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Part Two: Speed Defeats Right of Way April 2, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Motorcycle Collisions, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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Matt made a great comment about my earlier post.   I found a jury instruction (Wis JI-Civil 1157 Right of Way: At intersection of Highways; Ultimate Verdict Question) and Wis. Stats. Section 346.18 to support my position:

Another safety statute provides that the operator of any vehicle operating at an unlawful speed on a highway is negligent and forfeits any right of way which he would otherwise have.  Thus, before you can find negligence for failure to yield the right of way, you must first find that the vehicle on thh right was being operated at a lawful speed.

So, the question is for the jury.  The above paragraph is read by a Judge to the Jury before they begin to deliberate on who was at fault.   I assume a jury would be lenient on a person going 46 in a 45 compared to someone going 70 in a 45.

As to Matt’s question regarding the Governor’s budget.  I have to plead ignorance.  All I know is what Belling and Sykes have said.  I have to read the budget myself before I jump into that battle.

Thanks again for the comment Matt!

$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.

Speed Defeats Right of Way March 24, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Drunk Driving, FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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A Marinette, Wisconsin man was driving on U.S. 41 when a car pulled onto the highway.  The Marinette man struck this vehicle.  The Marinette man survived.  Everyone in the other vehicle died.

If this is all you heard you may say that the other vehicle was at fault.  Why didn’t they see the Marinette man’s vehicle?  They should have yielded the right of way to the vehicle on U.S. 41.

In Wisconsin “speed defeats right of way.”  So, if you are speeding on the road and another car pulls out in front of you, guess what?  You, the speeder, are at fault.

That is what happened in this case.  Plus, I should mention that the Marinette man was intoxicated.  An accident reconstruction specialist estimated the Marinette, Wisconsinite was driving between 77 and 81 in a 45 mph zone.

The Marinette man killed the driver of the car, his three daughters (two were pregnant so two kids were killed) and his son.

The Marinette man was allegedly at a bar where his wife worked for 9 hours prior to the crash.  He told the police that he was distracted when the collision occurred.  He was changing the radio station in his car.

Read the AP’s full story at jsonline.com.

If you have questions about an accident involving a drunk driver or whether someone is “at fault” in Wisconsin 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 Wausaukee, Kenosha, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

I Never Think “Mild” When I Think of Brain Injuries March 4, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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But, we have to be able to describe the different degrees of all injuries.  So, “mild” will have to do.

Anyway, Medical Legal Art has a well researched and informative post about car accidents and damage to a victim’s brain.

In most cases, no evidence of injury will show up on CT or MRI scans unless this injury results in hemorrhage from contusions or vascular injury. Usually, the injury is microscopic occurring to individual cells or clusters of cells. This is where axonal shearing comes into the conversation. The movement of the brain within the skull can cause disruption of the various nerve cells (neurons) that make up the brain tissue. These injuries to the neurons, and particularly to the long vulnerable axon portions of the neurons, are called axonal shearing or shear injuries.

Low velocity, rear end collisions are some of the toughest for any attorney to prove the relatedness of injuries.  I’ve used Medical Legal Art in the past and have found their work to be extremely helpful.  Simply because a picture is worth a thousand words.

Worker’s Compensation in IL February 3, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law.
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I receive a bunch of worker’s compensation questions.  I don’t handle 1st party worker’s compensation cases.  I do handle 3rd party claims.  

For example, if you are injured at work after falling over a couple cords that a co-worker left on the ground – that is a 1st party claim.  If you are injured at work because a worker from a entirely different company dropped a hammer on your arm – that is a 3rd party claim.   (I actually handled a claim similar to the case…my client was lucky the hammer didn’t hit him in the head). 

Anyway, there are a bunch of sites out there with good info about the worker’s compensation law.  I’m lucky to have some good friends in Illinois who update me on their worker’s compensation law.  

Today I found a blog that discusses Illinois’ workers compensation laws. 

Check it out here.

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.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

Attorney Ed Wallis and the Mid South Trial Lawyer’s Blog December 15, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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I just added Ed Wallis and his partner Tim Edwards’ blog to my list of links (on the right side of your screen).  Ed is a trial lawyer in Tennessee and an active member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). 

Ed and Tim have a lot of good information on their blog and website.  I took special notice of their information about cribs and recent recalls:

In the wake of a recall affecting nearly 1.6 million cribs, federal regulators plan to institute new standards governing crib durability and hardware problems. A spokeswoman for the Consumer Products Safety Commission said that while voluntary standards have decreased the number of crib injuries and deaths, they have not fully addressed comprehensive durability standards. Durability and hardware issues have been at the root of five recent crib recalls, according to the Washington Post. Read more HERE.

Take a moment to check out Ed and Tim’s site.  It’s worth the click.

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

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

It’s the Time of Year for Toys (Dangerous Toys) November 24, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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The group W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc.) recently released its “Ten Worst Toys” list.  The most common reasons are “Eye Injuries,” “Choking Injuries” and “Other Serious Injuries.”  Simply put, these are dangerous toys.

I can say, as a father, I would not let my 3 and 1/2 year old play with nunchucks when he turns 4.  If that makes me a bad father so be it.  According to W.A.T.C.H.:

4-year-old children are encouraged to play the part of a Ninja, while wielding various weapons. One such weapon is Michelangelo’s “Nunchaku”, which the manufacturer describes as a “Kick-butt signature weapon!” consisting of two long plastic handles connected by a plastic chain. Remarkably, there are no accompanying cautions or warnings relating to potential impact injuries.

 I was a TMNT fan as a kid.  But, my parents would never have let me own nunchucks as a 4 year old.  Who is the marketing genius that came up with this marketing scheme?  It reminds me of the Dan Aykroyd skit from SNL.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Shawano, Algoma, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

Who Is Responsible for Little Jimmy? November 20, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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So, who should you sue if a minor caused a collision?  Well, according to Wisconsin law Section 343.15(2)(b)

(b) Any negligence or willful misconduct of a person under the age of 18 years when operating a motor vehicle upon the highways is imputed to the parents where both have custody and either parent signed as sponsor, otherwise, it is imputed to the adult sponsor who signed the application for such person’s license. The parents or the adult sponsor is jointly and severally liable with such operator for any damages caused by such negligent or willful misconduct.

What does this mean?  If anyone under the age of 18 causes a car accident a plaintiff in Wisconsin should first worry about finding an insurance company to name in the Summons and Complaint.  Then name the negligent child along with both parents.  Leave enough time in before the statute of limitations runs to allow for discovery to know exactly who are the “proper” parents or sponsor per statute.

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

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

Talk to Your Personal Injury Attorney Before You Sign the Retainer November 18, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Dog Attack Information, Drunk Driving, FAQ Personal Injury, Motorcycle Collisions, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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The PersonalInjuryLawyerMichiganBlog.com has a good post about talking with your soon-to-be personal injury lawyer.   According to this blog here are a few things to watch for:

  • Fees. How much is the lawyer going to take of the settlement? It shouldn’t be an excessive amount.
  • Honesty. Do you get a sense he is over inflating your potential award settlement or chance of winning to get you as a client? Like the saying goes, if sounds good to be true if probably is. That’s not to say that you don’t have a good case, but an experienced lawyer knows that most companies won’t sit quietly by as you sue them. He or she should let you know honestly what to expect.
  • Quality. Does your lawyer answer all your questions so that you understand them or do you feel rushed through? You want to work with someone who is willing to get all the details and to work with you to get what you deserve. You don’t want a lawyer with a thousand clients, giving a half effort because he’s happy if a few of the lawsuits get paid.

Believe me, if you go to your initial meeting with a personal injury attorney with a list of questions and a trusted friend or family member in tow it will be a good/productive meeting.  I see it as refreshing not insulting. 

Hiring a personal injury attorney is a big decision.  Be sure to google search the attorney.  Look up their rating, cases and lawyers in the office or office share. 

The more information the better.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Shawano, Algoma, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.