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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.
With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.
Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.
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The insurance adjuster asked for my Social Security number after my Milwaukee car crash. Is it mandatory that I give it to him?
You are not legally obligated to give your Social Security number in any situation except when dealing with a taxing authority. You certainly shouldn’t need to give it before your settlement is finalized.
It’s possible that the insurer is only using your SSN as an account number and is asking for it so they can access your account in their database. However, be aware that this piece of highly personal information can easily be used to research your involvement in other settlements and claims.
Obviously, this history doesn’t apply to your current case, but it can be used against you if the provider is looking to deny your personal injury claim or diminish your settlement.
Once your settlement is finalized, the adjuster might need your SSN in order to release your payment. Some states have legislation that restrict insurance companies from paying out settlements until your Social Security number has been run through a government database to check for outstanding tax or family support debt.
It is essential that you ask what the adjuster needs your SSN for before giving it out. If you are uncomfortable with this question or have any concerns about dealing with Wisconsin insurance adjuster, talk to a Milwaukee auto accident attorney.
Are you having problems dealing with an insurance provider after a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car crash? The skilled legal team of Hupy and Abraham may be able to help. Call 414-223-4800 (local) or 800-800-5678 (toll-free) now to make an appointment for a confidential case review at no cost.
I can’t find a comfortable motorcycle helmet in Milwaukee stores. Could the shape of my head have anything to do with it?
It sure could! Motorcycle helmets vary not only in basic size but also in their internal shape. Although you buy a helmet primarily for safety—so that your head is protected if you get into a Milwaukee motorcycle wreck—comfort is very important.
Today, we love the convenience of buying what we need and want online. Fight the urge, however, when it comes to your bike helmet. You have to try on several helmets and wear them for a few minutes before you commit to buying one. Remember, you have a better chance of surviving a bike crash in Wisconsin if you actually wear your helmet.
The website webbikeworld.com goes into detail discussing head shapes and has a pretty extensive list of corresponding brands and styles to fit those shapes. The list also includes the weight of each helmet.
I recommend that you print off a list of the helmets that match your head shape and take it with you to the store. Then try on each helmet and wear it for a few minutes before trying out the next one. The time you invest in this activity will pay off in your safety and comfort.
If you get into a motorcycle crash in Milwaukee caused by another motorist, contact the Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers at Hupy and Abraham. Call us locally at 414-223-4800 or toll free at 800-800-5678. Take advantage of our FREE consultation offer, or order our FREE helpful publication, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
I fell down the stairs at my friend’s apartment complex in Milwaukee because the handrail was broken. I feel awkward involving her, but I need someone to pay for my medical bills. What should I do?
Although your fall occurred at your friend’s residence, she is not responsible for taking care of the grounds or keeping up with the maintenance. That responsibility belongs to the property owner or the property manager of the apartment complex.
Because of this, you shouldn’t feel awkward involving your friend, especially if she witnessed your fall. Your friend should understand that your fall injuries are not your fault. Plus, medical bills can add up quickly. You should not have to incur medical expenses or lost income from being a victim of a Wisconsin slip and fall accident.
We understand that you don’t want to lose your friend or cause him or her grief, but this matter shouldn’t be viewed in this way. The money for your medical bills and other damages will not come out of your friend’s pocket. Instead, your friend’s landlord or the person or company who owns the apartment building should be held accountable.
The property manager has a duty to take care of the grounds and to protect residents and their visitors from possible dangerous conditions. This includes repairing or replacing broken handrails so that people can walk up and down the stairs safely.
If you feel hesitant pursuing damages because your friend lives there, call us and we will talk to you about your situation in more detail. You can reach Hupy & Abraham toll-free at (800) 800-5678 for a free consultation with a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer today. With seven offices in two states, we are ready to pursue your Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois premises liability lawsuit until you get the compensation you deserve.
My husband suffered a brain injury in an Appleton motorcycle crash due to a distracted driver. What can I do to help promote motorcycle safety?
Sadly, motorcycle accidents are one of the biggest causes of traumatic brain injuries, and we are saddened to hear that your husband suffered such a serious injury. When facing life-altering injuries like this, it is good to first learn all you can about the injury and how you can help your husband. This way you can be prepared for things that may come up down the road.
After learning about the injury and helping your husband pursue justice through a Wisconsin personal injury lawsuit, you can start promoting motorcycle safety. One of the quickest ways and most effective ways you can get the message out to other drivers is to talk about your husband’s experience and his Appleton motorcycle accident.
By talking about it and focusing on how drivers do not pay enough attention to motorcyclists on the road, it can make others drivers more aware of their behaviors when they get behind the wheel. Drivers of passenger vehicles do realize that motorcycles are hard to spot because of their small size; however, you can still encourage them to look out for motorcyclists before they change lanes, turn or merge.
As Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers, we not only represent injured motorcyclists but we also ride ourselves. We are active in the motorcycle community and help raise awareness through our free resources, motorcycle guide, watch for motorcycles sticker, and more. If you would like to obtain a motorcycle awareness sticker to place on your vehicle, call Hupy & Abraham toll-free at (800) 800-5678 for your motorcycle safety sticker today.
Additionally, if your husband needs help pursuing an Appleton motorcycle accident case against the negligent driver involved, we would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.
I recently lost my husband in a tragic car accident. He was driving from one job to another in the middle of the day when another driver ran a red light and hit him head-on. Not only do I grieve him every minute, but I am afraid I won’t be able to support our three young kids, since he was the breadwinner. I am also scared that they will grow up without the protection of their father. Will the at-fault party’s insurance adjustor consider this?
First of all, we are terribly sorry for your loss. It is never easy to deal with tragic accidents like this one, but we applaud your bravery for standing up and asking the tough questions in the name of your family.
While we cannot give you an exact answer since we do not know all of the specifics of your case, we can tell you that in any Wisconsin wrongful death claim there are certain circumstances that should always be considered.
It is important that the Wisconsin accident lawyer you choose to represent you for your husband’s loss makes sure that the following Milwaukee wrongful death claim damages are addressed:
- The loss of income that your family is experiencing due to his passing
- The cost of his funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of companionship, protection, love, and affection that you and your children will no longer be able to experience from him
- The cost of any medical bills—his and those of your family—that are directly related to his fatal accident
- The pain and suffering that you and your children must endure because of his death
It is never easy dealing with the loss of a loved one, and our thoughts are with you. We encourage anyone facing a similar situation to contact Hupy and Abraham toll-free at 800.800.5678 for a confidential and complimentary case evaluation so that you can learn your legal rights.
My dad used to ride motorcycles when he was in his 20s. Now I am in my 20s and own my own bike, and my dad offered to give me his vintage helmet that I always admired as a kid. The helmet has never been involved in a crash, but is it true that an old helmet might not be able to protect me if I’m injured in an accident?
The Milwaukee auto accident lawyers in our office want to applaud you for raising this question. Not many riders think about the age of their helmets and how it might impact their safety while riding a motorcycle.
Helmets deteriorate over time. Considering the fact that they are exposed to a wide range of weather conditions, it is understandable that exposure to heat and cold, water, wind and chemicals can cause the helmet to break down in ways that are invisible to the naked eye. Most helmets have a shelf life of five years, and many have an expiration date printed right on the box or the helmet.
So, in this case, steer clear of vintage helmets, no matter how cool they seem. Using one would not be the best way to protect your head in the event of a Wisconsin motorcycle crash.
Helmets are your best defense against injuries from a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin. Buy a new helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation and WisDOT standards; make sure it provides a secure, snug fit. Wear your helmet every time you ride your bike.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury in a Milwaukee motorcycle accident, contact Hupy and Abraham immediately at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation. Or tell us about your situation by filling out our online form and an attorney will get right back with you to schedule an appointment.
What Do Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Mean By The Term “Negligence"? Can The Guy Who Plowed Into My Bike Last Week Say He Wasn’t At Fault?
Negligence is related to the word “neglect.” As attorneys use it, negligence basically means failure to use the degree of care that a reasonably careful person would use in similar circumstances. This concept is really at the heart of civil law. The core of a personal injury lawsuit in Wisconsin—or anywhere else in the United States—is the claim by the plaintiff, or injured person, that the defendant was negligent in some way and thus responsible for the injuries that occurred. If this claim is held to be true, then the defendant will be required to compensate the plaintiff for those injuries.
When the subject turns to Wisconsin traffic accidents, the precise nature of negligence changes. Driving a motor vehicle is considered to be an inherently dangerous activity that can easily cause injury. Someone operating a motorcycle or car is therefore held to a higher standard of care: they must use a degree of care that a very careful person would use in similar circumstances.
Defenses against negligence
There are usually said to be four elements in a negligence claim. The personal injury lawyer for the plaintiff must establish:
- Duty of care. It must be proved that the defendant had a particular duty to take a certain level of care to prevent foreseeable harm to others.
- Breach of duty. It must be proved that the defendant did not live up to the expectations of careful behavior.
- Causation. It must be shown that the defendant’s breach of duty led directly to specific harms done to the plaintiff.
- Harms. The exact extent of injury done to the plaintiff must be shown and the cash value of those injuries established.
If an attorney fails to prove any one of these, he cannot win the case for the plaintiff. And that’s ultimately fair. Not all accidents are going to deserve compensation. If the driver of a midsize sedan was very careful on the road but still ended up crashing into your motorcycle, it’s quite likely he will not be found negligent, because he did not breach his obligation of duty.
Defense lawyers and Wisconsin insurance adjusters will often question the negligence issue of a motorcycle injury claim in order to avoid paying a larger settlement. They may argue that the rider understood and accepted the risky nature of motorcycle riding, thereby forfeiting the requirement that others take care to minimize risks. For example—and this is a common example—the defense lawyer may point out that the plaintiff failed to wear a helmet while riding his motorcycle, and interpret this behavior as showing the plaintiff didn’t attach much importance to personal safety.
If you need more information on the legal principle of negligence, or if you want to arrange for a FREE case consultation about your traffic accident lawsuit, call 414-223-4800 (local) or 800-800-5678 (toll-free) today. A Wisconsin motorcycle wreck lawyer can meet with you to discuss how Hupy and Abraham can help you get the compensation you deserve from the negligent party in your Wisconsin traffic accident. If you ask, we will send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, which will be yours to keep as an introduction to our law firm.
A friend of mine says he got a “structured settlement” after his auto accident near Green Bay. What does that mean? What is a structured settlement?
A structured settlement is a financial arrangement, agreed upon by both parties, for paying the settlement amount in a personal injury lawsuit. Commonly, this is used for larger amounts of money. Instead of receiving a lump-sum payment for the accident, the injured person will get periodic installment payments. Perhaps a check will come every month, or every three months, or once a year.
The person, business or insurance company paying the money may prefer a structured settlement. A periodic payment plan does not require getting together a huge amount of money at once. Instead, the business can set aside smaller periodic payments, or purchase an annuity.
The person receiving the settlement may also prefer getting paid periodically, for at least three reasons:
- A guaranteed income. Payments arrive regularly and predictably on specific dates, either for a definite term or until the end of life.
- Tax management. A single lump-sum payment may be subject to state, local, or federal income taxes at a very high rate. A structured settlement typically doles out money over several years. This provides significant tax savings or treatment as nontaxable income.
- Spending control. A lump-sum settlement is intended to compensate personal injury damages extending over a significant period of time. However, some people do not have the self-discipline to budget for years of needs after they receive a check for thousands of dollars. Expenses include medical care, transportation, food, and other necessities. A structured settlement helps control impulsive spending and makes budgeting for future bills easier.
Cashing In a Structured Settlement
Some people may be pleased to receive regular, scheduled payments. Other people realize they dislike having their settlement given to them in bits and pieces. The most common complaints that Green Bay car crash lawyers hear from recipients of structured settlements include the following:
- “I don’t feel like the money is mine when I don’t have complete control.”
- “I want flexibility to spend more than my monthly check if I need to make a larger purchase like a car.”
- “I have a sudden need for more money right now to pay for my child’s college education. It’s inconvenient to have to wait for a quarterly check.”
- “I need money to pay off my credit card debt.”
- “I could invest this money and get a better rate of return than the annuity gives me.”
For people in this position, there is a market in selling structured settlements. Individual investors or financial services companies can buy a structured settlement and give the owner a lump-sum payment for it. Technically, this is called a structured settlement factoring transaction. After that, the purchaser will receive the income from the settlement or annuity. The value of this transaction is whatever the buyer and the seller agree on.
The federal government and most states have enacted laws to protect the seller of a structured settlement. Most of these state laws are based on a model law developed by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. Wisconsin is one of the few states that do not have a Structured Settlement Protection Act enacted into state law. However, the federal rules under Internal Revenue Code Section 5891 apply to structured settlement sales. It is also possible that another state’s regulations may have to be obeyed if the purchaser of a Wisconsin structured settlement lives in another jurisdiction.
Help From Hupy and Abraham
The Green Bay car crash lawyers of Hupy and Abraham are available to answer your questions. Contact us to discuss any aspect of your settlement for a Wisconsin car accident, including inquiries about structured settlement sales. You can reach us at 920-593-5050 (local) or 800-800-5678 (toll-free), or by completing the inquiry form on our website.
I was injured in a motorcycle accident near Appleton. It wasn’t my fault. I hired a lawyer and we filed a lawsuit against the truck driver who turned in front of me, but I don’t like some of the decisions my lawyer has made about my case. Can I fire my lawyer?
Yes, you can fire your lawyer. However, you might decide that firing your lawyer isn’t the smartest idea, after you read this whole article.
Who’s the boss?
The fact is, you are the employer here. Your lawyer is your employee. You hired him, and if you find his performance unsatisfactory, then you can fire him.
But your power as “boss” goes beyond this. Your case is your case. Your lawyer cannot commit to anything without your approval. Your lawyer can’t accept a settlement with the insurance company unless you give your okay—and he can’t stop you if you want to accept that settlement, either.
You say you don’t like all the decisions your lawyer has made, but he cannot put any decisions into place unless you give the go-ahead. So are you complaining that you didn’t stand up to your lawyer? You can’t fairly blame your attorney for that.
Are you getting the best legal advice?
Perhaps you don’t like the advice you’re getting from your lawyer. If it’s a matter of not understanding why he is recommending some course of action, you have the right to ask he explain his reasoning. Don’t let him confuse you with legal jargon. Tell him to teach you to understand why he wants things done in a particular way. Part of his job is to persuade you to accept his advice, and that means you may need some fine points of law explained in detail. A good personal injury lawyer should have no problem with that.
On the other hand, your attorney is —we hope—approaching your case with an extensive background in Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawsuits. He may be giving the best advice possible in light of the specific details of your case. It may not be fair to blame your attorney if your particular case is only likely to have a modest recovery, or if other barriers exist to your getting what you think you deserve.
Can you afford to fire your lawyer?
Most Wisconsin personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis: they do not charge you for their legal services at the start, but instead take a portion of your eventual settlement or damage award. The precise amount your lawyer gets will be spelled out in the representation agreement or contract you signed after he decided to take on your case; it’s generally 30 to 40 percent of the total.
If you fire your lawyer after he has performed work on your case, he is still entitled to be paid for the work he’s done. In some cases—again, this depends on your representation agreement—he may be able to bill you at his usual hourly rate for the time he spent on your case. This would be presented as a lien, or claim on your eventual settlement.
Otherwise, your attorney may be able to hold to the original contingency claim, and take his portion—one-third, or 35 percent, or forty percent, or whatever you originally agreed to—from your final settlement.
That’s why it might not be in your best financial interest to fire your lawyer. If your first lawyer claims 35 percent of your settlement, and the lawyer you hired second claims 40 percent, then you only get a quarter of the settlement amount. That may not leave you with enough to cover your medical expenses and lost wages after a serious Wisconsin motorcycle collision.
Of course, it’s your decision. Only you can decide if getting rid of a lawyer you don’t trust or respect is worth the financial penalty you will face down the road.
The Best Approach: Hire the Right Lawyer in the First Place
At Hupy and Abraham, we’ve been fired by clients before. There have also been occasions when clients, dissatisfied with their original lawyers, have asked us to represent them. It happens in every law practice. We don’t encourage anyone to leave their current lawyers, but we recognize that sometimes personalities clash.
Our Appleton motorcycle crash lawyers think that the best way to guarantee a potential client can be happy with our services is to make sure he understands our law firm from the outset. That’s why we will give potential clients a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, whenever they request it when calling for a free consultation about their case.
You can contact us at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free) today to learn how we can help you with your Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawsuit. Getting to know your attorney’s views and values is the essential first step to finding representation you can be comfortable with.
I was injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident. There were no other vehicles involved. Do I need a Wisconsin motorcycle lawyer?
It depends on the circumstances. About one-quarter of all Wisconsin motorcycle wrecks are single-vehicle motorcycle crashes. In the past ten years, more than 10,000 motorcycle riders were killed and over 250,000 were injured in single-vehicle motorcycle accidents.
Our Wisconsin motorcycle lawyers advise riders who are involved in single-vehicle motorcycle crash not to assume that they are automatically at fault. There are many factors that can contribute to single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. One of the most common is swerving or braking to avoid a reckless driver.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40 percent of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when the rider uses defense maneuvers to avoid a reckless driver or road hazard. Other factors include equipment malfunctions and dangerous road conditions.
Consulting with a Wisconsin motorcycle accident attorney is a good idea if you believe external conditions contributed to your motorcycle crash or if you are having difficulty getting full compensation from your insurance company.
You can learn more about insurance compensation and your rights after a Wisconsin motorcycle crash in The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. To request your free copy, fill out the form in the side-bar. If you would like to discuss your situation with a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. The initial consultation is free and there is no obligation, so come in and find out if the insurance company is treating you fairly.