4 Ways a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Know how a Madison WI Personal Injury Attorney can help with your case?

Hiring a personal injury attorney often seems like an obvious step to take if you’ve been in an accident. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney instead of assuming you won’t need one. Here are 4 ways in which a personal injury attorney can help you with your injury claim.

Take Over Much of the Communication

After an accident, you need to concentrate on getting better and getting your car fixed, not on arguing with insurance companies. If any problematic issues arise regarding communication, leave those to the attorney.

Spot Attempts to Limit Your Claim

Good insurance companies want cases to be settled fairly, even if their clients were to blame. However, some agents try to limit what you can get by pressuring you into not taking legal action. Your attorney can spot these tactics quickly.

Determine Suitable Financial Offers

Whether you want to negotiate a larger settlement or you’re just trying to get enough to pay your medical bills, the attorney can determine how much you should get at a minimum. He or she can also advise you on whether you should settle or go to trial.

Gather Evidence

If you do go to court, you’ll need evidence and may need testimony from qualified expert witnesses. The attorney should be the one to gather the evidence and hire the experts to ensure you the best possible outcome.

If you’ve suffered an injury, contact Eisenberg Law Offices to discuss your case. Ensure you’re getting the compensation you need to heal and move on.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/4-ways-personal-injury-lawyer-can-help/

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What Is Lifeguard Negligence?

Drownings in Wisconsin – what is the duty of the lifeguard?

Residents and visitors in Wisconsin look forward to swimming every summer. While the lakes and pools in Wisconsin give you an opportunity to cool off and enjoy the sun, they also provide dangers to swimmers. To protect against drownings and other injuries, pool owners are required to have a certain number of lifeguards on duty. But what if the lifeguards fail to help? If a lifeguard performs negligently and you or a loved one is injured, you have a potential claim against the owner.

Duties of Lifeguard and Pool Owner

Wisconsin law requires lifeguards to maintain specific certifications and training to work. This creates a duty for both the lifeguards and the pool owner who employs them; if a lifeguard is not properly trained in CPR, for example, and that leads to a preventable injury or death, the pool owner can be liable for not providing properly trained personnel.

In addition, the lifeguard’s job is to observe the pool and look for potential problems. For this reason, Wisconsin requires a minimum number of lifeguards based on the surface area of the pool. If fewer lifeguards are assigned, the owner is negligent. If the lifeguard fails to see or address a problem and that results in an injury, the lifeguard and owner can also be liable.

Your Case for Negligence

Negligence exists when someone fails to fulfill his or her duty to someone else. It leads to liability if that negligence caused an injury to someone else. In the swimming context, many factors play in to accidental drownings or injuries. Still, when a pool owner employs a lifeguard who fails to protect swimmers, liability against the lifeguard and the owner can often follow.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you work through the morass of facts and obtain the recovery you deserve. If a lifeguard’s negligence led to injuries or worse for you or a loved one, Eisenberg Law Offices can help. Contact us today to learn more.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/what-is-lifeguard-negligence/

Can Battery Victims Sue for Money?

In Wisconsin someone who physically assaults another is subject to criminal charges for battery. But an arrest and charges under the criminal statute does not prevent you from filing a civil lawsuit as well. In fact, Wisconsin law provides specifically for a civil action against someone who commits a battery against you.

Conviction Is Not Required

Civil lawsuits bring a different burden of proof than a criminal trial. Specifically, a criminal conviction requires a prosecutor to prove actions beyond a reasonable doubt, while civil liability only requires proof beyond a “preponderance of the credible evidence,” meaning a jury need only decide it is more likely than not that the person committed the act. If the person is convicted under the battery statute, this is proof that he or she intentionally caused your injuries or other damages. But the lower standard of proof means that failure to convict on the criminal charges need not mean you cannot prevail in a civil case.

Determining Your Damages

On the other hand, a criminal conviction requires only that the person committed battery. To prevail in your civil case, you must show not only that the person did something wrong, but that he or she caused damage to your person or your property. This means you should be prepared to demonstrate any physical injuries you suffered, and any repair costs or damage assessments to property affected. Your recovery will depend on economic damages you suffered, including any lost wages, medical bills, and the value to your family of anything you are no longer able to do at home.

Your ability to collect money in a civil suit for battery depends on your ability to prove both that the person acted intentionally and that the act created damages. Working with an experienced Madison-area personal injury lawyer is critical to establishing your case. If someone has assaulted you, contact Eisenberg Law Offices to learn how you can get the compensation you deserve.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/can-battery-victims-sue-money/

Madison WI Roof Falls and Liability

Homeowner negligence for roof fall

When people work on rooftops, falls and injuries will sometimes occur. In some respects, this represents a hazard of the job. Still, when a homeowner’s negligence leads to an injury, the homeowner can be liable for damages related to the fall. The circumstances of the accident will help determine the extent of this liability.

How Negligence Occurs

A staple of personal injury law is that when a hazard is obvious and avoidable, a person who injures himself or herself cannot recover damages for failing to avoid the condition. If you fall off the edge of the roof because of your own carelessness, you likely will not recover. On the other hand, if the roof has slick spots or structural weaknesses that are not apparent, these can represent hazards for which the homeowner is responsible.

A good example comes when there is a soft spot in the roof. This may not be obvious until you step in the wrong place. If the homeowner did not warn you of the structural defect, you can injure yourself, and the homeowner may be liable for the injury.

Insurance and Liability

In many cases, the homeowner’s insurance policy covers liability for injuries to workers or to others on the property. You may have an opportunity to settle a claim through that policy. However, insurers function on a model that depends on paying out as little money as possible. Before you accept a settlement offer, you should understand the full extent of your injuries and the damages you have sustained. If you contact Eisenberg Law Offices, we will help you talk through and understand your claim, and make sure the insurer cannot trick you into accepting less than your claim is worth. If you have been injured in a rooftop fall, contact us to get the experienced representation you deserve.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/madison-wi-roof-falls-liability/

Personal Injury Settlement Awards And SSI Benefits

How Does A Personal Injury Settlement Affect SSI?

One question that we are asked quite often from our clients and their families is how a personal injury settlement will affect their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  The short answer is “Yes, a personal injury settlement will likely affect your SSI benefits.”

Let’s take a look at why this is the case and what you can do to protect your benefits.

Defining SSI

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides a monthly stipend to disabled children and adults who have limited income and to people age 65 and older who meet the financial limits. In order to qualify, countable assets must be less than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

Click here for a full list of what sorts of income, assets, and changes must be reported under the SSI program.

Because program benefits are “need based” or “resource based”, an injury settlement will impact the SSI benefits received. Monetary settlements change the amount of unearned income a person receives. Unearned income is one of the resources the Social Security Administration looks at when determining eligibility for SSI benefits.

If the award pushes your income over the $2,000 or $3,000 threshold, your benefits may be terminated.

SSI, SSDI, And Social Security Income Are Not The Same Thing

It’s important to clarify that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is different from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). SSDI benefits are not dependent on your income and, therefore, are not affected by injury settlements. SSDI benefits are provided when a person have a severe, long-lasting disability that affects his/her ability to work. Since the settlement is not earned income, it should not affect your receipt of SSDI benefits.

SSI is also separate and distinct from Social Security Income, which workers paid through the Social Security Payroll Tax when they were working. Social Security Income is not affected by a personal injury case, because it is not need based. It is based on income you earned and taxes you paid. Social Security Income is also unaffected by personal injury settlements.

Protecting Your SSI Benefits

SSI benefits provide critical income and other income-based qualification benefits for vulnerable individuals. These individuals should not be forced to choose whether or not to accept damages resulting from a personal injury case or risk losing their SSI benefits.

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your SSI benefits and accept settlement awards. One of the best options is to set up a special needs trust. This trust allows injured parties to keep settlement proceeds and keep their SSI benefits. The special needs trust can be used to cover services that are not covered by SSI programs such as transportation, nursing care, or therapies.

Consult Eisenberg Law About Your Personal Injury Settlement Options

If you receive SSI benefits, it’s very important to share that information with your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Together, you and your attorney can discuss your options for protecting your SSI income if you win a settlement. Your attorney should also be able to help you set up a special needs trust to protect your settlement income.

Contact Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, WI for help navigating SSI and injury settlements. Call 608-256-8356 or reach us online.

This post was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/personal-injury-settlement-awards-ssi-benefits/

Madison WI Car Accident Attorneys | Rental Car Coverage

Madison WI Car Accident Attorneys Explain 2 Alternatives To Rental Car Companies’ Insurance Add-Ons

Have you ever rented a car and been subject to the rental insurance upsell that so many rental agencies love to give? Yes? We thought so. Rental agencies make big bucks on these insurance add-ons – typically called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDS). This is not a surprise when you consider that the sale is made right when you’re picking up the rental car and are likely tired, confused, and in a hurry to get the paperwork completed so you can get going. Rates are also relatively inexpensive, so many renters will say yes thinking the added protection is worth an extra $15/day.

But is the insurance necessary?

Two Alternatives To Rental Agencies’ Insurance Coverage

  1. Your Personal Auto Insurance Policy. Many Wisconsin drivers don’t need to purchase this additional insurance because they are already covered for rental vehicles under their own auto insurance policy. Most collision, liability, and comprehensive car insurance policy options cover the insured person regardless of the vehicle they are driving. You’ll still have to pay your deductible if you are at fault for an accident, but this is no different than if you’d been found at fault for an accident that happened when driving your own car. Before you head out to rent a car, double check your auto policy coverage and make sure the coverage follows the driver.

Of course, if you don’t own a vehicle and, thus, have no auto insurance, it’s a good idea to say yes to the rental company’s insurance offer as you won’t have your own coverage to fall back on if there is an accident.

  1. Your Credit Card. Another way you could be covered is through your credit card company. Some credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover offer rental car insurance services that can protect you from fees charged by the rental company if an accident occurs if you used their card to rent the vehicle.

When a rental vehicle is involved in an accident, the rental car company may allege that the accident resulted in a loss of use and diminished value of the vehicle. They may try to charge you for those losses. If your personal auto insurance policy does not cover these sorts of fees, and you did not buy the insurance offered by the rental car company, you may have to pay for them out of pocket. This is where your credit card company can help.

Credit card companies may offer primary or secondary insurance coverage. Primary insurance works the same way as your personal auto insurance policy. If you get into an accident, you can file claims under the primary policy and avoid having to report the incident to your auto insurer. This can help protect you against rate hikes that may result from the accident. Secondary credit card insurance only covers costs and fees that are not covered by your auto insurance policy.

Madison, WI Car Accident Attorneys Recommend Research Before Your Trip

Our Madison, WI car accident attorneys recommend checking with your auto insurance provider and credit card companies to find out if you are covered for accidents that occur in rental vehicles. Do this before you leave on your trip to save time and avoid hassles at the rental car counter. In most cases, you will be happy to discover that the rental car agency’s insurance is totally unnecessary.

For additional questions about auto accidents and insurance coverage, contact the Eisenberg Law Offices Madison, WI car accident attorneys at 608-256-8356.

This post was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/madison-wi-car-accident-attorneys-rental-car-coverage/

Identity Theft In Wisconsin | Wisconsin Identity Theft Laws

Two Laws Governing Identity Theft In Wisconsin

As more and more of our lives are conducted electronically and online, identity theft has become more widespread and devastating to victims. But it’s not only individuals who can suffer from identity theft, businesses or other enterprises can become victims too. The State of Wisconsin recognizes this distinction and has created two different laws, which are used to identify and prosecute identity theft in Wisconsin. In both situations, identity theft is considered a white-collar felony crime. Penalties can include incarceration, fines, restitution, and probation, though the exact punishment will depend on case specifics.

Defining Identity Theft In Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin considers the following to be identity theft:

  1. Unauthorized use of an individual’s personal identifying information and documents (Wisconsin State Statute 943.201).
  2. Unauthorized use of an entity’s identifying information or documents (Wisconsin State Statute 943.203).

A key component to determine whether an act is identity theft comes down to whether or not the defendant engaged in the “unauthorized use” of “personal identifying information or documents”. In other words, the defendant must have, without authorization, intentionally used or tried to use or possessed with intent to use the identifying information or documents of a person or entity.

Individual Identity Theft

All of the following pieces of personal information are protected under Wisconsin identity theft laws:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number
  • Employer or place of employment
  • Employee identification number
  • Maiden name
  • Bank or other depository account number
  • Taxpayer ID number
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profile
  • Account numbers or codes
  • Electronic serial numbers, mobile numbers, personal ID numbers or other telecommunications ID services, equipment or instruments
  • Any other ways of accessing an account
  • Biometric data, such as fingerprints, voice, retina or iris scan, or other unique physical representation
  • Any information belonging to an individual with the capability to access goods, services, money or anything of value or benefit entitled to the individual
  • Any information which can be uniquely associated with a specific individual

Organizational Identity Theft

Similar to individual identity theft, certain pieces of information that belong uniquely to an entity are also protected under the law. They include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Employer ID number
  • Bank and other depository account numbers
  • Account number or code
  • Electronic serial number, mobile number, personal ID number or other telecommunications ID service, equipment or instrument
  • Any other way of accessing an account
  • Any other unique data or information belonging to the entity designed to be used to access funds, services, goods or anything else of value or benefit including credit entitled to the entity
  • Any other information that belongs to the entity

Defend Yourself Against Charges Of Identity Theft

If you have been charged with or believe that you are being investigated for identity theft in Wisconsin, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices. A good defense against these charges is possible with the right help.

Contact us at 608-256-8356 to discuss your situation.

This post was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/identity-theft-wisconsin-wisconsin-identity-theft-laws/

WI Personal Injury Attorneys | Personal Injury Definition

Personal Injury Attorneys Define Personal Injury

On the face of it, defining personal injury seems fairly straightforward. If you’ve been injured, it’s a personal injury, right? Not necessarily. The legal definition of a personal injury is “any violation of an individual’s rights, other than his/her rights in property.” We often think of personal injuries as being slip-and-fall cases or physical accidents, but under this definition personal injuries are not limited to physical injuries. A person could be injured in other ways, libel or slander are good examples of non-physical personal injuries.

The Reasonable Care Test

One key factor in determining whether or not the situation is a personal injury case is whether or not the injury occurred due to another person’s failure to use reasonable care. Just exactly what constitutes reasonable care varies from case to case, but in general the plaintiff’s injury must be caused by and be a foreseeable result of the defendant’s action(s).

The Role Of Personal Injury Attorneys

Without hard and fast definitions of what exactly constitutes personal injury or reasonable care, personal injury attorneys have their work cut out for them. They must navigate laws that are open to interpretation and lawsuits are nearly always determined on a case-by-case basis. Rarely does legal precedent make or break cases. This makes choosing a personal injury attorney very important to your case. Ideally, you’ll want a personal injury attorney who has direct experience with your type of injury case, whether that is a physical injury, negligence, medical malpractice, or something else entirely. There are many, many different types of personal injury situations and not all attorneys have experience in all types of cases.

Your personal injury attorney will be instrumental in advocating for your rights and helping you recover damages for things like medical and legal expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages and/or lost future earnings, loss of companionship, and more.

To learn more about personal injury or to speak with a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or email us at Info@EisenbergLaw.org.

This post was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/wi-personal-injury-attorneys-personal-injury-definition/

Car Accident Attorneys See Rise In Prescription Drug Crashes

Car Accident Attorneys Cite Prescription Drug Abuse As Growing Cause Of Auto Accidents In Wisconsin

When we think of auto accidents, we usually think of drunk or distracted drivers or driver error, but a growing cause of auto accidents in Wisconsin can be traced back to prescription drug use. The Eisenberg Law Offices’ car accident attorneys have seen a rise in such cases in Wisconsin. In fact, while alcohol-related car accidents and injuries are down in the state, drug-related traffic accidents are up by 200% compared to 10 years ago. Many of these accidents can be traced back to opioid use – both prescribed and not.

Drugged Driving Is Illegal In Wisconsin

Regardless of whether the drug is a legitimately prescribed drug or was illegally obtained, the effects of driving while under the influence of prescription drugs are startlingly similar to driving while intoxicated from alcohol. Car accident attorneys have seen firsthand that operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, even prescription drugs, can be just as deadly as operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or illegal narcotics. This is because when prescription drugs enter the bloodstream, it can cause similar reactions to alcohol in the bloodstream, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and delayed reaction times.

Many people disregard the use of prescription drugs, thinking they are okay because a physician prescribed them. But if the side effects impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle, you should not drive with the medications in your system.

The effects are so serious that Wisconsin State Statute 346.63 makes drugged driving just as illegal as drunk driving in the state. In response, the state has increased officer training in detecting drugged driving, which means more enforcement and more arrests. You may find yourself charged with an OWI or DUID (driving while under the influence of drugs).

The safest course of action is to avoid driving while using prescription or even over-the-counter drugs until you know how they affect you and your ability to drive. This is particularly important if your doctor specifically tells you not to drive while using the medication. Keep in mind that even if you have the doctor’s okay to drive or you feel fine, you can be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur in an accident that you cause.

Consult Car Accident Attorneys For More Advice About Drugged Driving

As with DUI, police officers still must follow certain procedures to charge a driver with DUID or OWI related to prescription drugs. It is possible to fight prescription drugged driving charges, but you need the help of experienced car accident attorneys to do so.

If you have been involved in an accident or been pulled over for drugged driving, contact the Wisconsin auto accident attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison. We can help you.

Contact Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, WI to arrange a free and confidential consultation at 608-256-8356 or online.

This content was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/car-accident-attorneys-see-rise-prescription-drug-crashes/.

Criminal Lawyer Madison | Statutes Of Limitation

Consult A Criminal Lawyer In Madison For Questions Regarding Wisconsin Statutes Of Limitation

Did you know that most crimes are subject to a Statute of Limitations? A Statute of Limitations is a state or federal law that specifies or restricts the time within which a lawsuit may be brought forth. Once the time period expires, a lawsuit cannot be filed. One of the first questions a criminal lawyer in Madison, WI will ask is no doubt, “How long ago did the incident occur?” The date will be one of the first considerations in whether or not you have a case.

Statutes of Limitation apply to both civil and criminal actions and are intended to protect defendants by preventing fraudulent or old claims from being brought forth after evidence has been lost or the facts have become obscured. In general, the more serious the crime, the longer the Statute of Limitations, but not every crime has a Statute of Limitations.

The only governing body with the authority to change the Statute of Limitations is the Legislature. A judge cannot adjust the Statute in order to allow a lawsuit to proceed.  However, Statutes of Limitation can be tolled or suspended. In Wisconsin, this falls under Wisconsin State Statute 939.74.

Wisconsin has Statutes of Limitation for both civil and criminal cases.

Wisconsin Statutes Of Limitation For Civil Lawsuits

Statutes of Limitation governing civil lawsuits in Wisconsin are covered by Chapter 893 of the Wisconsin State Statutes. Some of the most common civil claims and their limitations are:

  • Battery: 2 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.57)
  • Contract (oral or in writing): 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.43)
  • False Imprisonment: 2 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.57)
  • Fraud: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.93(1)(b))
  • Enforcing Court Judgments: 6 or 20 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.40)
  • Libel: 2 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.57)
  • Medical Malpractice: 3 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.55(1m)(a))
  • Personal Injury: 3 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.54(1))
  • Product Liability: 3 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.54(1))
  • Property Damage: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.52)
  • Slander: 2 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.57)
  • Trespassing: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.52)
  • Wrongful Death: 3 years (Wisconsin State Statute 893.54(2))

Wisconsin Statutes Of Limitation For Criminal Cases

The Statutes of Limitation for criminal offenses are covered by Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 939.74. The most common criminal offenses and their Statute of Limitations are:

  • Battery: 3 or 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Burglary: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Arson: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Disorderly Conduct: 3 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • First & Second Degree Intentional Homicide: No limit (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(2)(a))
  • Sexual Assault: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Receiving Stolen Property: 3 or 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Robbery: 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • First Degree Reckless Homicide: No limit (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(2)(a))
  • Second Degree Reckless Homicide: 15 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(2)(am))
  • Theft: 3 or 6 years (Wisconsin State Statute 939.74(1))
  • Child Sexual Assault (until the complaining witness is 35 years old)

Is Your Case Affected By A Statute Of Limitations? Consult A Criminal or Civil Lawyer In Madison To Find Out

If you are facing criminal charges or have a civil case and wonder if a Statute of Limitations will affect your situation, contact a lawyer at Madison based Eisenberg Law Offices for advice. We offer free and confidential consultations.

Call 608-256-8356 or contact us online.

This content was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/criminal-lawyer-madison-statutes-limitation/.