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Appleton wrongful death attorneyDeath is never easy, but it can be especially difficult to deal with if a person was killed because of someone else’s negligent actions. Even if the death was not intentional, a person’s surviving family members will be forced to deal with the financial challenges and emotional anguish that are involved in their loved one’s passing. Although financial compensation cannot bring someone back, a wrongful death claim can help address the monetary setbacks that resulted from the death. If your loved one has died because of the careless actions of another person or company, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the steps you should take to address the damages your family has suffered.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Although wrongful deaths can occur for a wide variety of reasons, there are certain situations that present a higher risk of a person being killed due to someone else’s negligence. Most commonly, wrongful deaths occur because of:

Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim

According to Wisconsin Statute 893.54, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years after a person was killed in a car accident, or three years after a death occurred because of another type of negligent act. The surviving family members of the deceased have a right to seek compensation for:

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Green Bay, WI personal injury attorney for lost wagesMedical bills and physical pain are common after a car accident, but these are not the only issues that can affect a victim’s life and finances. The loss of income that results from an inability to work while recovering can have a huge impact on a family’s financial situation and overall emotional health. Seeking compensation for lost wages is an important component of a personal injury claim. If you are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work following a car accident, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for receiving the financial resources your family desperately needs.

Missing Work After a Car Accident

In Wisconsin, there are two key laws that protect the jobs of employees who need to take time off because of a serious health condition. The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows a person to take up to 12 weeks of time off. The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act functions similarly, allowing an employee to take up to two weeks of time off. However, both the federal and state laws only protect employees from losing their jobs, and the time taken off under these laws will typically be unpaid. This means that while an employee’s job may be protected for three months, he or she may not receive any pay during that time. 

Types of Lost Wages

When injuries prevent a person from returning immediately to work, the loss of income can be devastating, causing a family to struggle to make ends meet. In a personal injury claim, a victim may be able to recover compensation for:

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Green Bay car accident attorney for child injuriesVictims of car accidents often suffer serious head, neck, and spine injuries. Adults are not the only ones that can suffer these types of harm, as children are also at risk of serious injuries, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and fractures. Parents can protect their children by driving safely, avoiding distracting behaviors, and following all current car seat regulations. Even with the proper precautions, accidents can still happen. If your children have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another individual, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the steps you can take to pursue compensation for these injuries.

Following Car Seat Safety Regulations

Car seats and booster seats are designed to protect children (especially their heads and necks) in the event of a car accident. Under Wisconsin law, children who are less than one year old and under 20 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat. Children who are less than four years old and under 40 pounds must be restrained in a forward-facing car seat. Children who are less than eight years old, between 40 and 80 pounds, and less than 57 inches tall must be restrained in a booster seat.

In addition to using the right restraints, adults can further protect children by:

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Appleton, WI RV accident attorneyDuring the official camping season, it is not unusual to see recreational vehicles (RVs) flood the streets and campgrounds, especially on the weekends. However, because of their ability to be winterized, RVs can be utilized throughout the colder months as well. The phrase “recreational vehicle” is an umbrella term that includes campers, fifth wheel trailers, and motor homes. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), although RV accidents occur less frequently than car or semi-truck accidents, they can still cause property damage, serious injuries, and fatalities. If you or a loved one have been the victim of an RV accident, speaking with a personal injury attorney could help strengthen your claim for compensation.

Common Causes of RV Accidents

As with any motor vehicle accident, there are several factors at play when determining the cause of an RV crash. Among the many reasons that can be linked to an automobile collision, inclement weather conditions and a driver’s negligence are among the most common.

Per Wisconsin Department of Transportation regulations, an RV operator is not required to hold a CDL license, as long as the vehicle is no longer than 45 feet and is not used for commercial purposes. The most common causes of RV accidents include:

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Green Bay, WI trucking accident attorneyWhen a passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck, the crash and the resulting aftermath can be catastrophic. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for 2017, approximately 121,000 trucks and large buses were involved in crashes that resulted in serious injuries. Due to the heavy loads and long stopping times of semi-trailer trucks, their drivers must take a great deal of care to operate these vehicles safely. Negligence by truck drivers can lead to deadly accidents, and drivers and passengers of other vehicles are likely to be seriously injured or killed in these types of collisions. If you or a loved one have sustained a serious injury as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, you should consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine how you can hold the liable party or parties responsible.

Truck Driver Negligence

Most car accidents are caused by the negligence of at least one of the drivers, and that is true of truck accidents as well. Truck driver negligence comes in many forms, including:

  • Lack of attention to the road (e.g., texting or reading a map)
  • Truck driver fatigue (e.g., failing to stop and rest after driving for a certain number of hours)
  • Speeding 
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Failing to keep up with truck maintenance 
  • Knowingly driving an overloaded or poorly maintained truck
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with an unmanaged medical condition

As with any car accident, a truck accident victim should document as much as possible after a collision. This includes photographic evidence, eye witness statements, and detailed logs of the victim’s physical symptoms and the medical treatment received. 

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Green Bay spine injury attorneyIf you suffer a spinal cord injury, it can have serious repercussions on your physical and mental health, as well as your finances. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, a compassionate personal injury attorney can help you determine your options for holding that person responsible for your damages.

Symptoms of a Spine Injury

An Injury to the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves most often occurs when trauma fractures the bones in the spine (i.e., the vertebrae) and exposes the nerves. The symptoms of the injury depend on the severity of the damage. A victim may experience pinched nerves, herniated discs, or bruising to the ligaments in the back. These conditions can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort, and in serious cases, a victim may experience partial or complete paralysis of certain parts of the body.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

According to the World Health Organization, about 90 percent of all spinal injuries are caused by trauma such as a car accident or an act of violence. Approximately 500,000 individuals sustain spinal cord injuries each year, and in the United States, most cases occur as a result of motor vehicle collisions. Depending on the severity of the accident, spine injuries can sometimes occur alongside other injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, which may complicate medical treatments and generate more medical expenses. 

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Appleton, WI fatal car accident attorneyMotor vehicle collisions are unfortunately common, and car accidents can cause a variety of non-life-threatening injuries, including soft-tissue injuries, sprains, and broken bones. Unfortunately, motor vehicle collisions can result in the death of drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. According to the National Safety Council, about 40,000 Americans died in automobile accidents in 2017 alone. If your loved one has passed away as a result of another driver’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether you can pursue a wrongful death claim.

Common Causes of Car Accident Fatalities

Wrongful death in a car crash may occur for several reasons, including:

  • Negligence of another driver
  • Criminal activity resulting in a fatal crash
  • Manufacturing defects on the part of the automaker

Victims other than drivers or passengers may be killed in a collision, and family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one was a pedestrian or bicyclist who died after being struck by a car or truck. 

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Green Bay car accident injury attorneyEven in a seemingly minor car accident, victims can suffer several types of serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and brain trauma. According to the Centers for Diseases and Control Prevention (CDC), brain injuries are among the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. About 20 percent of brain injuries occur as a result of automobile accidents. The force of impact can cause a driver or passenger to hit his or her head on the dashboard or be thrown from the vehicle. If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury as a result of another driver’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about how you can recover damages.

Types of Concussions

Although concussions are considered a mild brain injury, they are one of the most common injuries suffered in a car collision. Concussions are categorized according to their severity:

  • Grade 1 concussions produce no loss of consciousness, but the victim may experience temporary amnesia (30 minutes or less).
  • Grade 2 concussions produce loss of consciousness with amnesia that lasts less than 24 hours.
  • Grade 3 concussions produce loss of consciousness with amnesia that lasts longer than 24 hours.

Depending on the severity of the victim’s concussion, she or he may not even realize that a form of brain trauma has occurred. Although dizziness and headaches may be prevalent in this type of injury, additional symptoms such as changes in mood or sleep patterns could go unnoticed. Concussions can also be a sign of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a more serious condition. 

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Appleton, WI personal injury attorney drunk driving car accidentAlthough the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents throughout the United States has decreased by 48 percent since 1982, more than 20,000 people are arrested each year for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin. Even though fatality rates have decreased, drunk driving is still one of the most serious forms of driver negligence, and it can have deadly results. Being involved in a car accident can have serious repercussions for your health and finances. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated motorist, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing financial compensation.

Holiday Spikes in Drunk Driving

According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of intoxicated driving accidents increases dramatically during the holiday season, spanning from late November into the new year. On average, nearly 800 Americans sustain fatal injuries due to drunk driving accidents during the month of December alone. Furthermore, roughly 300 of those fatal crashes occur between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This increase in driving under the influence is often attributed to alcohol consumption at holiday parties. After drinking, drivers should always use alternate means of transportation, including having a designated driver or using taxis, ride-share services, or public transportation. 

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver during the holiday season, you will want to take action to protect your right to compensation. Following a drunk driving accident, you should:

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Appleton car accident attorney uninsured underinsured motoristAlthough the majority of motorists carry automobile insurance, an estimated one in seven drivers elect to operate their vehicles without the required coverage. Being involved in a car accident can already be physically and emotionally draining, and adding an uninsured motorist into the equation can only make the ordeal more complicated. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine your options for receiving financial compensation.

Follow the Law

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, all motorists are required to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person 
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of multiple people

While this is the minimum amount required, it will only provide coverage for other drivers injured in a car accident. If you only carry liability insurance, and another driver is at fault, your insurance policy will not address your own injuries or property damage. However, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you will be able to receive coverage after paying a deductible. In addition, many comprehensive insurance policies include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

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Green Bay burn injury attorney homeowner liabilityEven with modern heating systems and functioning smoke detectors, residential house fires still occur all too regularly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 400,000 residential fires occurred in 2017 throughout the United States. Cooking accidents, faulty heating systems, and electrical malfunctions account for the majority of household fires. As colder temperatures settle in, and property owners start to use more electrical devices, the risk of fires and burns may increase. Although heating systems can be essential, it is important to understand the potential risks that can result from carelessness or malfunctioning systems. Accidental fires can lead to serious burn injuries, including respiratory distress and skin trauma. If you or a family member have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case to seek compensation.

Causes of Burn Injuries 

Burn afflictions can result in pain, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage, or wrongful death for the victim. According to USFA, there are four main causes of burns:

  • Thermal burns: Can result from heat sources such as flames or steam.
  • Chemical burns: Occur when a chemical comes in contact with skin.
  • Electrical burns: Occur when electric current flows through a body.
  • Radiation burns: Can result from prolonged exposure to radioactive materials.

While it is unlikely that a person would experience a radiation burn at someone’s home, thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns can all occur in residential settings. A property owner may be liable if a visitor to their home sustained a burn injury due to the owner’s negligence. For example, the homeowner may be responsible if he or she knew about a faulty electrical device but did not remedy the situation.

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Appleton dog bite injury lawyer

Although most dogs are friendly and docile, they can become aggressive under certain circumstances. A dog bite injury can be a traumatic experience for both adults and children. A canine attack can result in severe lacerations, broken bones, and a variety of other injuries. In addition, dog attacks can have a lasting impact on a victim’s emotional well-being, particularly if the wounds lead to disfigurement. If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Since around 18 percent of dog bites can become severely infected, it is important to receive medical care right away. Treatments such as proper cleansing of cuts and lacerations can ensure that wounds will be able to heal properly. Furthermore, medical professionals may suggest a tetanus booster or other medications to address potential infectious diseases.

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Appleton auto accident lawyer for passenger injuriesWhen a car is involved in an auto accident, the driver may not be the only victim. If there was a passenger inside the vehicle, he or she may have also sustained a personal injury. The aftermath of a car crash can result in a person suffering from serious injuries, head, neck and spine complications, or even wrongful death. In these cases, a passenger may be able to seek compensation for their injuries. Determining who was at fault may be the biggest hurdle an injured passenger may face, and to ensure that the liable parties are held responsible, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney. 

Receiving Compensation for Passenger Injuries

If you have suffered an injury due to another person's careless actions or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Depending on the extent of your injury, you may suffer both physical and mental setbacks. The severity of your injury can be a factor when determining the amount of compensation owed. You may be able to recover damages that include:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of past and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Additional accommodations required while recovering

Determining Who Is at Fault

In any personal injury case, the liable party or parties may be held accountable for injuries and damages that occurred because of their actions. As a victim, you can help strengthen your claim by:

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Green Bay car accident lawyer delayed onset injury

Even in a slow-speed auto collision, it is possible for a victim to sustain an injury. Regardless of whether the accident was minor or major, the force of impact may contribute to a soft tissue injury such as a concussion or whiplash. Immediately after an accident, the body will produce endorphins, which are a type of hormone that works to mask pain. Because of the endorphins, it is possible that symptoms of a person’s injury may not appear at the scene of the accident. However, soft tissue injuries to the head or neck can cause long-lasting effects if they are not properly addressed. 

Common Delayed Injury Symptoms

After a person’s endorphin levels decrease, he or she will become more aware of the injuries sustained. According to a study by the American Dental Association, whiplash can contribute to delayed temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. As many as 34 percent of the study participants developed delayed-onset TMJ pain after being involved in a car accident. Other delayed-onset symptoms include:

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Green Bay Car Crash Injury Lawyer

Even in the best weather conditions, car accidents can create emotional, physical, and financial strain. As autumn shifts into winter, the risk of motor vehicle crashes can increase. According to The Weather Channel, weather-related auto accidents cause more deaths than natural disasters each year, and the worst period of time for these types of crashes extends from late fall into early spring. Ice, heavy snow, and sleet can contribute to accidents, causing both personal injuries and vehicle damage. Although the weather in Wisconsin cannot be changed, drivers should follow these steps to reduce the probability of an auto accident:

1. Take Extra Care in Cold Weather

Traffic can make commutes stressful, but adding ice or snow to the mix can make the trip longer and more dangerous. Thick snow can limit a driver’s visibility, while ice can make it impossible to slow down and stop quickly. Black ice can be especially dangerous, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions or causing a driver to skid out of control and crash into another vehicle, object, or pedestrian. Drivers should reduce the risk of skidding by driving at a reduced speed and avoiding sudden turns. They should also avoid tailgating, since if they are following too closely, they will likely not have enough traction to stop in time if the vehicle in front slows down suddenly. 

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Green Bay auto accident attorney for burn injuries

If you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer a variety of serious injuries. Cuts, bruises, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, or broken bones can cause you a great deal of pain and suffering, and they can have a long-term impact on your health and well-being. Burn injuries can also occur in an automobile crash, and in these cases, a skilled attorney can help you determine who was responsible for these injuries and work to recover compensation from all liable parties.

Causes of Car Accident Fires

According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), more than 170,000 highway vehicle fires occur each year in the United States. Furthermore, the NFIRS has reported that:

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Appleton, WI drunk driving accident attorney

For drivers in the state of Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. A driver is considered “under the influence” if his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. A person may face criminal charges of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) if he or she is found to have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or higher while driving a vehicle. In 2015, the most recent year in which the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported data related to drunk driving, there were 28,790 individuals arrested for OWI in the state, including 275 motorists under the age of 18. The prevalence of drunk driving can be scary to think about, and a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver can lead to serious injuries and wrongful death. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the driver who negligently operated his or her vehicle while intoxicated.

Wisconsin OWI Conviction Statistics

Arrest data has shown us that 93% of the drivers convicted of OWI in 2015 were at least 21 years old. Looking further into the OWI conviction numbers for registered drivers, we find that:

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Appleton car accident lawyerIf you are involved in a car accident, your adrenaline may start to flow, and many different thoughts can go through your head. Fear and confusion may settle in, leaving you unsure about how to proceed. Regardless of who was at fault for the collision, panic can affect your judgment, leading to impulsive decisions being made. After a car crash ensues, there are certain mistakes that you should avoid in order to protect your rights:

Leaving the Scene

After being involved in any sort of car accident, all of the drivers should come together and discuss the situation. Whether it is a major accident or a minor bump, every driver should be checked on, injuries or damage should be documented, information should be exchanged, and a report should be made with law enforcement. Injuries may not make themselves known right away, and damage might not be noticed at first glance, so it is important to cover all of your bases.

Putting Yourself in Further Danger

After a collision, everyone involved should relocate to a safer area if possible. Moving to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot can allow each party to safely discuss the situation and document any damage without fear of being injured further.

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Green Bay, WI car accident lawyer weather conditionsAlthough car accidents are often sudden and unexpected, drivers should always take care and follow the proper safety precautions to avoid a collision. Property damage, personal injuries, and wrongful deaths can all result from a car crash. Weather conditions can often play a role in these cases, and a driver should pay close attention to visibility and reaction time when operating a motor vehicle in inclement weather such as heavy fog. Due to the density of fog and its prevalence early in the morning and late at night, it is commonly linked to car crashes. While navigating foggy roads, drivers should take care to avoid an accident by doing the following:

1. Do Not Tailgate

Fog can be very dense, making it nearly impossible to see through. With limited visibility, the likelihood of a rear-end collision or striking an unseen pedestrian or object may vastly increase. When driving in fog, drivers should leave plenty of space between themselves and the surrounding vehicles.   

2. Use a Vehicle’s Resources

Cars and trucks have built-in features that are designed to help a motorist safely operate their vehicle in a variety of conditions. Windshield wipers, defrosters, and low beam headlights can all assist with increasing one’s visibility when driving in foggy conditions. A common misbelief, however, is that high beam headlights can help a motorist navigate through fog more easily.  Although the use of high beam headlights may increase the distance in which a driver can see, it can also create reflections in the fog’s water molecules, further decreasing the driver's visibility. 

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Appleton personal injury lawyer for pre-existing conditions

Injuries can be sustained at any time, and they can require extensive amounts of rehabilitation before fully healing. Furthermore, injuries can remain dormant, not fully developing until a later period of time. When a person suffers a personal injury due to another person's negligence, he or she may seek compensation from the negligent party. However, situations in which a pre-existing injury has worsened due to an accident can be complex, and demonstrating the full impact of these types of injuries may be difficult. In these cases, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that all legal aspects of an injury are addressed.  

How Can an Injury Progress?

Accidents that involve a person with a pre-existing ailment could lead to a condition becoming significantly worse. Neck, back, or head injuries, broken bones, or other types of conditions could become aggravated by a subsequent injury. For example, an individual who previously hurt his or her back in a slip and fall accident may sustain additional back injuries after being the victim of a rear-end collision

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Appleton Office
800 North Lynndale Drive
Appleton, WI
54914-3017
(920) 739-7366
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2740 South Oneida Street
Green Bay, WI
54304-5751
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105 East Waupaca Street
New London, WI
54961-1227
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Oshkosh, WI
54902
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Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. is located in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves clients in Fox Valley, Outagamie County, Brown County, Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, including Appleton, New London, Clintonville, Neenah, Oshkosh, DePere, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, Neenah, Chilton, Menasha, Shawano, Waupaca, Wausau, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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