WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Our main office has been located in LaCrosse, Wisconsin since 1974 and we are licensed and prosecute injury cases in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. We have offices in Hayward, Wisconsin and La Crescent, Minnesota. We have been representing injured persons since that time. A large portion of Personal Injury or Wrongful Death claims, arise out of Auto Accidents, Construction Accidents or from Defective Products. We have experience in all of these types of cases and more. The basic principle of injury cases are the same in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As everyone knows, Insurance companies spend a lot of money attempting to avoid or delay claims. They are very experienced and savvy when it comes to settling a claim. A claims adjuster is someone whose job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. There are many tactics that are used. One of their most important tactics is to try to settle with the injured person before they get an attorney. It is important that you seek the advice of an experienced auto accident, construction accident, defective product or wrongful death attorney who knows how to deal with insurance companies and their unsavory tactics. Many times insurance companies try to pressure claimants to sign release agreements or waivers of future responsibilities for a quick upfront settlement of the car accident claim. They do this because they know people just want to get on with their lives after an accident and return to some sort of normalcy. The problem if you make a quick settlement is it will release the insurance company from paying what the car accident claim is really worth. Furthermore, if you have not reached maximum medical recovery your medical diagnosis could worsen. These factors are discussed in detail on this website. Before you talk to the insurance company, give us a call for some free advice.
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AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS AND AUTO INSURANCE
In Wisconsin, auto insurance is not mandatory, but it is required in Minnesota. Many Wisconsin residents do not carry auto insurance, but if they get into an accident causing property damage, medical expenses and wage loss or personal injury with proper steps they can be required to post a bond equal to that amount in order to retain their driving privilege. Also, if they do not carry insurance on their car, they can lose their right to register and license their car. Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to consider auto insurance in Wisconsin.
The State will hold the bond until issues of liability and amount of damages are resolved. The state is not required to notify the injured person that the bond has been posted. If no claim is made against the bond, it will be returned.
Minnesota is a mandatory insurance state, so almost everyone is insured. Drivers can be and are prosecuted with a criminal misdemeanor if they do not provide the police with their insurance information within 10 days of an accident, so insurance information is usually quickly available. Minimum liability limits are 30K per person/60K per accident. 50/100 is also pretty common, with 100/300 probably the most common.
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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE
There are two major components to any injury case. The first is proving liability and the second is proving the amount of damages. The combination of these two analyses results in an evaluation of the case. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to identify the legal extent of responsibility (liability) for your injuries, which know how comes from dealing with claims adjusters, trying cases and other related experiences, along with knowing the law of liability. One of the first things that we do is obtain the accident report. We then interview witnesses and do discovery at the scene. If necessary, we obtain weather reports. After 35 years of experience with these types of situations, our office can effectively evaluate liability. Damages, the second aspect of personal injury cases, are the result of the extent of the injury, whether it is permanent or not or to what extent it is partially permanent and so on. This involves a determination of past, present and future pain and suffering and mental anguish. This also helps us calculate your special damages.
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As mentioned in the How to Prepare your Personal Injury Case section, some cases can be settled through mediation. This usually occurs when the insurance company and the injured party can not reach a settlement of the case. In preparation for mediation, we send our clients something similar to the following letter:
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After the adverse insurance company has been provided with a notice of retainer from the plaintiff’s attorney, the insurance company assigns a claim number to the case. If we have been retained, the claims adjuster will have been notified that the claim is being researched and investigated by our law firm. Once a determination is made that the injured client has reached maximum medical recovery (plateau), our law firm is then in a position to evaluate your case and prepare your case for a demand letter. If our case analysis shows that although maximum medical recovery has been reached, but full pre-accident recovery has not, then we seek to quantify that level of permanency. In doing so we determine your life expectancy and we determine your work-life expectancy. We then seek an opinion from a vocationalist to determine your loss of earning capacity as a result of this permanency, and project that over the course of your work life. We also then project your restrictions, limitations and pain and suffering over the course of your life expectancy.
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LITIGATION AND PREPARATION
If the case does not settle within the time prescribed by the court, then the matter will go to litigation. Most often this is a jury trial. 120 days before the jury trial is scheduled we began preparing a trial notebook. In addition to preparing questions for the jury to determine the qualifications, bias and adaptability to your case, we include a sketch of the opening statement and closing statement, detailed questionnaire concerning each witness whether adverse or not, all of the jury instructions, motion orders, evidentiary objections, exhibits and photographs, deposition transcripts, and most importantly a description of the theme of the case. Here is our preparation check list which we review with you continuously:
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Wrongful death is a term used for a statutory claim or remedy that is provided by the legislature in order to allow surviving spouses, the estate, or the heirs to claim damages for loss of a loved one as a result of the negligence of another party. Minnesota and Wisconsin are very similar. Minnesota does not have a limit on loss of society and companionship damages that can be recovered as does Wisconsin (see below). Damages that are allowed by the statute are as follows:
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If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident and if you are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer to maximize the remedies that you have available to you and to reach the highest possible award for your injuries or if you wish to compromise, negotiate, or effectively deal with either your insurance company or the adverse insurance company we, the Michael Ablan Law Firm can help you. We have been serving injured clients since 1974. With an experienced and aggressive yet honest, trustworthy and friendly legal team consisting of a lawyer with 35 years of experience, specialized paralegals, and a tax accountant, the Michael Ablan Law Firm in La Crosse, WI can help you. We also have offices in La Crescent, Minnesota and Hayward, Wisconsin. Contact us for a free consultation. Our expert legal services are available to you anywhere in the State of Wisconsin including but not limited to the counties of La Crosse, Trempealeau, Monroe, Pierce, Crawford, Vernon, Grant, Sawyer, Jackson or any other county in Wisconsin or in the state of Minnesota, including all counties surrounding La Crescent, MN, such as Houston and Winona and any other county.