How Do You Handle Medical Bills Relating to Your Auto Accident?

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you typically will have medical bills that can be quite high, including transport by an ambulance, treatment by a hospital, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, and prescription medication. Fortunately, if another person is responsible for the accident that led to your injuries, you do have several different avenues of relief from these expenses.

First, you can file claims with your own medical insurance policy to cover at least a portion of the costs of your medical bills. However, it is important to keep in mind that your health insurance company will require subrogation in your case, which means that if you recover compensation from the responsible party, you must reimburse your health insurance company for the costs that it paid toward your medical bills. Similarly, you can file a claim with your own car insurance company; your policy should provide some medical coverage. These payments also are subject to subrogation.

Next, if another person is responsible for the wreck that led to your injuries, you can file a claim with that person’s car insurance company. The amount that this insurance policy will pay just depends on the type of coverage that the person has. For instance, if you have $100,000 in medical bills, but the other person’s insurance policy has a limit of $50,000 in medical bills, then you can only get $50,000 for your medical bills. There also are likely to be provisions in your own car insurance policy that may provide coverage if the other party does not have insurance coverage or has less insurance coverage than you need. This is called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

When you are involved in an accident, medical expenses are likely to be a substantial and unexpected cost that you may be ill-equipped to handle. In this situation, you may wish to pursue a personal injury case, which can entitle you to various types of damages from the responsible party or parties. To find out more information about whether you have a valid personal injury claim, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.


Distracted Semi Driver Causes Crash That Killed Six

In a recent crash on Interstate 80, Tony Weekly Jr., a distracted semitrailer truck driver employed by Bohren Logistics Inc., an Indiana company, caused a multiple-vehicle accident that resulted in six deaths.  Weekly, who reportedly was driving at a high rate of speed, rammed his semitrailer truck into the back of a minivan, which was pushed into another minivan, followed by a Nissan sport utility vehicle and a Ford van. The first van was carrying a couple and their three children, who all were aged three and under; all five family members perished in the crash. The man in the second minivan was declared dead soon after the accident, but remained on life support at the time of the news article.

The crash occurred in a head-to-head crossover construction zone on I-80, just before 11:30 a.m. MDT, in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. Authorities had temporarily lowered the speed limit from 75 miles per hour due to the construction. Weekly also suffered minor injuries in the wreck. There had not been such a deadly crash on Nebraska roads since 2006.

Local authorities charged Weekly with five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide, one for each member of the family that was killed in the crash, as well as a single misdemeanor count of reckless driving. While a conviction on criminal charges does not automatically make Weekly civilly liable for the deaths caused by the accident, it is strong evidence that the family members of the deceased persons could use in a wrongful death suit. This type of claim would allow the surviving families of the deceased to seek compensation for their losses in the crash.

When you or a family member suffers serious injuries from or is killed in a motor vehicle crash or any other type of accident, caused by the negligence of another person, you may have a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim under Wisconsin law. Call Boller & Vaughan today at (608) 268-0268, or contact us online at www.bollervaughan.com in order to schedule a time to meet with one of our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, and see how we can help.

 

 

 

 


UW Crash Study Focuses on Ways to Make Roads Safer

The University of Wisconsin has released the results of a crash study in an effort to make Wisconsin roads safer for all who travel on them. The author of the study focused on severe or fatal crashes involving bicycles, pedestrians, or both. Given the fact that statewide traffic deaths increased in 2015 for all categories of individuals, including drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, it is clear that the need for the study is substantial.

The study showed that multi-lane roads in larger urban areas in Wisconsin are a more common location for these types of crashes. Accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians are more likely to occur on four-lane roads than on two-land roads. Higher speed limits result in more severe injuries.  Intoxication of drivers and failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks also cause a significant number of crashes.

What, then, is the answer to reducing these accidents? Researchers believe that there are several relatively simple solutions that would help decrease the number of crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists, including the following:

  • Providing separated lanes and wide shoulders to accommodate bicyclists
  • Creating curb extensions to limit crossing distance for and increase visibility of pedestrians
  • Enforcing speed limits constantly and consistently
  • Improving lighting and pedestrian and bicyclist visibility at night
  • Reminding bicyclists that they are subject to the same rules as cars
  • Adding more sidewalks

The author of the study, UW-Milwaukee professor Bob Schneider, is now working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin on a statewide campaign to stop traffic fatalities.

With that said, however, there are factors that contribute to pedestrian and bicyclist crashes that cannot be solved by the suggestions for improvements listed above. These factors include intoxication, drug usage, fatigue, and driver distraction.

When a vehicle crash causes serious injuries to you or a loved one, the impact can be devastating. Although some accidents are just that – accidents – others are caused by the negligence of another, such as an inattentive or distracted truck drivers. If you are in this situation, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Call Boller & Vaughan today and learn how our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys can advocate on your behalf.

 

 


100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers

Over the past five years, it has become increasingly apparent that fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers climb substantially during what has been dubbed the “100 Deadliest Days.” This refers to the period beginning at Memorial Day and continuing on for the next 100 days. During this time period in each of the last five years, over 5,000 people have died in crashes involving teenage drivers.

Earlier this summer, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a follow-up study confirming what other researchers have found in similar studies. Crashes involving teen drivers spike significantly during the 100 Deadliest Days; in fact, the average overall number of deaths from crashes involving teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 increased by 16 percent per deadliest day as compared to the other 265 days of the year. That works out to about 1,022 deaths per year attributable to teenage drivers, or about 10 deaths were day.

According to the AAA study, almost 60% of these crashes involved some sort of distraction for the teenage drivers. The study examined more than 2,200 videos taken from in-car dash cameras in the moments leading up to each crash. The results were not surprising. In 15% of those crashes, the drivers were talking or attending to other passengers in their vehicles. In 12% of those crashes, the drivers were talking, texting, or operating a cell phone. In another 11% of the crashes, the drier was attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle.

The statistics are clear that all too often, teenage drivers cause serious accidents that result in injury and death to other drivers and passengers. In this situation, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the personal injury claims process. The Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan handle personal injury cases on a daily basis, and we know what it takes to get the compensation that you need. Take the first step and call our office today to set up your free consultation with one of our Wisconsin auto accident lawyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Driver Fatigue and Crash Risks

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that insufficient sleep can decrease a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver’s alertness level. However, the researchers cautioned that determining the relationship between hours of service, fatigue, and accident frequency for CMV operators is complex. There are other factors that may have an impact on this relationship, including difficulty in objectively measuring driver fatigue, the invasiveness of trying to measure the amount and quality of drivers’ sleep, and other factors contributing to CMV crashes that are not related to fatigue or lack of sleep. The findings of this study also largely concerned drivers for large motor carriers, as opposed to drivers for smaller motor carriers or independent owner-operators.

The findings of this study, however, are not insignificant, given the fact that about 4,000 fatalities occur in the United States each year as a result of CMVs. Statistics show that 10 – 20% of these fatalities involve fatigued drivers. Work as a CMV driver involves unique stresses that put them at a higher risk of insufficient sleep and some chronic health conditions. These stresses include irregular schedules, economic pressures, and poor sleep quality due to uncomfortable sleeping conditions. The reality is that there is no substitute for an adequate quality and quantity of sleep.

The study concludes that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and/or the U.S. Department of Transportation should fund and conduct ongoing data collection concerning these issues. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) should make several improvements in their data and research methods, which, in turn, should allow a more comprehensive understanding of the connections between driver fatigue, various highway safety regulations, and CMV crashes. Likewise, the study suggested the need for more driver and employer education programs to help improve highway safety.

We are the Wisconsin traffic accident lawyers to whom you always can turn if your loved one suffers serious injuries in a traffic accident. No matter how complex or difficult your situation may be, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to advocate for your interests and hold negligent drivers responsible for any injury or death that has occurred.

 

 

 


33,000 Deaths Occur Due to Speed Limits Over 20 Years

According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, increases in speed limits over the past 20 years have resulted in over 33,000 deaths. In fact, in 2013, speed limit increases caused 1,900 additional traffic deaths, a number that cancels out the number of lives saved due to frontal airbags that year.

Individual states, including the state of Wisconsin, set their own speed limits. During the 1970s and 1980s, the federal government limited speed limits to a maximum of 55 mph through threats of withholding federal funds, out of concern over fuel availability. In 1987, Congress relaxed this restriction and allowed states to increase 65 mph on rural interstate highways; by 1995, Congress had repealed the restrictions on speed limits for states altogether. After this occurred, researchers predicted that traffic fatalities would increase, and they were correct.

Today, most states have speed limits well beyond 55 mph, and in six states, there are 80 mph. In the state of Texas, drivers can legally drive as fast as 85 mph. As a result, at least 33,000 additional traffic deaths have occurred, at least based on the number of deaths that would have been expected had each state’s maximum speed limit remained unchanged since 1993. In reality, the study probably underestimates the number of deaths, simply because the researchers focused only maximum speed limits on rural interstate highways. This is the case due to variations in the states changing their speed limits on certain roads and not on others, or maintaining roads with one speed limit on some roads and another speed limit on some roads.

As this post illustrates, there are still far too many deaths attributable to motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States, some of which are due to increased speed limits. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of individuals who have been fatally injured in traffic crashes, as well as their surviving family members. Call our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.

 


Wisconsin 8th Worst State for Teen Drivers

Getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting times in a teenager’s life. However, it also marks a very dangerous period in a teenager’s life. Motor vehicle accidents are not only the leading cause of death of teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19, but this age group also has the highest risk of crashes. On average, 220 teens are killed in America each month in car accidents.

Not surprisingly, although 15 to 24-year-olds make up only 14% of the total American population, they produce almost a third of all expenses that result from motor vehicle injuries. And this figure doesn’t even include related costs, such as increased insurance premiums, auto repairs and maintenance, and fines that result from traffic citations.

A recent study ranked all 50 states in terms of their environment for teenage drivers, looking at 16 different factors, including the number of teen driver fatalities, the state’s impaired driving laws, and the average cost of car repairs. Unfortunately, Wisconsin did not rank high on the list. In fact, Wisconsin was the 8th worst state in the nation when it comes to teenage driving conditions.

Wisconsin has taken steps to improve the environment for teenage drivers in some ways. For instance, the state of Wisconsin recommends that teenage drivers and their parents enter into a safe driving contract, which establishes the rules for teenage drivers, as set by the parents, as well as the consequences of breaking those rules. Wisconsin also has launched a teen driver safety campaign designed to help educate teenagers about the dangers of teen driving and behaviors that contribute to traffic accidents.

When a traffic accident occurs as a result of a driver’s negligence, and causes injury to a passenger, driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims in the state of Wisconsin, and you can lose your right to compensation if you do not consult an experienced lawyer in time. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan today, and set up your free consultation today.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why Do Nursing Homes Use Restraints on Their Residents?

Restraints can take the form of physical restraints, such as straps, belts, bed rails, or other restraining devices on a resident’s bedframe, as well as restraints attached to a wheelchair, such as bars or brakes. Tucking sheets too tightly around a resident in his or her bed even can be used as a physical restraint for those residents who are frail. Chemical restraints, on the other hand, take the form of drugs that are used to sedate residents or keep them asleep for long periods of time. These drugs may include sedatives, antipsychotic medication, and medications used to reduce anxiety. Finally, staff members at nursing homes may use emotional restraints on residents, such as locking residents in their rooms, using electronic surveillance devices, and making threats in order to intimidate residents.

The staff members working at Wisconsin nursing homes sometimes use restraints for perfectly valid reasons. For instance, if a resident is in danger of hurting himself or herself, restraints may be appropriate for at least a limited period of time. A history of constant falls and an inability to supervise a resident for a short period of time also may be a valid reason to use restraints on a resident.

However, in many situations, nursing home staff members may use restraints improperly. Short-staffed facilities may overuse chemical restraints in an attempt to keep patients’ needs to a minimum. Particularly disruptive or unruly patients may cause nursing staff members to keep them sedated or in physical restraints in order to better control them. However, using restraints for these purposes is both unethical and illegal. More specifically, restraints cannot be legally used for the purposes of convenience or discipline. Furthermore, if restraints are not necessary to treat the resident’s medical conditions, then staff members cannot use them.

At Boller & Vaughan, we have investigated countless allegations of nursing home abuse, no matter whether they involve the improper use of restraints or another type of circumstances. Allow us to look into the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, discuss your options, and help you determine the most appropriate course of action for you and your family. Contact the Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and learn how we can help.

 

 


What Should I Do if I Suspect Neglect Led to a Loved One’s Death in a Nursing Home?

It can be very shocking to learn that a loved one has passed away while residing in a nursing home, particularly if the death was unexpected. However, the loss can be all the more traumatic if you suspect that neglect by staff members led to your loved one’s death. All too often, the missteps or poor care provided by staff members can lead to medical conditions such as bedsores, dehydration, or abrasions, some of which can turn deadly. Medical neglect, such as allowing sores and cuts to become infected, also can occur in the context of a nursing home.

In the state of Wisconsin, you should contact the Division of Quality Assurance or the Office of Caregiver Quality through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services about possible nursing home neglect. Wisconsin also has a Long Term Care Ombudsman whom you can contact with your concerns. There is also a helpline in every county through which you can make a report of neglect of an elderly nursing home resident.

You also should have a frank and detailed discussion with the physician who most recently treated your loved one or the coroner who responded to your loved one’s death. You have the right to ask for a copy of your loved one’s medical records, as well as any incident reports that the nursing home completed throughout your loved one’s residency. Similarly, you should document the medical condition of your loved one at the time of death, as well as the events that occurred just prior to the death. Make a list of all regular caregivers involved with your loved one prior to his or her death.

The nursing home neglect lawyers of Boller & Vaughan pride themselves on advocating on behalf of clients who have been neglected in some way while residing in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other similar institution. We can seek compensation for you through the wrongful death claim process, while you and your family can concentrate on healing, recovering from any trauma that you and your family might have experienced, and moving on with your lives. Don’t hesitate to call our office today and learn how we can help.

 

 

 


What Are Some Common Types of Abuse That Occur in Nursing Homes or Other Residential Facilities?

Abuse to the more than two million individuals residing in nursing homes, assisted living centers, or other elderly care facilities nationwide is not an uncommon occurrence. This is the case despite the significant efforts in recent years by state and federal government officials to prevent and reduce the incidences of abuse in these facilities. While all types of abuse can occur in this setting, there are some common types of abuse that occur in these facilities nationwide.

For instance, physical abuse can occur in various forms. A nursing home resident may suffer bruises, contusions, and even broken bones from falls while being left unattended, being unjustly restrained, or simply being handled roughly by staff members. When staff do not adequately care for and neglect residents, they can suffer from bedsores, dehydration, and other medical conditions.

Likewise, emotional abuse can occur when staff members or other residents make any communications that result in unreasonable and unnecessary emotional pain. Emotional abuse also can take the form of ignoring a resident’s verbal requests, making fun of the resident, or failing to meet the resident’s general needs as they arise.

Financial exploitation is another type of abuse that unfortunately can occur in the context of a nursing home or elder care facility. Staff members may purposely misuse resident funds or take property that belongs to residents. Bank account and credit card also can occur, as staff members have access to residents who may be particularly vulnerable.

Sexual abuse also occurs with frightening regularity in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Because residents are often incapacitated or particularly susceptible to this type of abuse while residing in these care facilities, sexual abuse often goes unnoticed for lengthy periods of time.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a result of any type of abuse while residing in a nursing home or residential facility, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of abuse by facility staff, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the conditions that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison elder abuse lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.

 

 


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