A Bad Situation Even Worse June 18, 2008Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
Tags: medical care, minor settlement, Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney
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I was contacted recently by a very upset daughter. Her widowed father had passed away. She felt his death was his Doctor’s fault. Sadly I had to inform her that I would listen to her story but would not be able to help her no matter what she said. In Wisconsin (Sec. 655 Wis. Stats.) an adult child has no claim for the loss of a parent because of medical malpractice. The estate of the parent has a claim for pain and suffering but I don’t know of a situation that we would be able to prove pain and suffering when the witness had already passed.
This is an interesting snag in the law. I hope to write about it more in the future.
What If Mom’s At Fault? June 5, 2008Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
Tags: child injury, minor settlement, motor vehicle collision, wisconsin personal injury, Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney
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I’ve had some questions recently about this particular situation. Let’s say a mother (or father) is driving their kids to baseball practice. If Mom (or Dad) forgets to stop at a stop sign and causes a motor vehicle collision what about the kids? What rights do the kids have? Well, if the parents have auto insurance the children have the right to compensation, under Wisconsin Law, from the at fault insurance company, i.e. their parent’s insurance. In essence, the children would make a claim against their parents. If Mom’s (or Dad’s) insurance isn’t reasonable and doesn’t follow Wisconsin Law then the children would have the right to sue their parents and the insurance company.
Sound a little complex and confusing? Not really. Feel free to email me or call and I’ll be happy to explain it to you in more detail.
If you are worried about actually suing a parent. Remember that Wisconsin is a “direct action state” the kids would not have to name the parents in the lawsuit. They would simply seek compensation from the insurance company.
Tags: child injury, minor settlement, personal injury, Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney
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Tomorrow I’m appearing for a child who was severely injured in a motor vehicle collision in Wauwatosa. I think it’s important to understand how minor settlements work.
When someone under 18 (minor) is injured in an auto accident, dog bite, slip and fall, product liability etc. and the case is settled before a suit is filed it is the INSURANCE COMPANY’S choice to have the settlement approved by a Circuit Court Judge. Why? Because the insurance company wants the personal injury settlement to be finalized. They want to close their file. It doesn’t want the minor to come back when he/she turns 18 and file a lawsuit with an attorney and ask for additional money.
What does a minor settlement mean for the minor? Well, the minors settlement funds have the added protection of the State. Adults shouldn’t be able to dip into the settlement without a hearing before a Judge and a court order. But, in many cases the insurance company refuses to pay the court filing fees. So, the minor gets less money in their pocket.
The reason I mention all of this is the tax ramifications of it. From what I’m told it’s important that the lawyer that settles the case NOT put the funds into his/her attorney trust account or anyplace else for that matter. The personal injury settlement funds need to be sent from the insurance company directly to the annuity company that will be handling the disbursement of the funds.