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Elkhorn Wisconsin Legal Blog

Pedestrian deaths close to 30-year record

Drivers have airbags and seatbelts and many other advanced technologies keeping them safe. The same goes for truck drivers. Even bicyclists and skaters often have helmets and knee pads, but pedestrians on the road have little safety precautions aside from rights of ways and crosswalks.


Making a personal injury claim

An accident victim may file a legal action for injuries in Wisconsin if someone else is more responsible for their injury than they are. However, these lawsuits must follow the appropriate procedures, meaning they must target the appropriate party. A business owner has liability for avoidable accidents and unsafe conditions on their property. Renters and homeowners have liability for not maintaining sidewalks or properly securing dangerous pets. These examples make a direct, logical sense.

More complicated cases involve harm involving product liability, ice or snow removal, inadequate professional services and use of firearms. Owners of restaurants and hotels and public transportation operators may be liable for injuries because state law imposes special responsibility for these dangers. Lawsuits for injuries caused by negligent government employees or unsafe conditions are more difficult and must meet strict conditions

Avoiding problems with commercial real estate transactions

It can be an exciting step for a Wisconsin company to buy or lease a new commercial building or storefront. Perhaps the needs of your business have changed, or maybe you're offering new products that require a different type of space. When you find the right place for your company, you may feel tempted to rush ahead and sign the contract, but that's probably not the wisest course of action. 

There are many reasons why you should slow down and walk through this process slowly and thoughtfully. In preparation for signing a lease or closing on a commercial property purchase, you will want to take the time to be thoughtful and to do your due diligence. Rushing the process can leave you with a variety of costly issues. 

Commercial real estate confronting coworking spaces

Commercial real estate matters involve changing economies and trends that also impact other businesses, such as transportation and retailing. Landlords, companies and professionals in real estate law should be prepared to address the growing popularity of coworking spaces.

Coworking gets praise as a more innovative use of office space. It falls between the practice of working from home and working from a fully equipped office for one business. Small businesses and entrepreneurs also consider this a networking location. One example, WeWork, was an early innovator in this field, but its initial public stock offering was criticized.

Wisconsin man's vaping injuries highlight product liability issue

Although vaping has often been touted as a safer alternative to cigarettes, federal officials recently claimed that there were 193 potential lung ailment cases associated with e-cigarettes reported in 22 states. One recent case hit close to home, with a 20-year-old Wisconsin man spending days in the hospital recovering from lung injuries doctors suspect are related to his vaping. The numerous injuries across the country have sparked personal injury lawsuits, particularly involving younger users.

The Journal Sentinel previously reported in July about Wisconsin teenagers who suffered lung injuries after vaping. Its earlier investigation in 2015 indicated that West Virginia and Vermont physicians reported two cases of serious lung injuries that they believed were connected to vaping cinnamon and other e-liquid flavors.

Wrong way driving is rampant in Wisconsin

Traffic accidents involving wrong-way drivers can be catastrophic because these types of accidents involve head-on collisions and high speeds. Yet, wrong way driving is an epidemic throughout Wisconsin, according to the state police, and it is increasing the risk of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents.

There were over 500 wrong way driving crashes in the state last year. These accidents usually caused death, personal injury or serious property damage. Wrong way driving usually involves an impaired motorist, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. That agency alone stopped 56 wrong-way drivers during the last three years. In these stops, 50 motorists were impaired by alcohol or drugs and the remaining drivers were confused.

Injury victims have choices

Drivers, business owners, doctors, manufacturers and others must act with reasonable care to others or face legal action. Victims of negligence or malpractice may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation or damages.

Motorists who are impaired, texting and driving, speeding or engaging in other reckless or negligent conduct may be liable for injuries caused by auto accidents. An injury or insurance lawsuit may be filed against them when their conduct caused an accident.

Protecting your company in commercial lease negotiations

Once you find a space that will work for your Wisconsin business, you may want to go ahead and sign the lease so you can move forward, but that may not be wise. There are many reasons why moving cautiously through this process is the smartest move for your company. You can negotiate the terms of a commercial lease, and you want to make sure it's right before you agree to anything.

Unlike a residential lease, it's possible to negotiate the terms of a commercial lease. You can work with the landlord to ensure that the terms you agree to are fair, reasonable and sustainable for your company for the life of the lease. This is a legal contract that will affect your operations for a considerable amount of time – it's prudent to make sure you understand everything in that agreement before you move forward.

Malpractice in emergency rooms

Emergency medical departments are designed to provide immediate life-saving care and treat trauma. A recent report, however, revealed that treatments in emergency departments are the fourth most-common cause of personal injury claims related to medical care because of the unique circumstances surrounding the care that is provided.

Emergency room care provides distinctive medical malpractice risk to health care providers because they are providing care to strangers. This may lead to communication breakdowns. The medical liability insurer Coverys reviewed emergency department claims from 2014 to 2015. According to the report, 56% of claims concerned failure or delay with making a diagnosis. The most cited conditions in legal actions were cardiac or vascular illnesses, which constituted 23% of claims, and infections, which comprised 18& of claims. Diagnostic claims, in particular, revealed breakdowns in emergency room procedures. 44% of those claims showed deficiencies with taking the patient's initial history and physical examination.

Fix could have stopped elevator injuries

Products often pose unintentional risks to their users. But an elevator installation defect known for almost 70 years to companies and regulators has caused personal injury to children that could have been prevented.

Small children were caught between elevator doors and killed and injured when the upper door frame above hit them or when they fell into the elevator shaft. A $100 space guard would have eliminated the gap that caused these accidents.

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