Consultation Checklist – What You Should Bring

What to bring to your Personal Injury Attorney consultation

Understanding your rights after a personal injury starts by finding legal help. Every day, Eisenberg Law Offices helps people get the compensation they deserve for injuries in the Madison, Wisconsin area. But for many, the dilemma comes not in deciding to retain an attorney, but in knowing what to take to your consultation. With that in mind, before you arrive to your appointment, take a look at this checklist to make sure you are prepared.

What You Need

Some items really are important to evaluating and preparing for your claim. This includes identifying information and some basics to help us get started:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Auto and health insurance cards
  • A police or accident report
  • Copies of any bills you have received related to the accident
  • Any correspondence with insurers or other parties
  • Photos of the accident scene, damaged vehicle, and injuries

All of these will help us understand who you are and give us a starting point from which to investigate your claims. This can give you a significant boost in getting started.

Other Items to Bring

Ideally, you will have taken notes after your accident or injury, and maybe collected some additional documentation. We can get the following later, but your providing them will help us immensely in moving forward for you:

  • Names of others involved in the accident or injury
  • Any notes you took after the accident
  • Names and contact information for witnesses
  • Names of all the people and facilities that treated you for injuries
  • Contact information for insurance adjusters with whom you’ve spoken
  • Paystubs from work so we can understand economic losses

A personal injury lawsuit, like any other lawsuit, depends ultimately on the facts of your case. The more information you can provide, as to what happened and how it affects you, the more quickly we can evaluate your case. If you have been injured, take care of your needs first. But take the time to prepare to meet with us. The more we know, the sooner we can preserve your rights and get you the recovery you deserve.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/consultation-checklist-bring/.

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What to Do After Witnessing a Car Accident

Car Accident Witness – what should you do?

When you are injured in a car accident, you have to take steps to protect yourself and preserve your rights, including contacting a personal injury attorney. But what if you witness an accident? You may be the person most able to ensure authorities get accurate information about the accident. But as a witness, you need to be careful.

  1. Stay Safe

If you see an accident, you need to pull over to a safe location. Don’t approach too closely; you don’t know whether the accident creates a safety hazard: fire, explosion, or even just dislodged parts of the vehicle. Find a spot sufficiently clear of the accident, pull over, and carefully exit your car.

  1. Get Help

If anyone has been injured in the accident, time is of the essence. You should never assume that everyone is okay, or that someone has called the authorities. Call 911 to get a police officer and any needed paramedics to the scene. If someone else has already called, you do no harm by calling as well. And if no one else has been able to call, you just may save someone’s life.

  1. Stand Back

You may be tempted to try to help the victims of an accident. This is a good, humanitarian impulse, but unless you are a trained medical provider, you risk doing more harm than good. Once you contact medical professionals, you should keep yourself safe and wait for qualified help to arrive. By doing so, you protect yourself and those involved.

  1. Make a Statement

When the police arrive, they will start by taking statements from everyone they can who was involved in the accident. But if their statements differ, your impartial statement can help clarify what really happened. Wait for long enough to make your statement, then jot down some notes to make sure you remember. Insurers, lawyers, or police may call on you later to verify what you saw.

Accidents happen every day, in Madison, Wisconsin and across the country. When you stop and follow the right process, you help those involved recover and obtain justice.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/witnessing-car-accident/.

Positive Trends Declining with Upsurge in Auto Injuries

Increase in Car Accident Injuries a Disturbing Trend

Automobile safety has come a long way since the 1970s. A combination of vehicle safety regulations, a focus on reducing drinking and driving, and a general focus on enforcing traffic laws has made driving a much less dangerous activity than it once was.  Unfortunately, the last two years have started to show a reverse in the decline, with traffic fatalities increasing each of the last two years. Driving has become more deadly, both in the nation at large and specifically in Wisconsin.

Increasing Death Toll

In 2014, the total number of fatal car crashes in Wisconsin was 494, part of a largely steady decline up to that point. But in 2015, that number jumped to 555, and in 2016 continued its increase, rising to 588.  And in 2017, the total through July was 342, up 6 deaths from the same time period in 2016. This reversal over the last three years is startling; vehicle safety features are not going away, but the steady increase in deaths is impossible to ignore.

Reasons for the Change

We can speculate on the reasons for the changes. Wisconsin’s speed limit was increased to 70 miles per hour in 2015, the year trends began shifting in the wrong direction. Still, the death toll that year was rising before the change was implemented. Other factors include more drivers on the road, more time driving, and distracted driving with increased cell phone usage. Authorities estimate that about 90% of the deaths are caused at least in part by poor decision making.

Unfortunately, this means that other drivers’ habits on the road can put you in danger. You can avoid some problems by driving safely and attentively, and practicing defensive driving techniques. But if you or a loved one is injured or killed due to someone else’s reckless driving, you will need experienced representation. Eisenberg Law Offices has the experience and expertise you can rely on in the Madison, Wisconsin area.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/positive-trends-declining-upsurge-auto-injuries/

Common Terms In A Personal Injury Case | Eisenberg Law

Common Terms You’ll Hear In A Personal Injury Case

Personal injury cases are complex and time-consuming in the best of situations. To make matters even more complicated, they can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a legal background. Judges and lawyers will toss terms back and forth as they discuss a case, present evidence, or question witnesses. That doesn’t mean you’ll understand what is going on.

To help promote understanding of your personal injury case, we’ve developed this primer on common terms you may hear as your case moves through the legal system. We hope it will help you better understand what’s going on and give you more confidence in your legal situation.

Common Personal Injury Legal Terms

  • Complaint. Complaint is another term for the lawsuit. To pursue a lawsuit, you’ll file a personal injury complaint with the court clerk, pay filing fees, and then begin the lawsuit process. Complaints contain specific information, including details about the incident, a demand for compensation, and a request for a trial.
  • Plaintiff.  The plaintiff is the person who files the lawsuit. If multiple people have been injured in the same instance, there may be multiple plaintiffs.
  • Defendant. The defendant is the one who is being sued. When a plaintiff files a lawsuit, he or she must identify whom they believe is responsible for the plaintiff’s injury or damages. If more than one person or organization is responsible, several defendants may be named.
  • Party.  Party is a generic, non-specific identifier used to refer to either the defendant, the plaintiff, or other included person or entity.
  • Negligence. Negligence is a term that is used to describe a situation when someone fails to act in the way the law requires them to act. Failing to act with prudence and care can cause injury to others and may lead to a personal injury lawsuit. Proving negligence is central to winning a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Damages. Damages refers to money that is asked for or awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Torts And Tortfeasors. A tort is a wrong that has been committed against a plaintiff. A tort refers to a specific type of lawsuit involving one person committing a civil harm against another. A tortfeasor is another name for the person who caused the other person’s injuries (the defendant), or who performed the act that lead to the lawsuit.

Let Eisenberg Law Assist You In Your Personal Injury Case

The services of a personal injury attorney are essential to securing an optimal outcome in any personal injury lawsuit. These situations can be trying and difficult to prove, even when the evidence seems straightforward. The personal injury attorney’s at Madison’s Eisenberg Law Office have experience in a wide variety of personal injury situations from car accidents to medical malpractice to slip and fall situations. We work with clients throughput Wisconsin and have extensive experience representing plaintiffs who are trying to collect from insurance companies.

To discuss your personal injury case with one of our attorneys, contact us at 608-256-8356 or email Info@EisenbergLaw.org.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/common-terms-personal-injury-case-eisenberg-law/

Criminal Defense Attorney | Plea Deals In Wisconsin

Consult A Criminal Defense Attorney Before Accepting A Plea Deal

We’ve all heard about plea deals or plea bargains in legal cases. These are situations that occur when you or your attorney agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for the prosecutor reducing the more serious charge or charges against you.

On the face of it, they seem to be a good option, but that’s not necessarily true. Deciding whether or not to accept a plea deal is not always so cut and dried and may not be in your best interests. This is where the advice of a criminal defense attorney becomes important. An experienced attorney will be able to assess the situation and advise whether the plea deal makes sense for you or not.

How Plea Bargains Work

You, your attorney, or even the prosecutor may be the first to suggest a plea bargain. Prosecutors and judges like plea deals because they help move cases through the system faster. Defendants like plea deals because they can avoid being convicted of a more serious crime and remove the uncertainty of a trial. You know what the outcome will be as soon as the deal is offered instead of having to spend weeks or months waiting for a trial and a jury verdict.

The judge always has the final say on the sentence.  So, even if the prosecutor offers a deal, that does not mean the deal will go through.

Negotiating A Plea Deal                                                                                                                       

It can be tempting to negotiate a plea deal yourself, but this is a bad idea. Any time you have been charged with a felony, you should hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. The stakes are simply too high to try and go it alone. If a plea deal is offered, don’t jump at it right away. You should at least consult an attorney before accepting or rejecting the offer, but it will be even better for you if you let the attorney handle negotiations on your behalf. A criminal defense attorney has the skills and experience needed to negotiate a plea bargain including less jail time, a lesser charge, and reduced court fines and fees.

Keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty! You absolutely do not have to accept the prosecutors offer on the spot, nor should you cave in to pressure to accept the deal when you know you are innocent of the crime.

When To Reject A Plea Deal

Sometimes it’s just not in your best interest to accept a plea deal. It’s okay to reject the deal that is offered if it isn’t right for you. It may seem to be the easier route to just accept the deal and move on, but if your attorney thinks the prosecutor’s case is weak, the evidence is lacking, or the deal isn’t fair, he/she may advise you to reject the deal and go to trial. If that is your attorney’s recommendation then he/she must believe you stand a strong chance of beating the charges.

Don’t rush to judgment and reject the deal out of hand, either. Take some time to think about it, discuss your options with your attorney and your family, and get answers to any questions you have.

Contact the team at Eisenberg Law Offices for more information about plea deals or criminal defense. We can be reached at 608-256-8356 or Info@EisenbergLaw.org.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/firm-overview/articles/criminal-defense-attorney-plea-deals-wisconsin/

Madison Personal Injury Attorney | Witness Testimony

Personal Injury Attorney Explains The Importance Of Witnesses In PI Cases

Most people have no idea how a personal injury case proceeds or what is required to achieve a fair  settlement or win a jury trial. It starts with a lot of prep work and evidence collection, one of the most important of which is the witness statement.

There are three types of witnesses in personal injury cases: first-hand witnesses, lay witnesses, and expert witnesses.

First-hand witnesses are people who saw the accident or negligence occur in person. They were on-site and watched the event unfold. These types of witnesses are crucial to helping determine if negligence was a factor in the incident. The challenge with this type of witness is obtaining a statement right away. It’s very common for witnesses to forget what they saw or to lose details as time goes by. For this reason, your attorney will likely ask if there were any witnesses as soon as he/she takes the case. This is so that they can obtain a statement before memories fade or people begin to question what they saw. If you are ever involved in a PI situation, try to get witness statements at the time of the incident. This will help your lawyer build a case.

Lay witnesses are people who saw the victim after the fact. These may be friends, family members, or co-workers who witnessed the effect that the incident had on the injured party and/or how the incident changed the injured person’s life. Lay witnesses are important in establishing damages or the worth of the claim.

Anyone who watches television law shows has heard of expert witnesses. These are professionals who are called in during a trial to provide opinions based on the facts of the case. They are important in explaining complex issues to juries, and providing their professional opinion on specific questions, issues, or evidence.

Trust An Eisenberg Law Personal Injury Attorney To Work With Your Witnesses

Witness testimony can be crucial to obtaining a favorable outcome to your case. The personal injury attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices work closely with witnesses to secure accurate testimonies and critical details that help build our client’s cases.

Learn more about working with an Eisenberg Law injury attorney by calling us at 608-256-8356 or emailing us at Info@EisenbergLaw.org.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/madison-personal-injury-attorney-witness-testimony/

Fighting Drug Charges From Search And Seizure In WI

Search And Seizure: When Can A Police Officer Search A Vehicle?

It sounds surprising, but many Wisconsin drug charges and arrests result from routine traffic stops. Since police officers don’t have the right to automatically search a vehicle when they stop it for a traffic violation, how does this happen?

Reasonable Suspicion

Although officers cannot search a vehicle “just because”, they can search it if they have reasonable suspicion that drugs are inside the vehicle. Reasonable suspicion may be the smell of drugs or the sight of drugs or drug paraphernalia. An officer may also search the vehicle is he or she feels their safety is a risk or if he/she suspects another crime has been committed. In doing the search, they may turn up drugs and you might find yourself facing drug charges.

Even so, this type of search and seizure isn’t always legal. Sometimes, the accused’s 4th Amendment rights are violated by the search, making the search, and resulting seizure, illegal.

In every situation, how and why a search was conducted should be closely examined. Any mistake in procedure could violate the driver’s rights and may be reason enough to have the evidence suppressed or the charges dismissed.

You Have The Right To Decline A Search And To Fight Drug Charges

If you are stopped by police for a traffic violation and they ask to search your vehicle, you have the right to say “No” and decline the search and you should say “No.” If you are stopped by police and let them consensually search your vehicle and are now facing charges, contact Eisenberg Law Offices for advice. We’ll review the situation, the way the evidence was collected, and the evidence itself and recommend a course of action that makes the most sense for you.

Please don’t panic. Not everyone who is charged is actually guilty of the crime and there are many defense strategies available that can help you beat the charges. If you are facing charges resulting from search and seizure in Wisconsin, contact Eisenberg Law Offices right away at 608-256-8356 or email us at Info@EisenbergLaw.org.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/fighting-drug-charges-search-seizure-wi/

Wisconsin Search and Seizure Laws – Warrantless Hidden Video Surveillance

Hidden Video Surveillance – special search and seizure laws in Wisconsin

Under both the United States Constitution and the Wisconsin Constitution, citizens have a right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, police cannot use evidence they obtain through illegal means. In the case of hidden surveillance cameras, though, your rights are a little more complicated. You will need to work with an experienced attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens’ “persons, houses, papers, and effects” against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and requires probable cause before a warrant can be issued. For information collected by a hidden surveillance camera, this leaves questions open as to what constitutes personal “effects,” and whether viewing information collected by a camera legally constitutes an unreasonable search.

The Mendoza Case

In United States v. Mendoza, a federal court in Wisconsin held that surveillance cameras installed to observe marijuana plants on private property did not violate the Fourth Amendment, even though they were installed without a warrant. This relied on the Supreme Court’s “open fields doctrine,” which holds that an open field not immediately connected to a house is not part of someone’s effects, and is therefore not included in the Fourth Amendment protections.

This decision has some important limitations. If the field had been a fenced-in yard or otherwise adjacent to a house, surveillance cameras might not be allowed without a warrant. If you have personal items where a camera is on display, or if the camera aims inside the house or your vehicle, the Fourth Amendment protects you from a camera installed without a warrant.

Interpreting the Constitution requires working through difficult, arcane language that courts still argue about more than 200 years after it was first written. If you are arrested based on footage collected on a surveillance camera, you need experienced, expert legal representation. At Eisenberg Law Offices, we are here to help.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/wisconsin-search-seizure-laws-warrantless-hidden-video-surveillance/

Do I Have to Hire an Attorney in the City Where I Live?

Madison Wisconsin Attorney explains if you need to find an attorney where you live

Hiring an attorney if you live in a reasonably sized city is usually a simple matter, but for those in smaller communities, the supply of attorneys may be so limited that residents need to look elsewhere. This can create a dilemma because there is a persistent idea that people need to hire attorneys who live in the same city, or at least in an adjacent community. This is not the case, however, because an attorney who is licensed to practice in a state can practice anywhere in that state.

Transportation Issues

It’s certainly easier to work with an attorney who lives in the same city or an adjacent one because the travel time will be shorter. However, a lot of business with an attorney can be done via telephone and email. While clients would be best off meeting with an attorney in person at least a few times, many appointments do not need to be face to face.

When looking for an attorney, potential clients should concentrate on skill, experience, and cooperation, rather than proximity. It does a client no good to have an attorney who is down the street but who has little experience with the type of case in which the client is involved.

If you’re in need of an attorney in Madison Wisconsin, contact Eisenberg Law Offices. Our attorneys have extensive experience with personal injury, criminal defense, and family law and can help you no matter where you live in the state.

This post was originally published at https://www.eisenberglaw.org/hire-attorney-city-live/

White Collar Criminal Defense | Madison Law Firms

Madison Law Firms Assist In White Collar Crime Defense

White collar crimes are nonviolent crimes that are committed for financial gain. Fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering are three common examples of white collar crimes.

White collar crimes are usually federal crimes. As such, they are investigated by the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). That makes it extremely important for the accused to have legal representation. Madison law firms like Eisenberg Law Offices can provide this representation to ensure your rights are protected and your sentence minimized.

What To Do If You Are Being Investigated For A White Collar Crime

It can be tough to know if you’re being investigated for a white collar crime but in general if a law enforcement agency asks you to meet with them or questions you about your involvement in certain situations or business activities, you should be wary. Be especially suspicious if any of the situations they are interested in involved money transfers or financial transactions.

Don’t talk to police, contact an attorney first.  Exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent is the best way to protect yourself from self-incrimination.

You should also immediately exercise your right to speak with an attorney and call Eisenberg Law Offices. Our attorneys help people who have been accused of white collar crimes defend their actions and negotiate a lesser charge or penalty.

Defend Yourself Against White Collar Crime Accusations With Help From Madison Law Firms

If you or someone you know has been charged with or is being investigated for a white collar crime in Wisconsin contact Eisenberg Law Offices to provide you with legal defense. Our criminal defense attorneys in Madison, WI can be reached by calling 608-256-8356 or by requesting a consultation online.

This post was originally published at http://www.eisenberglaw.org/white-collar-criminal-defense-madison-law-firms/