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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.
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What is Wisconsin's Direct Action Statute?
Wisconsin has a unique law that all Gurnee motorcycle riders need to know about, for those times you are riding through state.
The Direct Action Statute states that any insurer who covers negligent behavior on the part of the insured is liable for damages. In other words, if you are struck by a negligent motorist, you sue his or her insurance company as well as the driver who injured you. Remember, this is a Wisconsin law, but it can complicate matters for Illinois drivers who get in an accident in Wisconsin or for Wisconsin drivers who get in an accident in Illinois.
In states that don’t have a Direct Action law, you can sue only the party who injured you. If you are involved in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, however, that state’s laws govern, and you may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
While this law may seem simple, sometimes uncertainties can arise if the at-fault driver is a commercial trucker or an out-of-state driver. Since it is not uncommon for truckers and private drivers to cross state lines and cause a Milwaukee motorcycle accident or an accident in Illinois, we often have to study the situation and the law thoroughly to ensure we are filing a claim against the right party.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck or other automotive accident, you may not be sure whom to file a claim against. The experienced and compassionate Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers at Hupy & Abraham are ready to assist you in figuring out your case so you get the maximum possible settlement for your injuries. Give us a call at (800) 800-5678 for a free consultation. Just for calling, we will send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, even if you do not hire us as your legal representatives.
Is Wisconsin a no-fault insurance state?
No, the state of Wisconsin operates under a tort system, meaning that in the event of a car crash, someone must be determined to have been the cause of the accident. Fault must be established.
The tort auto insurance system is the most traditional and the most widely used auto insurance system in the United States, with 38 states currently employing the system. The Wisconsin fault laws require the person found to be at fault to cover expenses beyond just lost wages and property damages; they are responsible for reimbursing additional pain and suffering costs.
The tort system allows two options for insurance: full tort and limited tort. Full tort grants the injured party unlimited rights to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party. The option of full tort entails paying higher premiums in exchange for receiving more coverage. While the premium on the limited tort option is somewhat cheaper, limited tort insurance coverage will make it more challenging to win a claim, and in a sense amounts to signing away your rights in the event of an injury or accident.
After establishing fault in Wisconsin, the person found responsible for the crash will be required to cover all damages, which are typically handled through that person’s insurance company. Because fault must be established in the event of a Wisconsin car accident, many insurance companies advise all drivers to think about higher-than-required insurance coverages.
If you’ve experienced a Wisconsin car accident and have questions about your insurance coverage, contact us online or call us directly at 608-277-7777 or toll-free at 800-800-5678 for a free, no-obligaton consultation. We would be pleased to send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims.
What are the most important safety tips for bicycles sharing the road with motor vehicles?
As a bicyclist, sharing the road with cars and other motor vehicles can be dangerous, and you are largely unprotected in the event of a crash. The following bike safety tips will make you a more responsible driver, and ultimately a safer one:
- Ride in a straight line. Weaving in and out of traffic increases your risk of being hit by a car. Be a predictable driver, and obey traffic signs and laws.
- Watch for car doors. Always try to leave room in case a door opens unexpectedly. The general rule is to maintain a three-foot gap between you and a parked car.
- Always look and signal before turning. Before turning or changing lanes, be sure to signal and to make eye contact with the driver in your immediate vicinity. Just because you see a driver does not guarantee that he sees you, so always make sure your intentions are known before taking action.
- Stay focused. Keep music players and cell phones in your bag while riding to prevent distraction and potential collisions. Letting your mind wander from the road demonstrates poor Wisconsin bike safety.
- Protect your head. The most important safety gear a bicyclist can wear is a helmet. Helmets have been proven to decrease the chance of a head injury should an accident happen.
- Be visible. During the day, keep your clothing brightly colored and clearly visible to drivers. When it’s dark, use reflective clothing and bright lights.
As a Wisconsin bicyclist, you will be sharing the road with motor vehicles. Car and truck drivers sometimes tend to overlook bikes, with tragic consequences. Because you are unprotected and vulnerable in any collision, you need to exercise extra caution in traffic.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, the Wisconsin personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham want to help you. Contact us at 800-800-5678 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) to schedule a FREE consultation. We'd be pleased to send you a copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims; it's FREE just for your asking, even if you don't choose us to represent you.
As a Wisconsin rider, why should I consider an anti-lock braking system for my motorcycle?
The motorcycle anti-lock braking system (ABS) was designed to prevent wheels from seizing up, or locking, thereby avoiding skidding and collisions. Anti-lock brakes are widely available as either standard equipment or an option for motorcycles. An ABS uses computer technology to sense when a wheel is about to lock up, and causes the brakes to automatically pump themselves while the driver applies steady pressure to the brakes. These actions work together to prevent a motorcyclist to slow or stop without skidding.
There is some question as to whether anti-lock brakes have any advantage over non-ABS bikes on dry roads. However, strong evidence shows that, in slippery conditions, motorcycles with ABS make straight and controlled stops while the non-ABS bike spins out.
On certain surfaces such as gravel or snow, braking distance may be increased by anti-lock brakes. However, at these instances, vehicle control is still improved by the presence of an ABS.
Anti-lock brakes may be particularly beneficial to a new motorcycle owner; many experienced riders find it easy to stop their non-ABS motorcycle in less time than an ABS bike by efficiently using front and rear braking while on dry pavement. Since many motorcyclists are not this experienced, and because emergency response is instinctive, bikes with anti-lock brakes are a wise safety precaution.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Green Bay or Appleton, contact Wisconsin motorcycle crash lawyers at Hupy and Abraham at 920-882-8382 or toll free at 800-800-5678. Ask about your FREE book and DVD: The Ultimate Guide for Auto Accident Victims and Valuable Information Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know!
Riding a motorcycle is all about feeling free. Do I really need all this hot and heavy gear?
For a Wisconsin rider, deciding not to wear protective motorcycle gear is simply not worth the risk. Apparel such as boots, jackets, and gloves help keep a minor “spill” from causing major injuries, and also help to minimize harm in major accidents. While some riders may find all of this protective gear to be uncomfortable, hot, or cumbersome, responsible riders know the importance of protecting themselves, and that sometimes “more comfortable” could mean “more dangerous.”
The following statistics show the differences between light and durable clothing in terms of protection:
- Jackets. The protection factor provided by wearing a light or medium jacket (i.e., cotton, denim, light leather) is only 69 percent, while a heavy jacket (leather, durable nylon, Kevlar) can provide a 92 percent protection factor in the event of a crash.
- Trousers: The protection factor with light or medium trousers is 65 percent, compared to 96 percent with heavy leather trousers. Of course, even in the summer, it is never advisable to wear shorts while biking.
- Footwear: Opting for “light footwear” such as street shoes or sneakers means choosing a 46 percent protection factor over the 93 percent offered by proper motorcycle boots. The crucial component of your footwear is that it must cover the entire foot and ankle.
- Gloves: With gloves, the difference is less dramatic; medium gloves afford a 93 percent protection factor compared with a 95 percent protection factor by heavy gloves. With gloves, it’s most important that they be non-slip, to enable better use of your bike’s controls.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys of Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send our lawyers an e-mail with your questions. A FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, will be yours for the asking.
How Can I Tell If Ive Suffered a Brain Injury in a Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and were wearing a helmet, you’ve decreased your chances of sustaining a head or neck injury by 30 percent. However, it’s still important to check for several warning signs of a possible brain injury. If you’ve hit your head in a motorcycle accident, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Headache. This may seem obvious, but be aware of the frequency and severity of headaches following a motorcycle accident, as this could be a sign that something else is wrong.
- Neck pain. This may show up awhile after an accident, and can mean you’ve suffered whiplash.
- Vomiting. If nausea and/or vomiting is frequent, this could be a sign of moderate to severe brain trauma.
- Dizziness. Dizziness and fatigue can be a sign of a traumatic brain injury, but it is important not to go to sleep before seeing a doctor in case you’ve sustained a concussion.
- Memory loss or concentration problems. Short-term memory loss or inability to concentrate on something for more than a few minutes could signal frontal lobe trauma.
- Visible trauma to the head or neck Look for any bruises or cuts that may have resulted from the fall.
The following symptoms may be signs of severe brain trauma and should never be ignored:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury following a motorcycle accident in the state of Wisconsin, contact Milwaukee personal injury firm Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5679 or 414-223-4800 for a consultation, and for a free copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
How Can I Prevent a Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycles are fun and exciting ways to travel, but they do have a certain element of risk. That’s true everywhere, but especially in the popular biking state of Wisconsin.
Because of the large numbers of motorcycles on the roads, it’s only natural that there should be a higher occurrence of accidents. Fortunately, Wisconsin has seen a decrease in motorcycle accidents and motorcycle-related fatalities since last year. This may be due in large part to Wisconsin motorcycle safety initiatives, but could also be the result of individual rider responsibility.
If you want to be a more prepared and responsible motorcyclist, here are a few helpful Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t drink and drive. This seems obvious, yet 68 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2009 were caused either by drunk driving or speeding.
- Do keep your vision clear and wide. This means purchasing a helmet with an optimal eye shield, which keeps debris away from your face while allowing you to swivel your head from side to side.
- Do schedule regular check-ups to make sure all of your bike’s mechanical components are functioning properly.
- Do exercise the same caution on dry roads as on wet. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur on dry pavement.
- Don’t put thrill before safety — exercise defensive driving!
- Do provide the same protective safety gear for any passengers as you do for yourself.
- Do refresh your skills with one of many safety courses offered through the state of Wisconsin. Information on statewide safety programs can be found by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website.
Even with the best safety precautions in place, accidents happen. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois, the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham want to hear from you. We have a sterling record in getting compensation for motorcycle accident victims. Contact us toll-free at (800) 800-5678 for a no-risk consultation about your case with our staff, and we will be happy to send you a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
Is it illegal to drive under the influence of prescription medication in Wisconsin?
The question of the legality of driving while impaired by the side effects of legal drugs raises the question of measuring drug intake and its effects. There is no practical system to enact statutes for medications like there is for alcohol. The same drug does not have the same effects on different persons. It is also not possible to establish rules for the hundreds of different drugs people take.
However, if you fall asleep behind the wheel because of drugs you have been taking, you will be held accountable for the damage you cause in a crash. The states of Illinois and Wisconsin have strict "per se" laws that forbid any presence of a prohibited substance or drug in the driver's body while operating a vehicle. This means that if you are involved in a crash, you can be tested for the presence of drugs and charged for driving under the influence.
My car was struck by another vehicle in a Wisconsin parking lot. Who is at fault?
Most parking lots are private property and are designed with two types of lanes: "thoroughfare" lanes that connect directly with a public road or highway, and "feeder" lanes that connect, directly or not, with a thoroughfare lane. Unless otherwise signaled, the following rules apply:
- A driver in a feeder lane must yield to a driver in a thoroughfare lane;
- The vehicle maneuvering out of a parking space does not have the right of way and will be at fault if there is a crash with a vehicle riding in a lane;
- A vehicle striking a legally parked car will be held liable;
- Drivers who disregard posted signs or maneuver (backing up, U-turn) within lanes are at fault if there is a collision;
- Opening a car door, whether the car is properly parked or not, makes you liable for any collision caused by the open door.
Parking lots are breeding grounds for fender benders in Wisconsin. The most dangerous crashes in parking lots involve pedestrians, and especially children. Drivers and parents should use every possible precaution to avoid pedestrians and kids being run over.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys of Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 for a free evaluation of your case, or send our lawyers an e-mail with your questions.
My son was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash caused by an unmarked roadside drop. Can he recover damages?
Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to crashes caused by defects in the roadway. Roadway deformities may cause riders to lose balance and fall, especially if the uneven pavement is not signaled and can't be seen from afar.
The motorcycle accident attorneys of Hupy & Abraham have fought and won numerous cases where the following could be established:
- Which public entity was responsible for the maintenance, repair and signaling of the road section where the crash occurred;
- That the state of disrepair of the road was unsafe and the direct cause of the accident;
- That the crash was in no possible way caused by negligence or recklessness on the part of the rider;
- That the authorities were aware of the existence of the unsafe road section and had ample time to either repair, protect or signal the danger zone.
Contact our law office for a free consultation on your case to determine if we can help you recover damages from those who are responsible for your son's accident.