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Green Bay rear-end car accident attorneyAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for roughly one-third of all automobile crashes. Rear-end collisions carry a high risk of spine, neck, and brain injuries for victims. In an effort to prevent collisions, many automakers are offering crash-prevention technology in the newest models of cars. Despite cutting-edge technology and numerous safety features, roughly 2.35 million Americans sustain accident-related injuries each year. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another party, you should consult a personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options.

How Does Crash-Prevention Technology Work?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), drivers whose cars feature crash-prevention technology are 78% less likely to be involved in an auto accident. Crash-prevention technology includes several different features, including:

  • Rearview cameras
  • Rearview parking sensors
  • Rear automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross-traffic warnings
  • Lane change or blind side warnings 
  • Forward collision indicators

Safety Features Alone Cannot Stop Car Accidents

Although crash-prevention technology can help to reduce the likelihood of a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, it cannot completely eliminate the possibility of a crash taking place. There are many reasons why accidents cannot be fully avoided, such as:

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Green Bay Personal Injury Attorney for Distracted DrivingDistractions on the road can come in many forms. Drivers may lose focus on the road when they adjust the radio, reach for an item on the floor, check the GPS, apply makeup, or even stare out the window at something on the side of the road. Cell phone usage is one type of distraction that can lead to serious consequences. Together, all of these distractions have contributed to thousands of accidents and deaths. In 2017 alone, 3,166 individuals lost their lives due to a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Despite updates to state laws regarding using cell phones while driving, accidents continue to happen at an alarming rate. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you will want to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine your next steps.

What Is the Law Regarding Cell Phone Usage?

In an effort to reduce cell phone-related distractions, Wisconsin lawmakers have taken great strides to strengthen the laws regarding cell phone usage. Per Wisconsin statute 346.89(3)(b)4, drivers may legally use a cell phone to communicate in a hands-free format, as long as the driver does not need to hold the phone. Drivers are permitted to text only with the assistance of a voice-activated function that does not require manual operation of the device. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for a motorist to:

  • Type or read text messages and emails
  • Use any application (other than maps) while driving
  • Hold a phone while using the speakerphone function
  • Make or answer calls by pressing multiple buttons

These laws apply to the operator of the vehicle as long as the car is in drive, which means texting at a stoplight is also prohibited. Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone with a probationary license to use a cell phone, even with hands-free options.

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Green Bay car accident attorney emotional traumaCar accidents can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of physical damage. An accident can result in serious personal injuries, leading to medical expenses and ongoing treatments. Not surprisingly, the shock and devastation caused by an accident can also lead to emotional trauma. Survivors of a wreck may experience anxiety (especially while driving), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and are experiencing extreme emotional responses, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options for receiving compensation.

Identifying Symptoms of Emotional Trauma

Every accident victim experiences emotional trauma in different ways. Some victims may immediately feel shaken up, while others may develop symptoms slowly over time. In general, there are several types of emotional trauma that a person may experience. Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Inability to sleep (or sleep well)
  • Sudden outbursts of anger
  • Feeling out of place (emotional numbness)
  • Feelings of anxiety or hopelessness
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Inability to relax
  • Flashbacks

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, PTSD is common. In fact, nearly 8 million Americans are currently diagnosed with this affliction. The good news is that there are a variety of treatment options available.

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Green Bay Rideshare Car Accident AttorneyRidesharing has become increasingly popular in the United States due to its convenience and affordable prices. In 2018, an estimated 36 percent of Americans used ridesharing, which was an increase from 15 percent in 2017. An additional reason ridesharing has skyrocketed is because it can reduce the risk of car accidents caused by drunk drivers and other unsafe motorists. However, rideshare drivers can still be involved in accidents caused by themselves or other drivers. If you were the victim of an automobile crash involving a rideshare driver, you may be eligible for compensation. To determine if you have enough evidence to build a case, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney.

Do Ridesharing Services Carry Insurance?

Public transportation services, including taxis and limousines, must carry insurance. Since ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are considered public transportation services, they too must have insurance. The difference between ridesharing providers and other forms of public transportation is that rideshare drivers use their own vehicles as opposed to one owned by the company. Rideshare drivers are not considered employees of the parent company; instead, they are treated as independent contractors.

In Wisconsin, auto insurance is required for all vehicles, which means that all rideshare drivers should have insurance. Rideshare companies, including Uber and Lyft, also carry insurance coverage for their drivers, but there are limitations to these policies.

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Green Bay drowsy driving accident lawyerAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving contributes to an estimated 72,000 car accidents and 44,000 injuries each year. In 2017, 795 lives were lost in these types of collisions. Drowsy driving can decrease a motorist’s reaction time and limit their vision and hand-eye coordination. If you have sustained a personal injury in an auto accident caused by a drowsy driver, you should speak to an attorney to determine your options for making a claim and recovering compensation.

How Common Is Drowsy Driving? 

Drowsy driving takes place when a vehicle operator is extremely fatigued or falling asleep while at the wheel. A drowsy driver may drive dangerously in a variety of ways, including drifting out of their lane, failing to stop in time, or not noticing other vehicles that are merging or changing lanes, and fatigue greatly increases the probability of an accident taking place. The severity of drowsy driving can range from feeling tired and having a slightly slower reaction time to actually falling asleep.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving most commonly affects night shift workers, long-distance truck drivers, motorists with untreated sleep disorders, or individuals who are driving under the influence of medication. In addition, the consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs can compound the effects of fatigue. These substances can dramatically reduce a person’s ability to react in time to situations on the road around them, causing them to be unable to avoid colliding with other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians.

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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 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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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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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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Green Bay auto accident lawyer for rear-end collision injuries

Throughout the United States, millions of people use cars and trucks every day as a means of transportation. For many of these drivers, time is of the essence, but it is critical for everyone to follow the established traffic laws and utilize safety precautions. Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and even if a driver is taking measures to protect their own safety, the negligence of others can result in serious injuries and wrongful deaths

While rear-end collisions may seem less dangerous than other types of accidents, they can be just as deadly. In fact, in 2016, there were 2,350 reported fatalities in rear-end collisions. Although these accidents may seem to be easily avoidable, statistics indicate otherwise. A variety of reckless driving habits and other factors can play a role in causing a rear-end car accident, including:

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Appleton personal injury attorney for pedestrian accidents

Based on the statistics that have been reported, many common pedestrian acts, such as going for a walk or run, have become rather dangerous. Looking over trends from recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that roughly 129,000 pedestrians required treatment in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. The CDC has also reported that in 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died in traffic crashes. Additionally, the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that in 2017 there were 7,450 pedestrian deaths in traffic or non-traffic incidents. Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, extensive medical costs, or wrongful death

In many cases, injuries to pedestrians occur due to negligence on the part of drivers of motor vehicles. To avoid being seriously injured in a collision with a car or truck, pedestrians can take these measures to try to stay safe:

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Green Bay, WI car accident attorney

Male or female, young or old, any person that has the misfortune of being involved in a car accident can sustain life-long injuries and ailments that can affect them moving forward. Each fender-bender can affect a victim in a variety of ways, and mental, emotional, physical, and financial damages can all develop from an auto accident. Due to the severity of these injuries, car crash incidents can leave victims in a great deal of pain and cause them to worry about their quality of life.

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Green Bay, WI pedestrian accident lawyerWhen a pedestrian is injured in a car accident, the motorist who struck a person on foot may be held responsible for harm caused to the victim. Incidents that involve a pedestrian can be complex due to the damages and injuries that can occur in a collision, as well as the potential reasons behind the crash. Several factors should be considered when determining negligence.   

What Factors Can Lead to a Driver's Negligence?

If a person driving a vehicle looks away from the road, even for a split-second, he or she could cause a devastating accident. Motorists have a responsibility to the community to follow safe driving procedures. In an effort to avoid a potential car accident, a driver should refrain from these negligent driving behaviors: 

  • Not paying attention to pedestrians
  • Failing to use caution in bad weather conditions or at night
  • Not stopping or yielding at a crosswalk
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while distracted
  • Not following driving laws

A driver should take every possible precaution when he or she is operating a vehicle. Although a car crash can be impossible to predict, certain actions can reduce the risk of a collision. 

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Appleton personal injury lawyer social mediaUpdating statuses, posting pictures, and checking into locations online has become a focal point for people of all ages who love to share their experiences with friends, family members, or others in their social circle. For many people, constant connections with hundreds, if not thousands, of friends and followers is part of their daily lives. While having the ability to upload information almost instantly can seem like a great thing, many individuals do not consider the ramifications that could result. Sharing information on topics such as personal injuries could drastically harm any ongoing or upcoming lawsuits. In an era of technology and communication, sometimes it is best to remain quiet.     

Avoid Posting Anything After the Incident

When a person suffers an extensive injury or is involved in a serious car accident, not being able to share information about the event with others may seem difficult. However, when a post is made available online or a picture is uploaded, this could have significant negative effects on a legal case.

Helpful Tips for Social Media

Social media has become a source for instant gratification, and users will commonly share their thoughts or feelings “in the moment” without considering the potential effects of these posts. Sending a tweet or posting a comment has become a reflexive impulse for many individuals today. Some general practices to consider when using social media while in the midst of a personal injury claim include:

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Green Bay marijuana car accident attorneyThe legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic in recent years, and a large number of states throughout the country have approved the drug for medicinal or recreational use. While marijuana remains illegal in Wisconsin, it was recently legalized in the neighboring states of Illinois and Michigan. Because of this, Wisconsin’s roads may see more drivers who are under the influence of marijuana, which may increase the likelihood of dangerous car accidents

Studies Show Link Between Legal Marijuana and Car Accidents

In response to the recent trend in marijuana legalization throughout the United States, researchers have performed studies to determine whether this has affected roadway safety. One study looked at crash data in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, where marijuana has been approved for recreational use, and it found that the number of car accidents was around 6% higher than in neighboring states. Another study looked at hospital records and found that Colorado had seen a 10% increase in injuries from car accidents following the legalization of marijuana. 

The Dangers of Driving While High

While the dangers of drunk driving are well-known, fewer people are aware of the effects that marijuana can have on a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. In fact, cannabis can seriously impair a driver in a variety of ways. A person’s sensory perception is likely to be affected, making it more difficult to notice road conditions, other vehicles, or pedestrians around them. Drivers may also experience a slowing of cognitive functions, causing them to be unable to react in time to avoid a collision. Marijuana also affects coordination, and drivers are more likely to weave within or across lanes or follow other vehicles too closely. Impairment increases significantly when marijuana is combined with alcohol.

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Green Bay, WI car accident attorney summer

Common sense might make one think that the winter would be the season in which the most car accidents occur, since weather conditions like snow and ice make the roads more dangerous. However, statistics actually show the opposite to be true; the months between May and September are when the most deaths occur in motor vehicle accidents. So why is this the case? There are a number of reasons, including:

  • Busier roads - The simple fact that more people drive during the summer than during the winter is the primary reason for the increase in car accidents, since more vehicles on the road means that collisions are more likely to occur. Rather than staying at home, more people take trips, whether in their local area or on long-distance vacations. In addition, there are many more types of vehicles on the roads during the summer, increasing the chances of accidents involving motorcycles, bicycles, or recreational vehicles.
  • Teen drivers - Since children are out of school during the summer, there are more teenage drivers on the road. These drivers are more likely to be involved in auto accidents, and these often occur due to inexperience or because teens are distracted by electronic devices or other people in the vehicle.
  • Alcohol use - Many people enjoy parties, holiday celebrations, and get-togethers during the summer, and these events often involve the consumption of alcohol. While everyone is aware of the fact that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a crime, people often choose to ignore these laws and get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. This can lead to deadly drunk driving accidents.
  • Road construction - The warmer weather provides an opportunity to perform repairs or improvements on the roads, but while construction zones are a familiar sight during the summer, they can also be very dangerous. Decreased speed limits can lead to sudden traffic slowdowns, and roads are often very narrow with unexpected traffic patterns. All of these factors can increase the chances of a collision with another vehicle, a construction worker, or a piece of construction equipment.
  • Heat - The increased temperatures during the summer can lead to car problems that cause accidents. Expanding air in tires can cause blowouts, or engines may overheat and cause a car to break down.

Contact an Appleton Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in an auto accident while driving in the summer, the attorneys of Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. will help you determine your options for receiving compensation. We will work with you to establish liability for the accident, assess the extent of your damages, and ensure that your financial needs will be met. Contact our Green Bay auto accident lawyers today at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.

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Appleton car accident lawyer drug use

The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol are well-documented and understood, and people often take steps to avoid and prevent drunk driving. However, many people may not be aware that driving under the influence of controlled substances, prescription drugs, or over the counter medications can be just as dangerous. Concerns about drugged driving have increased in recent years due to a number of factors, including the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by several states and the epidemic of opioid use that has affected people throughout the U.S. Drugged driving accidents are likely to result in severe injuries, and victims of drivers who were under the influence of intoxicating substances should be sure to understand their legal options.

How Common Is Drugged Driving?

It can be difficult to determine the total number of car accidents that are caused by drugged driving, since the amount of a drug that can result in impairment often varies from person to person, and drivers who are involved in accidents often have multiple drugs in their systems. However, a 2016 study found that 43.6% of drivers who were killed in car accidents were found to have drugs in their system. In addition, the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 12.8 million people reported driving while under the influence of illegal drugs within the past year. These statistics demonstrate that drugged driving is all too common, and it may be a factor in a growing number of motor vehicle accidents. 

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Green Bay drunk driving accident lawyer

Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, and the consequences are very serious if a person is caught driving under the influence. Drunk drivers do not only put themselves at risk when they get behind the wheel, but they also endanger everyone else on the road. While people’s opinions about how much alcohol is necessary for them to be considered “drunk,” the law is very clear about the level of intoxication at which it is illegal to drive.

What Are the Wisconsin Laws Regarding Drunk Driving?

The state of Wisconsin has a specific definition of what is considered drunk driving, and there is little room for ambiguity. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, it is illegal for someone 21 and over to operate a car, truck, or other motor vehicle under the following conditions:

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Green Bay car accident attorney speedingWhen driving, most people exceed the speed limit from time to time in order to get to their destination as quickly as possible. However, while it may seem relatively harmless, speeding can increase the chances of a car accident, and it becomes even more dangerous when combined with other forms of reckless driving, such as swerving, tailgating, erratic lane changes, or running red lights or stop signs. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision in which speeding was a factor, it is important to work with an attorney to determine your options for recovering compensation for your damages.

Speeding Is a Leading Cause of Car Accident Injuries and Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9,717 people were killed throughout the United States in 2017 in accidents involving speeding. In all, speeding accounted for more than 25% of all traffic deaths. The dangers are even more pronounced in Wisconsin, with speeding being involved in 29% of traffic fatalities. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were an average of 40,148 injuries and 549 fatalities in traffic accidents between 2011 and 2015. Out of these incidents, speeding was involved in an average of 7,713 injuries and 161 deaths.

Drivers who exceed the speed limit not only put themselves at risk, but they also endanger other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Speeding increases the risk that a driver will lose control of their vehicle when making turns, changing lanes, or reacting to conditions on the road. Since more distance is required to slow down and stop when speeding, it can also increase the chances of a rear-end collision. In addition, car accidents are often more severe at higher speeds, and the effectiveness of seat belt restraint systems and airbags is reduced.

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Appleton spinal cord injury attorneySpinal cord injuries can be devastating, and approximately 17,500 of these types of injuries occur each year, with 38 percent being due to car accidents. The medical costs of spine injuries can put the financial security of victims and their families in jeopardy. In addition, these injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work and earn an income.

Understanding the Full Impact of Spinal Cord Damage 

Spinal cord injuries can be either incomplete or complete injuries. Incomplete spinal injuries are injuries that do not sever the spinal cord. The severity of an incomplete spinal cord injury depends on the location and extent of the injury, but these injuries tend to not interfere with standard bodily functions. Incomplete spinal injuries typically occur below the neck, and they can result in paraplegia, which will cause a victim to experience paralysis in the lower half of their body. In addition to paralysis of both legs, injured parties can suffer symptoms ranging from difficulties with bladder and bowel movements, significant weight gain, and chronic pain. 

A complete spinal cord injury is an injury that results in permanent damage to the impacted region of the spine. These injuries are typically located above the shoulders in the top seven vertebrae in the neck and result in tetraplegia or near total paralysis. Unlike paraplegia, victims who experience tetraplegia suffer loss of movement in all of their limbs, as well as their torso. Some victims may not suffer complete paralysis but will still lose significant mobility. Unfortunately, tetraplegia often leads to additional health complications, such as osteoporosis and pressure sores. Tetraplegia can also impact a person’s chest muscles, causing them to have difficulty breathing or contract respiratory infections. Respiratory infections are the leading cause of death among Americans living with spinal cord injuries. 

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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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