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Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Texting suspected in fatal crash involving Bruce Jenner

If you are the parent of a teen driver, you have probably talked to them ad-nauseam about the dangers of distracted driving; especially about what can happen when texting and driving. You may wonder if your teen is actually listening to you, or whether they are just nodding and acknowledging just so that you will stop talking and leave them alone.

If you need another example of the dangers of texting and driving, you can point out the situation Bruce Jenner is in following a collision on California’s Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1). According to a number of media reports, Jenner rear-ended a Lexus that hit a Toyota Corolla that had stopped on the highway. The impact sent the Lexus into oncoming traffic, where it was hit by a Humvee. 

Second airbag recall to affect two million vehicles

Airbags are included in vehicles to save lives in the event of a car accident. The bags prevent a direct impact of a person’s head into the steering column or the dashboard. There are also elaborate airbag systems that prevent a person’s head from hitting a side window.

However, airbags, like other parts of an automobile, may sometimes be defective. This was the situation last fall when the airbags in millions of vehicles were feared to be defective because the metal casing housing many steering wheel airbags could explode when the airbag inflates, sending shrapnel-like pieces of metal into unsuspecting drivers. 

A warning to sports fans for the coming weekend

If you are a sports fan (much less a football fan) you probably have February 1 circled on your calendar. Okay….who uses calendars anymore. But the point is that you know that Super Bowl XLIX is on Sunday, you know the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are playing in it, and chances are that you have a rooting interest because of a bet you may have placed.

Aside from the wagering that will be put on the game, Super Sunday is also known as one of the deadliest Sundays that will happen during the year. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, there is a huge difference between the number of alcohol related crashes and injuries on Super Bowl Sunday compared to other Sundays during January and February. 

Are Good Samaritans protected after accidents?

If you watch “Good Morning America, ” “Today,” or “CBS This Morning,” you may grow tired of the leading news story being a snowstorm on the eastern seaboard. After all, it’s not like snow only falls in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Nevertheless, here we are again with another top news flash about a “Nor’easter” that is bearing down on the region.

Just so you know, we just dealt with a snowstorm yesterday…no major headlines. 

A number of claims to arise from overpass collapse

In our posts, we have written a great deal about the dangers that semi-truck pose to the driving public. Since they are easily the largest vehicles on the road, the stand to inflict the most damage to drivers should there be an accident. However, there are instances where truckers can be in danger to. One trucker saw it first hand on I-75 near Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to an ABC News.com report, work crews were in the process of taking down an outdated bridge when something went “terribly wrong.” The balance of the bridge collapsed to the roadway below just as a semi-truck was crossing under the bridge. The truck crashed into the bridge as it fell. Pictures of the scene describe the front portion of the truck essentially crushed into a mangled mess.