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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.
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While I was traveling through Wisconsin, my motorcycle was struck by a car that sped away. What do I do?
Dealing with a Wisconsin motorcycle collision is challenging enough, but it's an outrage when the incident is a hit-and-run accident. Unfortunately, hit-and-runs are a significant portion of all vehicle collisions; a survey a decade ago estimated that 3.8 percent of all fatal motor accidents were caused by drivers who did not stop. Informal reports from large metropolitan areas suggest that the rate of hit-and-run incidents has been increasing steadily since 2003.
Your initial response to a hit-and-run accident involving your motorcycle will be much the same as you would act following any accident:
- Call for medical help if you or anyone else has been injured. If you cannot make a telephone call, ask a bystander to do so for you.
- Call for police. You will want to make a complete police report to expedite the process of finding the person who hit you. Any information you can provide the police to identify the car will be helpful.
- The make, model, and color of the car
- The car's direction of travel
- A description, if possible, of the driver
- A partial license plate number
- Contact your insurance agent. Do this at your earliest convenience. Often, hit-and-run drivers have no insurance coverage, or inadequate insurance. Depending on your own insurance coverage and the state in which your policy was issued, you may be eligible for compensation from your own insurer if the hit-and-run driver cannot be found or cannot pay for the damage he caused.
- If possible, take pictures of the accident scene. Use your cell phone, if necessary. Get a picture of your motorcycle and the damage it sustained. Pictures will help your insurance adjuster — and your motorcycle collision lawyer, if you hire one — better assess the property damage and personal injuries that occurred during the collision. Get a picture of your motorcycle and the damage it sustained.
Wisconsin hit-and-run laws are harsh
Chapter 346 of the Wisconsin code (subchapter XI) was amended in 2003 to significantly strengthen the laws against hit-and-run drivers. The law now imposes the following obligations on a driver who hits a person or a vehicle carrying a person:
- Immediately stop at the scene or as close as possible.
- Give name, address and the registration number of the vehicle to all other parties.
- Give operator’s license to other parties if requested.
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured.
Criminal charges can be brought against a hit-and-run driver, in addition to civil personal injury lawsuits. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, even if nobody was injured, the penalty can range up to $1,000 in misdemeanor fines and up to six months in jail. If any injury occurred, the fine can be up to $10,000 and a prison term of 42 months. Penalties are even more severe if serious or fatal injuries resulted.
Obtaining further legal advice
If you have more questions about dealing with the aftermath of a Wisconsin hit-and-run accident, contact an Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer at the Hupy and Abraham law firm. Our staff and attorneys are committed to getting the best compensation available for our clients, whether from the legally liable driver or the insurance company. You can reach us locally at 920-882-8382 (or toll-free at 800-800-5678) to schedule a free consultation and get your FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
Sometimes I take my child for rides on my motorcycle. Is it safe if he uses my wifes helmet, since hers is smaller?
Even though Illinois has no age restrictions for motorcycle passengers, the Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office urge you to seriously consider the safety of letting your child ride along with you on your motorcycle.
As for the helmet question, the answer is: No, your child will definitely need his own helmet, even if he rarely goes for rides.
Many people underestimate the importance of a properly fitted helmet. It is absolutely imperative that all of the required fit tests are performed before a helmet is purchased and/or worn.
Helmets are supposed to fit very snuggly, which can be difficult for a child to get used to. It is not uncommon for kids to say that their helmet “hurts,” when in reality it is just the proper, tight fit. The best thing to do is to take both your child and your wife into a local motorcycle helmet retailer and have a professional properly size them each for a helmet.
If it turns out that they are both the same size, according to the professional at the store, then you can probably have them share a helmet — as long as they are not riding at the same time, of course.
But remember that as soon as a helmet is involved in a motorcycle accident, it should be properly disposed of and never re-used, regardless of how minor the accident seemed. Any sort of impact can cause the protective materials inside the helmet to compress, decreasing the chance that it can protect you in a second accident. So avoid letting your child wear an old, used helmet and purchase a new one.
Injured in a Gurnee motorcycle accident? Call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
I live in Gurnee. Do I have to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle?
Illinois has no motorcycle helmet use law, so legally, Gurnee motorcycle riders do not have to wear a helmet. However, all the best advice indicates that it is unsafe not to wear one.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute, helmets “decrease the severity of head injuries, the likelihood of death, and the overall cost of medical care.” These are convincing reasons to wear a helmet; after all, Gurnee motorcycle accidents do happen.
What could be a good reason not to wear one—that they aren’t particularly comfortable? That they mess up your hair? Vanity is hardly a good reason to ignore safety concerns.
Helmets are designed to cushion the head and protect a rider’s head during a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that wearing a helmet reduces the chance of dying by 37 percent. The IIHS cites a recent literature study as estimating that helmets are 42 percent effective at preventing fatalities and 60 percent effective at preventing head injuries.
Do you need further convincing? Unhelmeted motorcycle riders are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than are helmeted riders.
Hupy and Abraham urge you to wear a helmet; it doesn’t make sense not to. If you have the misfortune of being injured in a motorcycle wreck in Gurnee, contact us. As Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers, we can sort out the details and get you justice. Call us toll free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 414-223-4800. Use our HYPERLINK "http://www.gurnee-motorcycle-accident-lawyer.com/../contact.cfm"online contact form for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. You can also request our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
How can I find out my helmets safety rating?
First of all, the Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office want to applaud your efforts for wanting to find out. Buying a helmet that is approved by one of the major safety institutes is a smart way to help prevent a serious motorcycle accident injury.
As we have mentioned in our previous blogs and articles, the four main regulators for helmet safety are:
- DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation
- Snell: The Snell Memorial Foundation
- ECE: The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
- BSI: The British Standards Institute
While each regulator performs different tests to check the safety of the helmet, they all have a common goal: protecting a motorcyclist’s head in the event of an accident.
If a helmet is certified by any of the above regulators, it will be clearly marked somewhere on the helmet. For example, all DOT-certified helmets have a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet, at the bottom. Make sure to check the inside of the helmet, including on the tag and underneath the comfort padding. Never assume that a helmet is certified unless you can actually see the certification.
Certifications are almost always listed in the description of any helmet you are buying online, and can also be found on the box that the helmet is packaged in.
If you are dealing with an injury caused by a Gurnee motorcycle accident, call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
Do I need a Madison motorcycle accident attorney?
A Wisconsin motorcycle accident and serious injury can be overwhelming. Accident victims are usually struggling to regain their health, missing days or weeks of work, and wondering who will pay for the coming hospital bills. Throughout these days and weeks, you may wonder whether you need the assistance of a WI motorcycle lawyer.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I sure of who was at fault for my accident?
- Do I know what caused my accident?
- Could someone have prevented my accident?
- Did my accident involve someone else’s negligence?
- Did my accident cause significant damage, such as injuries, economic losses, or pain and suffering?
- Do I want to learn more about my accident?
It is important to understand that the core cause of your motorcycle accident may not be apparent without a closer examination of the evidence—and that those involved in crashes may not have an accurate view of the full picture. Even if you are unsure of whether you were at fault for the accident or what caused the accident, it doesn’t hurt to speak to a Wisconsin injury attorney about your crash. At Hupy & Abraham, we offer free, no-obligation consultations for exactly this reason: we want you to know why your accident took place and whether it would be worthwhile to pursue a case. Call today at (800) 800-5678 to schedule a meeting with one of our Madison motorcycle accident attorneys.
What do I need to know about Wisconsin hit-and-run laws?
The state of Wisconsin considers it a criminal offense to leave the scene after being involved in a car accident. If someone leaves the scene of an accident which resulted in injury, he could face jail time.
Even if the accident has only caused damage to property, in Wisconsin you are legally required to stop your vehicle. Failing to do so could have serious consequences:
- If you leave the scene of an accident that did not result in any injuries, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and be subject to fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. You could also face up to six months of jail time.
- If the car crash caused minor injuries, you’re likely to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and risk facing up to nine months in jail as well as fines as high as $10,000.
- If anyone involved in the accident suffered “great bodily harm” and you flee the scene, you face a felony charge that could mean up to 15 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.
- In the unlikely event that you flee the scene of a crash that has resulted a fatality, the penalty could include up to 25 years in jail plus a fine of $100,000.
If you have been injured in a Wisconsin hit-and-run car accident, contact the car accident lawyers of Hupy and Abraham. Contact us online or call us at 920-882-8382 (or toll-free at 800-800-5678) to schedule a free consultation and get your FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Auto Accident Victims as well as a FREE DVD Valuable Information Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know!
I have been out of work for a long time, and now I have been a victim of a motorcycle accident. Will my unemployment affect the settlement I will get?
Probably. Of course, every person’s situation is different, and your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm is the best resource you have to advise you on the specifics of your case. But we can discuss some general issues that may arise in a case where an unemployed accident victim seeks compensation for his injuries.
This is a more common situation than you might realize. Unemployment has been a serious and persistent problem across the United States since December 2007, the start of what some economists call “The Great Recession.” In recent months, work opportunities have expanded, but not enough to rehire all the people who lost jobs. Consequently, America has a far larger number of long-term unemployed persons than usual. This is especially true in the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, where recovery from the recession has been slow.
Here’s how your long-term unemployment may affect your eventual motorcycle injury settlement:
- No income means no compensation from lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit will usually ask for money to compensate the victim for his time away from work. That doesn’t apply in the case of someone with no job.
- Your expected lifetime earnings also go down. In the case where an accident victim has been partly or totally disabled, a lawsuit typically asks for compensation for the loss of lifetime earnings. If you’re unemployed, your earnings potential will be given less weight, and your personal injury settlement will probably be smaller.
- Your loss of unemployment benefits may increase your settlement. If you are even temporarily unable to look for work due to your injuries, you cannot certify that you are ready to accept work, and thus you cannot claim unemployment benefits that you might have been receiving. Because this loss of benefits flows directly from your accident, your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm should work to recover those lost benefits from the insurance company.
- Your lost opportunities for professional development may increase your settlement. As a result of your injury, you may be unable to participate in schooling or job-training programs that would eventually have set you on the path to a higher income. Your case is further strengthened if you can prove you were enrolled — or planning to enroll — in an educational program. Your settlement may be increased both by any nonrefundable tuition you have paid plus the loss of your future expanded earnings potential.
A good Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm considers all the avenues to getting the maximum compensation for its client. At Hupy and Abraham, we make every effort to seek recovery for our clients for the costs of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, you need an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney. Call us toll-free at 800-800-5678 for a FREE, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Even if you don’t hire us, we would like to send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
What is the first thing I should do if I am hit by car while riding my motorcycle?
Seek the proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, many Gurnee motorcycle accident injuries are so severe that an ambulance will take you to the hospital without you even knowing.
What Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office want to stress, however, is that it is important to seek immediate medical attention for even minor injuries. It is not uncommon for serious head injuries to cause no more than a major headache, which is why you should get yourself checked out right away to rule out internal bleeding or a serious concussion.
The same goes for neck and back injuries. You may feel fine now, but that pain could get worse if left unattended. Hairline fractures or serious sprains or strains often accompany even the most minor motorcycle accidents, especially if it involves another vehicle striking your body. A visit to the emergency room and a follow-up with your family physician is the best way to ensure your complete safety.
Getting prompt and expert medical attention is the first step. The second step is up to you: follow-through. If your doctor ordered special medical tests, make sure you show up on time for those appointments. Fill your prescribed medications and take them according to the schedule you were given.
Finally, it is also important to document your treatment, in order to prove your injury to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Make sure your medical providers know that the injury could be related to a motorcycle accident, in case they need to run additional tests.
If you have been injured in a Gurnee motorcycle accident, call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
Do I have a Madison motorcycle accident case?
In Wisconsin, the person or entity who is at fault for your motorcycle accident and injury is responsible for the consequences of the crash—damages that could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In the wake of a serious Madison motorcycle accident, it is vital to know what caused your crash and whether or not your injuries could have been prevented if not for the negligence of someone else. There is an array of causes of motorcycle accidents and the at-fault party may not be readily apparent, especially in the minutes and hours after the crash. Bike accidents may be caused by distracted driving, reckless driving, speeding, driving under the influence, tailgating, poor road design, poor road conditions, or equipment failure—just to name a few possibilities.
It is important to understand that all WI motorcycle accidents are different—and that you may not fully understand the cause of your bike accident and injuries until you speak with an attorney. The best way to know whether or not you have a motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit is to speak with a Madison motorcycle accident attorney and let him or her review the evidence related your case. At Hupy & Abraham, we offer injury victims no-obligation consultations where we will listen to your story and let you know your best legal options. Call us today at (800) 800-5678.
What are some great spring destinations for Madison motorcyclists?
Spring is almost here, and you’re probably eager to take that bike and get out of Madison for a while. Where to go? How about Mount Horeb?
Just 36 minutes and 22 miles west of Madison, the Trollway in Mount Horeb is lined with 15 trees that have been carved into life-size trolls.
Traveling west of the town and into what locals from Norway call the Valley of the Elves, you will find Little Norway, once the homestead of Norwegian immigrants. An open-air museum features restored pioneer buildings, including a stavkirke (medieval church) that was built in Little Norway for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Little Norway is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Not far from Little Norway, you can explore the remarkable stalactites and stalagmites of Cave of the Mounds. At a constant 50 degrees, the cave is open year round.
A few miles from Cave of the Mounds is Blue Mound State Park, which offers camping, hiking, off-road biking, and beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Mount Horeb has its Summer Frolic in June, an art fair in July, a brew fest in September, and the Fall Heritage Festival in October. There’s so much to do just a short motorcycle ride from Madison.
Celebrate spring as you explore our beautiful state. The Madison motorcycle accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham advise you to make sure you have proper motorcycle insurance and safety gear before you leave. Get our FREE book, Secrets Your Insurance Agent Won’t Tell You about Buying Motorcycle or Car Insurance. Visit our website or give us a call locally at 608-277-7777, or call our toll-free number at 1-888-277-4879.