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Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

Study shows that more teens are distracted when driving

For parents who have teen drivers, they are likely worried about their child’s safety; especially if they are a new driver. They may worry about them driving too fast, making poor decisions, or being struck by a drunk driver. But young drivers’ inexperience is likely the reason why parents are worried, because inexperience commonly leads teens to make poor decisions about safety.

Texting while driving is one of these common, yet poor decisions. While teens may confess that they may not text behind the wheel or engage in distracted driving practices, a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests otherwise. Researchers found that distractions played a part in more than half of all crashes involving teen drivers.

Questions to ask to get the most out of your insurance

The NCAA tournament has not disappointed when it comes to upset-minded Cinderella teams, last second shots and fantastic individual performances. The tournament has also been great in terms of commercials. Arguably the most popular advertisements have to do with insurance. Between State Farm’s assist theme, Allstate’s mayhem theme and Progressive’s time travel spots, it is a wonder that more people aren’t changing their insurance coverage more often.

So beyond the themes and catchphrases, consumers may be wasting their money on policies they may not need, or may not be getting their money’s worth on the coverage they have. To get the most out of your policy, it is best to ask questions

Is the rental company's insurance necessary?

If you are in the process of planning a summer vacation, or are going on a spring break adventure, chances are that you are going to rent a car. When you pick up the car, it is likely that you will be offered a number of temporary insurance policies. They include collision damage waivers, personal effects coverage, general liability coverage and supplemental health coverage.

To the uninitiated, these coverages can help in the event of an accident, but they are offered as money making opportunities for the rental car company. So you may not need them. 

Who can be held liable for pothole accident injuries

You would be hard pressed to find someone who is offended by the warmer weather. The same would apply to the longer days now that daylight savings time is in effect. Yes, spring is just around the corner, which means that the beginning of pothole season is near.

Potholes are commonly created by water that seeps into cracks after snow and ice has melted during the winter. The moisture can refreeze as temperatures drop, then melt when temperatures go up. This can affect the integrity of the road and lead to potholes.

What can delay your disability benefits petition

It is no secret that obtaining Social Security disability benefits is no easy task. This is especially true given that more than half of all initial petitions are denied the first time that they are submitted. Additionally, the Social Security Administration is one of the largest bureaucracies in Washington (even though there are field offices across the country). Because of this, getting disability benefits can take a great deal of time. With that said, those who petition for benefits may get frustrated over how long the process may take.

This post will explain some of the most common reasons for delays in processing. 

Could large products liability awards be making a comeback?

If there was one thing that tort reform supporters wanted when legislation was proposed, it was that jury awards be in line with “reality.” This essentially meant that personal injury plaintiffs could not receive huge windfalls that would bankrupt a company or affect an entire industry because of the fear of blockbuster verdicts.

For over a decade, tort reform basically did what reformers promised. Multi-million dollar jury awards were few and far between. But last year, it appears that these verdicts came back. For instance, a man who developed cancer as a result of a diabetes medicine passed away; and the family was awarded $9 billion (yes, billion) in damages. Another case where a 36 year man passed away after years of smoking tobacco, the surviving family was awarded, $23.6 billion.

Common reasons for why disability benefits get denied

While we focus a number of our post to auto accident victims, we also handle a number of Social Security disability petitions. Obtaining disability benefits is not an easy thing to do with today’s government bureaucracy. It is true that more than 60 percent of initial petitions are denied. This can be very frustrating to those with genuine illnesses and mental health concerns. Even more frustrating, a number of petitions are denied on reconsideration before they are seen by an administrative law judge.

Despite these difficulties, it is important to know why your claim has been denied. This post will highlight some possible reasons. 

SSA field offices to stay open later

In just over a week, daylight savings time is expected to begin. In our region, that is something that many people look forward to as a sign that our long winter is about to end. The promise of spring is just ahead, and that means that warmer weather and baseball season is just around the corner.

For many disabled Wisconsinites, the longer days may also mean that it may be easier to schedule an appointment at a local Social Security Administration office. The SSA recently announced that field offices will be staying open longer in 2015. This is poised to be a welcome sign to the elderly and disabled, as past budget cuts led to some offices being closed, while others had their hours curtailed. 

Helpful tips for driving on black ice

If you are tired of winter, you are probably referring to road conditions that are not always the best after a snowstorm. But spring will come eventually (as it always does). In the meantime, drivers must be careful even after snowstorms because of the possibility of black ice.

This is the term given to thin sheets of ice that form on roads (in shaded areas or under overpasses and bridges) that can cause a driver to lose control of a car and crash. Indeed, the latest headlines have focused on icy roads in the mid-Atlantic states and the northeast, but the Midwest must deal with such dangers as well.

What you should ask before hiring a lawyer

 

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, or through a high profile accident (such as a construction site accident or shopping mall incident) chances are that you will be inundated with offers to represent your interests in a personal injury lawsuit. Indeed, there are a number of attorneys who want to help you for altruistic reasons, but it ultimately comes down to dollars and cents. If they can get you a favorable settlement, it helps their bottom line as well.