Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
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Serving Injured And Disabled Clients In Minnesota and Wisconsin

July 2013 Archives

Heightened occurrence of work injury reported at craft breweries

Micro-breweries and craft breweries, which operate on low budgets and may not have been in business for very long, are creating excellent products that many consumers cannot get enough of. Unfortunately, what many residents of Wisconsin do not know is that these small-scale breweries do not always provide safe working conditions for their employees. During the timeframe of 2009 to 2012, for example, there have been at least four fatal accidents at United States craft brewery facilities and work injury appears to happen more frequently at these locations.

Two injured in head-on collision in Wisconsin

Those on motorcycles can often sustain serious injuries due to the negligence of other drivers. Head-on collisions involving motorcycles and larger vehicles put motorcyclists in extreme danger of injury or death. Two people were injured in such an accident in Yorkville, Wisconsin. The auto accident involved a motorcycle and a pickup truck.

Wisconsin student dead after driver runs stop sign

College is a time of new beginnings and new experiences, and many students are experiencing life on their own for the first time as they enjoy their higher education experience. Although it may be difficult for parents to let go of their children, many students enjoy the freedom they gain from being out on their own. Unfortunately, tragedy may strike when least expected, and it's impossible to go back in time and change a split second decision. For the family of a popular Wisconsin student, a car crash recently stole a life that had just barely begun.

Debit Express cards for Social Security disability are under fire

Since 1996, the Treasury Department has been tasked with persuading all recipients of federal benefits to accept those benefits by electronic funds transfer -- either via direct deposit or through pre-loaded debit cards. Congress ordered the change to save on costs and to fraud and benefits theft.

Man charged in fatal accident

A Wisconsin man was taken into custody on drunk driving charges on July 20 after an early morning car crash that killed two and left one other person hospitalized in fair condition. The fatal accident happened on Gumz Road in Linwood at approximately 2 a.m. The 22-year-old driver allegedly lost control as his car went over a hill; it then rolled and landed against a group of trees.

Sanitation worker uses work injury to highlight safety issues

Sanitation workers perform a thankless task, one that most people do not want to do; take out the garbage. In Wisconsin, a sanitation worker who suffered a work injury while performing this unpopular but vital service, was committed to making sure that something positive would come out of his severe injuries. He succeeded.

New tragedy for grieving family in recent drunk driving death

Summer nights in Wisconsin often mean late hours out partying with friends and enjoying life for many young adults. Although at the young age of 24 an individual may feel invincible, all people should make good decisions when partaking of alcohol, particularly when driving is involved. A car crash involving a drunk driver may seriously impact both the life of the driver and the other party involved in the accident. For a family who lost a mother and daughter a little over a year ago, the decision of one young man to drive while drunk and distracted meant more grief for the remaining family members.

Sentence handed down in Wisconsin DUI hit-and-run case

A man has been sentenced in a hit-and-run accident that occurred more than a year ago in Wisconsin. According to the criminal complaint, on May 5, 2012, the Duluth man rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped for a red light at an intersection in Douglas County. Although the other driver pulled over to exchange information with him, the 49-year-old man shrugged in her direction and left the scene. She followed his vehicle until he was stopped by an officer.

Open your wallet to pay teen insurance

Teens are statistically the most expensive type of drivers to insure. Insurance companies are cognizant of the risk that teenage drivers represent, such as their higher probability of being involved in a car accident. However, the actual price that a family can expect to pay to insure their teen driver can vary dramatically. One large factor is location. The annual premium increase to insure a teen in Wisconsin may be very different than insuring a teen in California.

Senate proposal would rush SSDI benefits to the terminally ill

Under current Social Security disability law, even when someone qualifies for benefits they don't kick in until the sixth month of the applicant's disability. The purpose of this waiting period is in part to prevent fraud and abuse of the system by people who are only temporarily disabled from work. In the case of many people who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance because they can't work due to a terminal illness, however, that five-month waiting period essentially denies them their benefits while they most need them.

Woman charged after killing a bicyclist while drunk driving

A Wisconsin woman has been charged with multiple offenses after she allegedly struck a bicyclist. Officers also believe that she abandoned her vehicle and left the scene after the wrongful death occurred. She was charged with homicide by drunk driving and negligent operation of a vehicle.

A work injury can occur on any Wisconsin job site

Although a job site may appear to be safe, all it may take is a matter of seconds for everything to fall apart. When this does occur, workers' safety can be put at serious risk. In many cases, the workers are able to escape by suffering a minor work injury. However, in other cases, as have been reported each year in Wisconsin, the consequences can be far worse.

Fatal crash in Wisconsin was caused by excessive speed

In order for all drivers to be safe on the road, laws must be obeyed and speed limits must be enforced. When a fatal car accident occurs, law enforcement officials may choose to reconstruct the scene in order to determine an accurate timeline of events. The facts from this report may give police valuable insight into who was responsible for the accident and whether or not charges should be filed against either driver.

Updated rules for truck drivers may save lives

According to a report, up to 4,000 people perish every year in semi truck and bus accidents. In 13 percent of those cases, the truck accident is caused by a fatigued driver. In order to increase the safety of other drivers in Wisconsin and across the nation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has worked on a new set of provisions for truck drivers.

Preventive care coverage required by ACA, but not SSD-Medicaid?

When the Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare) was under debate in Congress, one of the most important cost-saving measures proposed was increased coverage for preventive care services and management of chronic illnesses. According to the health policy journal "Health Affairs," low-income people, who are the majority of the uninsured, seek care from hospitals and emergency rooms more often than they go to primary care doctors. Essentially, low-income people without adequate insurance can’t afford to go to seek preventive medical services, so they don’t get treatment until they are acutely ill. Not only does this cost the health care system more than $30.8 billion a year, it promotes poorer health outcomes for patients.

Highway accident results in injuries to pedestrian

With the ease and convenience of driving a vehicle, it’s become more rare for people to walk to their destinations. In order to protect both drivers and pedestrians, it is often necessary for both parties to be aware of the others, especially on major roads and highways. A pedestrian accident may have tragic and devastating results, and law enforcement officials may take certain measures to clarify whether or not any laws were being broken by either the pedestrian or the driver at the time of the accident.

Wisconsin two-car crash injures three

A two-car accident in Wausau injured three people and knocked out power to hundreds of west side residents, according to authorities. At approximately 1 p.m., a station wagon was rear-ended by an SUV at around 11th Avenue and Bridge Street. The impact was powerful enough to crush the rear of the wagon all the way up to the back tires. The SUV continued on, hitting a road sign and a small tree, finally hitting a telephone pole at the 10th Avenue and Bridge Street intersection.

Financial help may be available after a Wisconsin work accident

Wisconsin workers who have ever suffered an industrial accident know just how devastating this type of incident can be, both physically and financially. Fortunately for most injured workers, workers' compensation laws provide the opportunity to make a claim for benefits after a work accident. This can help provide financial restitution in the form of medical expenses and lost wages for part or all of the time that a worker is unable to resume their normal job duties.

Study assesses brain injury and stroke connection

In Wisconsin and across the country, someone who receives a serious brain injury could be at higher risk of having a stroke, and that risk could be comparable to the risk of stroke with high blood pressure. About one in five strokes occur in people under 65 although the reasons for this in a younger age group are not clearly known. However, the results of a stroke can be extremely serious.

Wisconsin Interstate shut down after semi-trailer accident

An accident between two cars in Wisconsin may be seriously traumatic for all drivers and passengers involved. The situation may be considerably more damaging to property and life if a car is involved with a semitrailer in a truck accident. Because these trucks are so much larger than smaller cars, it's often necessary for the drivers to take extra care and pay special attention to others on the road while driving. Truck drivers may also drive for long periods of time and across long distances, and may be distracted while driving if they haven't had enough rest.

Judicial SSD controversy could affect the system's operation

Last month, Congress began hearings on a controversy concerning the Social Security Administration. Essentially, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has become concerned by inconsistent rates of approval granted to those seeking Social Security Disability benefits, or SSD, by various judges. The committee wishes to know why some judges approve SSD applications at much higher rates than others.

Auto-Deer Collision in Wisconsin Sends Three to the Hospital

While driving on a dark road in the late evening in rural Wisconsin, a driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer on the road but subsequently collided with a truck traveling on the same road in the oncoming lane. All three victims of the car accident were seriously injured, trapped inside their vehicles and had to be extracted before being taken to the hospital. Auto accidents involving deer are not uncommon in the LaCrosse, Wisconsin area.

OSHA and WABA hope to decrease grain bin work injury risk

Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) have dedicated time and resources to educate employers and workers on the tremendous importance of safety when it comes to working around grain bins. The statistics are staggering: in 2010 alone, at least 26 people lost their lives due to work-related grain engulfments. At least one Wisconsin agriculture worker died in a grain engulfment last April, with another suffering a work injury after being engulfed by soybeans in 2010.

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