney Jon Groth’s Legal Guide for Wisconsin Winter Driving

Hot Coffee Revisited October 21, 2013

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Just read a really interesting article (video too) at the New York Times’ website.  It discusses the implications of the “Hot Coffee” case and the facts behind the verdict.  

I’d recommend you take the time to read it if you are interested in how juries perceive the justice system and verdicts:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/booming/not-just-a-hot-cup-anymore.html?_r=0

 

 

The “Unusual” Minor Settlement September 30, 2013

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Minor Settlements.
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When we settle a claim for someone under the age of 18 years we just assume that everyone will be asked to get in front of a Circuit Court Judge for approval.

It isn’t a guarantee though. Sometimes insurance companies don’t require a minor settlement hearing. It’s their prerogative. They can do what they want to do when it comes to demanding court approval.

That’s what makes some minor settlements unusual. It is the unusual case that does NOT require court approval. The statute involved is:

Wisconsin Statute Section 807.10

(1) A compromise or settlement of an action or proceeding to which a minor or individual adjudicated incompetent is a party may be made by the guardian, if the guardian is represented by an attorney, or the guardian ad litem with the approval of the court in which such action or proceeding is pending.

It is really up to the insurance company to decide whether they want to risk not having the force and effect of the court system. Minors cannot be held to a contract. So, if an insurance company pays an amount of money to settle an injury claim for a child and does NOT require court approval that minor could come back when they are 18 (but before they are 20) and file a lawsuit against the insurance company for damages.

You can be sure that the insurance company would fight the claim and show the court the cashed check, letters and other claims documents regarding the claim. It would be up to the court to decide whether the claim would survive. My guess is that a jury would ultimately have to decide what amount in damages the plaintiff would recover. If the jury verdict was for an amount larger than the settlement the plaintiff would have “won.” But if the amount was for an amount less than the previous settlement the insurance company may be able to recover all of their costs from the plaintiff for having to fight the claim.

Most of the time we recommend that a Judge approve a minor settlement even if the insurance company doesn’t require one.

Call us if you have any questions about the process.

877-375-7001

Attorney Jon P. Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney located in the Milwaukee area and serving clients across Wisconsin from Black River Falls to Wauwatosa and Kenosha to Marinette.

M Magazine’s Leading Lawyers 2013 June 26, 2013

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Congratulations to Milwaukee’s Leading Lawyers!  M Magazine asked www.AVVO.com to help come up with the top 2 to 5 percent in certain categories of the law.  The Personal Injury List includes Attorney Jon Groth.  Thanks Avvo and M Magazine for this honor!

 

Personal Injury

Jesse Blocher    
Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.
W23755 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 100, Waukesha 

Charles Blumenfield    
Blumenfield & Shereff LLP
1001 W. Glen Oaks Lane, Mequon 

Merrick Domnitz    
Domnitz & Skemp S.C.
825 N. Jefferson St., fifth floor, Milwaukee 

Jonathan Groth    
Groth Law Firm, S.C.
13035 W. Bluemound Road, Suite 205, Brookfield 
(414) 375-2030    

Ann Jacobs    
Domnitz & Skemp S.C.
825 N. Jefferson St., fifth floor, Milwaukee 

Robert Jaskulski    
Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.
777 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 2300, Milwaukee 

Lynn Laufenberg    
Laufenberg, Jassak & Laufenberg S.C.
115 S. 84th St., Suite 250, Milwaukee 

Michael Levine    
The Law Offices of Robert A. Levine
111 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1710, Milwaukee 

David McCormick    
The Previant Law Firms S.C.
1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Suite 202, Milwaukee 

Jason Oldenburg    
The Previant Law Firms S.C.
1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Suite 202, Milwaukee 

Jeffrey Pitman    
Pitman, Kyle, Sicula & Dentice S.C.
1110 N. Old World 3rd St., Suite 510, Milwaukee 

Edward Robinson    
Cannon & Dunphy
595 N. Barker Road, Brookfield 

Randall Rozek    
Rozek Law Offices
407 W. Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee 

Paul Scoptur
Aiken & Scoptur S.C.
2600 N. Mayfair Road, Milwaukee 

Christopher Strohbehn    
Gimbel Reilly Guerin & Brown LLP
330 E. Kilbourn Ave., Suite 1170, Milwaukee 

Kent Tess-Mattner    
Schmidt, Rupke, Tess-Mattner & Fox S.C.
17100 W. North Ave., Brookfield 

Mark Thomsen    
Cannon & Dunphy, 595 N. Barker Road, Brookfield 

Timothy Trecek    
Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.
777 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 2300, Milwaukee 

Linda Vanden Heuvel    
Vanden Heuvel & Dineen S.C.
N11086 Stonewood Drive, Menomonee Falls

Benjamin Wagner    
Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.
777 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 2300, Milwaukee
    
Robert Welcenbach    
Welcenbach Law Offices S.C.
2100 N. Mayfair Road, Suite 102, Milwaukee 
   

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