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$2.15 Million March 26, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law.
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You don’t want to be a $2.15 million victim.

I’ll get a call once in a while from someone who sees a television ad from a certain law firm(s).  The question or comment goes something like this, “That guy on tv is a client of Attorney X and he got  $500,000.00.  I’m hurt, if you can’t get me $500,000.00 then I’ll just go to Attorney X.”

My usual response is you don’t want to be that $500,000.00 client. And, depending on the type of injuries a jury would not award that amount of money no matter who your attorney is.

It is always odd to talk about the value of an injury.  Only the victim truly knows the effects of her/his injury.  Our system of civil justice uses money as a way to compensate victims for pain, suffering, lost wages, inconvenience and medical expenses.

A $500,000.00 case means you are very seriously injured.

It’s important to talk with a lawyer about what the law allows a victim to recover.   Not all cases are the same.  I think it is a little misleading to put someone on television who looks as healthy as can be and say that that person received a very large settlement.  Especially, when the fine print on the screen says “actor portrayal” or something like that.

For example, I recently settled a claim for $2.15 million dollars.  The victim was a young boy who lost his arm in a collision.  The at-fault driver stole her grandmother’s car and went for a joy ride.  A residual of Cocaine was found in her system after the crash.  Also, she was not on certain drugs that were prescribed to her.  The settlement included compensatory and punitive damages.

Anyone reading this would NOT want to be that victim.

Do your research before hiring an attorney.  Hire an attorney based upon a referral, research and a long conversation about the claim.

If you have questions about the value of your claim feel free to contact me at 800-950-9882.  I’d be happy to discuss your situation.

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Cascade, Lomira, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

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Injury at Work January 8, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Motorcycle Collisions, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I was asked recently about a worker’s compensation question.  For full disclosure I handle only workplace injuries against third parties.  For example, if you are driving a work vehicle and involved in a car accident I would help you obtain compensation for pain and suffering, mileage to the doctor, doctors bills, property damage, rental vehicle and lost wages etc. This claim is against the at fault driver, i.e. the third party.

In addition to the claim against the at fault driver the injured person has a claim with workers compensation insurance.  These types of claims are called first party claims.  I don’t handle these.  But, I work with attorneys across Wisconsin who do a great job.

Anyway, the question was whether an employer can force an employee to sign a contract to waive any worker’s compensation benefits.

This is what I found from Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance:

An employer subject to the Act may not withhold or
collect any money from employees or any other
person, including independent contractors and
subcontractors, to pay for worker’s compensation
insurance. To do so is illegal. Also, no agreement by
an employee waiving rights to compensation is valid
.
[s. 102.16 (3) and 102.16 (5), Wis. Stat.]

I hope this answers your question!

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wauwatosa, West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and Germantown.

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AIG Insurance September 17, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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I’ve received a number of calls from clients and potential clients asking about AIG’s financial situation and the federal government’s loan.

If you have auto insurance through AIG or if you were injured because of someone else’s negligence and they have AIG I’d recommend you read this article from WSJ.com.

Specifically:

AIG’s millions of insurance policyholders appear to be considerably less at risk. That’s because of how the company is structured and regulated. Its insurance policies are issued by separate subsidiaries of AIG, highly regulated units that have assets available to pay claims. In the U.S., those assets can’t be shifted out of the subsidiaries without regulatory approval, and insurance is also regulated strictly abroad.

I’m certainly no Wall Street expert but I think the Wall Street Journal’s writers know their stuff. 

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Kansasville, Marinette, Milton and Wauwatosa.

What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth? April 15, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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4 comments

This is one of the most commonly asked questions from victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents or other personal injury matters.  Many times after trying to handle a case on their own someone will come to me and tell me what their health insurance paid, their wage loss and out of pocket expenses and say the insurance company wants to settle but they don’t know what the case is worth. 

My most common answer is an honest one: I need more information.   You see, we have to look at what the law says must be used to measure the losses associated with a car accident, for example.   In Wisconsin the law says that if someone causes a collision then he/she is responsible for all damages by paying a fair amount of money.   An accident victim must receive compensation for 1)past medical expenses, 2) past wage loss, 3) past pain suffering and inconvenience and other miscellaneousexpenses like mileage and damaged property.  If the injuries are more serious (permanent injuries) then Wisconsin law states that the accident victim must receive compensation for 1,2 and 3 along with 4) future medical expenses, 5) future wage loss and 6) future pain suffering and inconvenience etc. 

When potential clients ask what their case is worth it is difficult to give an education opinion.  It depends on the injuries, types of treatment, duration of treatment, venue and other more personal questions.  

For example, many personal injury victims don’t think to include mileage.  Or victims include only what health insurance paid and NOT the actual medical bill from the medical provider.  These items can often total large amounts of money that will change the compensation they are due under Wisconsin law.

I always tell potential clients that there is not an easy answer to this question.  I can say that I’ll do my best to make sure that they receive full compensation under the laws of Wisconsin.    

Later on I’ll talk about the difference between pre-suit settlement negotiations and a lawsuit.  In short, just because you hire a lawyer that does NOT mean that you have “filed a lawsuit.”  Actually the opposite is true.  Hopefully, by hiring a lawyer you’ll avoid going to court to get compensation for your personal injuries.

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Two Rivers, Oconto and Saukville.