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Do I have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Wisconsin?
Twenty states have mandatory helmet laws; Wisconsin is not one of those states. In Wisconsin, only motorcyclists under age 18 must wear a helmet.
However, wearing a helmet is not a bad idea. Numerous studies show that wearing a helmet can make a significant difference in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident.
- In Kentucky, motorcyclists who did not wear helmets were 4.4 times more likely to suffer a head injury in a motorcycle crash.
- A French study found that a helmet decreases serious motorcycle accident injury by 66 percent.
- In Thailand head injuries decreased by 41 percent in two years after helmets became mandatory.
- When helmet laws were repealed in Arkansas and Texas, helmet use dropped to 52 percent in Arkansas and to 66 percent in Texas. Motorcycle fatalities increased 21 percent in Arkansas and 31 percent in Texas.
If you are over 18, it is your choice whether or not to wear a helmet. However, our Wisconsin motorcycle lawyers have seen the devastation that a motorcycle accident brain injury can cause. We suggest that you make this choice carefully.
If you choose to wear a helmet, choose one that fits well and doesn’t obstruct your vision. For more information, read our article, “A Wisconsin Motorcycle Lawyer’s Guide To Choosing Your Motorcycle Helmet.”
If you are injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle crash, be sure to request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. The guide explains your rights and how to protect them. If you would like to discuss your crash with a Milwaukee motorcycle accident attorney, contact Hupy & Abraham at 800-800-5678.
Why is it more dangerous for a Wisconsin motorcyclist than for a driver at night?
Wisconsin night riding is dangerous for obvious reasons, but even more so because motorcyclists must be aware not only of themselves, but also of all vehicles nearby. Nighttime is far more dangerous for a motorcyclist than a motorist for the following reasons:
- Visibility. We’ve mentioned before the importance of making yourself extra visible at night, and the obvious dangers of being unseen by other drivers. This is extra important due to the great number and variety of factors that can affect a driver’s ability to see in the dark. You might be at risk of being hit by a driver if you are outside the beam of his headlights, in his blind spot, or if he simply sees more poorly at night.
- Lane Shifting Due to Drowsiness. This is a factor for both motorcyclists and motorists alike, and lane shifting can be startling and lead to serious traffic accidents near Milwaukee. Keep extra close watch on the cars near you and try to observe whether they are swerving or gravitating more to one side of the road. And, as always, keep your distance.
- Less Protection. Riding your motorcycle at night means playing constant defense. In the event of a collision with another vehicle, animal, or even running off the road, the only thing between you and serious injury is the gear that you wear. Be sure to never go out at night without fully outfitting yourself in protective clothing.
- Distraction. Distraction for a driver in a car means danger for you as a motorcyclist. It’s impossible to tell at nighttime what sorts of things—texting, misbehaving children, drowsiness—might be distracting the driver of a car, so it is always wise to keep a safe distance for the sake of night riding safety.
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured while riding at night in Wisconsin, contact Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers at Hupy and Abraham toll-free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 414-223-4800 for a free consultation and copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
My loved one died from anesthesia complications during minor surgery. How do I know if I have a Wisconsin wrongful death claim?
We are very sorry to hear about your loss.
In most cases, anesthesia is perfectly safe. Fewer than 1 in 10,000 people die from anesthesia injury. But, when anesthesia injuries occur they can be devastating and life-threatening. Anesthesia injuries include brain injury, coma, stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, birth injuries, and even death.
Anesthesia error can be a form of medical malpractice. However, not all anesthesia injuries are the result of malpractice. Things can go wrong and people can die even when doctors do their very best. To win a Wisconsin anesthesia injury claim, you must show that the anesthesiologist behaved negligently and that no reasonable health care provider would have done what your loved one’s anesthesiologist did.
Examples of anesthesiologist negligence include:
- Anesthesia dosage errors
- Intubation injuries
- Inadequate patient monitoring
- Failure to recognize complications
- Improper administration of oxygen during surgery
- Drug or alcohol use by a medical provider
- Communication errors during or after the procedure
- Dangerously prolonged sedation
- Defective equipment
The best way to determine if you have valid grounds to file a Wisconsin wrongful death claim is to discuss your case with a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer with medical malpractice experience. The attorney will be able to use his own experience and the expert opinions of medical professionals to determine if the anesthesiologist was behaving negligently and if you have a case.
To learn more or to discuss your own injury claim, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. The initial consultation is free.
My husband was recently in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident and suffered a serious traumatic brain injury. While his doctors say he will slowly improve, he and our family are having a rough time coping. Any suggestions?
We know how difficult adjusting to life after a TBI injury, both for the victim and for the family. Your family might want to consider some of these suggestions for coping with a TBI injury:
- Find and join a support group. Most communities have groups that can help your husband compare notes with others like him. He can also discuss issues he is experiencing and perhaps get good suggestions for coping as he heals. If you live in a rural area and this is impossible, there are also good online groups to consider.
- Keep a consistent schedule. Routines are very important for recovering TBI patients. Each day should be structured carefully with the same basic daily routine.
- Keep distractions around the house to a minimum. For a while, your husband will need peace and quiet in order to recover. For many TBI patients, loud noises or bright lights can be very disturbing. While no family can be silent, everyone can work together to give him the best conditions possible in your particular situation.
- Change your expectations. When your husband returns to work, he can ask for accommodations and extra time to complete tasks. And at home, don’t expect him to do the same work around the house as he did before. If, for example, he was in charge of paying the bills and is finding this difficult, find a way to work together and break the job down into more manageable steps.
- Get legal help if you need it. One upsetting factor in TBI cases can be financial hardship. You may be facing medical costs, lack of income and even money to pay a caretaker to help out. A good Wisconsin personal injury lawyer can help you with a Wisconsin accident settlement that can relieve financial stress.
At Hupy and Abraham we pride ourselves on being one of the top motorcycle litigation firms in the United States. Call us today toll free at 800-800-5678 to request a free consultation and a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
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.
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.
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.
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.