Category Archives: Safety First

Attorney Dan Davis Obtains $100,000 Insurance Limits Settlement After Previous $3,000 “Final Offer”

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In this Racine, Wisconsin case, our client sustained injury after being struck in the rear by the other driver.  The insurance company tried to argue that the impact could not have caused the injuries and made a “final offer” of $3,000.  Attorney Dan Davis fought for the client and did not relent until the insurance company offered the full limits of the insurance policy, $100,000.  At Davis & Gelshenen LLP we don’t just accept the insurance company “final offer;”  we fight for our clients to obtain fair and reasonable results.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, call Davis & Gelshenen LLP at 1-866-427-2121 for a free initial consultation with one of our Experienced, Trusted, and Recommended Personal Injury Attorneys. Davis & Gelshenen LLP handles cases throughout Wisconsin and Illinois and will meet with you at your home to discuss your case.

Talcum Powder Dangers

Talcum powderTalcum powder is made from talc, a mineral containing magnesium and silicon that are mined in rock form. The powder is made by crushing, drying, and milling the rock into a fine powder. Talcum powder has been marketed and sold to absorb moisture and reduce friction, and has been used for diaper rash and chafing.

For some time, medical professionals have known that talcum powder is dangerous for babies and children to breath, but now women are claiming that fine-powder products gave them ovarian cancer. Lawsuits have been filed again Johnson & Johnson, a talcum powder distributor, for failure to warn of the potential danger.

Studies regarding talc and ovarian cancer started in the 1970’s. Since then, many more studies have been conducted and most of the studies indicate that talc-based powders, when used by women long term to keep moisture, odor, and chafing under control, are associated with ovarian cancer. It is believed that talc powder can travel to the ovaries and become embedded in the ovarian tissue. Although talc is a natural mineral, it is difficult for the body to remove the particles. As a result, inflammation may occur and cancerous tumors may form. In additional to the risk of ovarian cancer, talc powder can also contribute to respiratory problems and talcosis.

Despite almost all of the research that has found talc powder to be dangerous, Johnson & Johnson and other talc powder manufacturers have not placed warning about the risk on their products.

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and your medical professional believes talc may have caused your cancer, please contact the Attorneys at Davis & Gelshenen, LLP at 866-427-2121 for a free consultation.

Collision Claims Data Reveals Interesting Automobile Accident Trends

Ehlke 006Progressive Insurance examined its collision claim data and found some interesting trends that may surprise you, including the fact that driving can be riskier on certain days of the week. Knowing about these trends can help drivers be aware of the potential risks they face. Here are some of the trends discovered:

  • You are more likely to end up in a rear-end accident than any other type. Single-vehicle accidents and damage to a parked car are also common.
  • Friday is the most dangerous day of the week for personal auto claims, followed by Monday and Thursday.
  • Your car is most likely to be stolen over the weekend, with Saturday and Sunday as the top two days, followed by Monday.
  • During the holiday season, the week of Thanksgiving shows a significant jump in claims. With many people traveling and shopping, there is an increase of motorists on the roads.
  • Data found that the Sunday after Thanksgiving has the highest percentage of out-of-state accidents of any day during Thanksgiving week.
  • According to the NHTSA, travelling and a higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers cause nearly twice the number of automotive deaths during summer months than during the rest of the year combined.
  • Nine of the 10 deadliest days for youth on U.S. highways fall between May and August.

Although accidents can happen at any time, data trends can show us when extra precaution may be needed. When driving, it is important to always be alert, wear a seatbelt, and follow the rules of the road.

Slip and Fall Accidents – A Leading Cause of Disability and Death

caution signSlip, trip, and fall accidents are more common than many people realize. Slip and fall accidents can lead to disability and even death. Victims of slip and fall accidents often miss work, have to receive ongoing medical treatment, and experience pain due to their accident. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, fall accidents are the leading cause of injuries that result in hospital emergency room visits. Fall accidents account for more than eight million emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with slip and fall accidents accounting for approximately 12 percent of those emergency room visits.

The NFSI website provides an extensive list of quick facts about fall accidents in the U.S. Some of the facts include:

 
• Fractures are generally the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
• Floors and flooring materials contribute to more than 2 million fall injuries each year.
• Over 60% of nursing home residents will fall each year.
• 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.
• Falls occur in all manufacturing and service sectors. Fatal falls most commonly occur in construction, mining, and certain maintenance activities.
• See the full list of quick facts from the NFSI here: http://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/

Some of these statistics are shocking, especially since many falls can be prevented. Fall accidents can happen in almost any location, so by avoiding slip and fall hazards, you can decrease the risk of an accident. Avoid or take extra precautions when you observe the following things:

 
• Loose rugs or rippled carpeting
• Wet or greasy floors
• Clutter in walkways and doorways
• Electrical cords and cables on the ground
• Poor lighting conditions
• Icy or snowy paths and sidewalks
• Poorly maintained sidewalks and stairways
• Safety code violations

 
While not all slip and fall accidents warrant hiring an attorney, many accidents can be due to the negligence or actions of others. If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Davis & Gelshenen LLP at 1-866-427-2121 for a free initial consultation with one of our Experienced, Trusted, and Recommended Personal Injury Attorneys. Davis & Gelshenen LLP handles cases throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina and will meet with you at your home to discuss your case.

Stay Safe on the Roads this Winter

winterdrivingWith the beautiful summer months behind us, winter is quickly approaching. Not surprisingly, car crashes drastically increase during the winter months (November-February) compared to the summer months. By following these simple winter driving tips, you can help to make roads safer and possibly save yourself from a costly accident.

• Clear snow and ice from windows and lights – It is important to make sure you can clearly see the roads to avoid ice and snow. Keeping your headlights and taillights clear will assure that others can see you and help to avoid being hit.

• Leave plenty of room for stopping – Roads get icy and slippery during the winter months, so it is important to give yourself plenty of room to stop in case of slick conditions.

• Check the current road conditions – Check the weather to see how the road conditions are near you. If they are very poor, avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.

• Pay attention – Look out for patches of ice and snow as they can be slippery and cause you to go off the road. Keep off of your cell phone and watch for others to make sure they are not braking quickly or pulling out in front of you.

• Slow down – Driving slower than usual can help to avoid going off the road on black ice or on slick snow.

In addition, remember to pack warm clothing, blankets, food, and water in your car in case of an emergency. Having a fully charged cell phone is also important, so that you can call for help if you need to. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to keep roads safer this winter.

Volkswagen Emissions Control System Recall

recallAccording to Consumer Reports, Volkswagen has admitted to circumventing the emissions control system in about 482,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2008 with the 2.0-liter diesel engine, leading many people to refer to the situation as ‘Dieselgate.’ It is believed that as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide may be affected.

In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen for failure to comply with Clean Air Act regulations. The EPA found that certain Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen models were emitting more pollutants than legally acceptable. There has been an ongoing investigation into which engines and models have violated the laws.

It is reported that the car maker has set aside 6.7 billion euros to help cover the costs of the recalls and another 2 billion euros for compensation payments related to its manipulations of carbon dioxide emission levels. According to the Center of Automobile Management in Germany, the costs of fines, lawsuits, and vehicle refits caused by the rigging of the diesel emissions tests could exceed 30 billion euros (about 34 billion dollars), making this one of the most complex and costly fixes in automobile history.

According to Consumerreports.com, the impacted models are:
• Audi A3 (2010-2015)
• Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
• Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
• Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
• Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
• Audi Q7 (2013-2015)
• Porsche Cayenne (2014-2016)
• Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible (2012-2015)
• Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
• Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (2015)
• Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta SportWagen (2009-2015)
• Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
• Volkswagen Touareg (2013-2016)

Find more info about the recall here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/guide-to-the-volkswagen-dieselgate-emissions-recall-

The 10 Worst Days of the Year to Drive

Motorcycle-in-traffic-thumb-240xauto-4553According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA, and other various sources, there are a number of days each year where it is clearly more dangerous on the road. The following are the top ten worst days of the year to drive:

1. Memorial Day Weekend – This holiday weekend is often considered to be the start of summer. Many people make special plans that typically involve traveling and there is an increase in alcohol consumption. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that about 44% of all traffic fatalities that occur over Memorial Day weekend are alcohol-related.

2. The first Monday after Daylight Saving Time starts – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that traffic fatalities on the Monday after changing to Daylight Saving Time increases by about 17 percent.

3. Black Friday – People flock to malls and stores, leading to overcrowded parking lots and increased traffic in concentrated areas. Progressive Insurance found that the number of claims on Black Friday doubled and parking lot claims rose by 36 percent, with many of the accidents being rear-end accidents.

4. NFL Game Day – The Highway Loss Data Institute did a study that revealed claim frequency around a stadium increases on game day. A home-team win only raises collision claims by about 3 percent, while a home-team loss raises claims by about 9 percent, likely due to aggressive driving.

5. Friday the 13th –A large UK insurance company, Aviva, found that collision claims went up by about 13 percent on Friday the 13th when compared with other days during the same month. No matter what season Friday the 13th fell in, the numbers always increased. The study also found that about 9 percent of drivers keep a lucky charm in their car.

6. New Year’s Day – Surprisingly it is New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve, which is more dangerous. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data, January 1st ranked as the number 1 day of the year with the highest percent of deaths related to alcohol. New Year’s Day is also one of the highest days for car theft.

7. The 4th of July – According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, July 4th is the second deadliest day of the year for drunk drivers with about 42 percent of accidents involving a drunk driver.

8. Thanksgiving – An increased amount of cars on the road across the U.S. makes Thanksgiving one of the busiest travel periods during the year. Since Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, many travelers are also on the road on that Wednesday.

9. Christmas –The Christmas season can be stressful for people, which can lead to more accidents. A state farm survey found that 32 percent of drivers were more likely to be aggressive and have road rage during the holidays.

10. St. Patrick’s Day – St. Patrick’s Day festivities typically include a lot of alcohol intake. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that two out of five car crash fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involved a drunk driver.

Remember to take extra precautions when driving on these dangerous days!

Stolen Vehicle Crash Fatalities Up in Milwaukee

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This year alone, 10 people were killed in Milwaukee car crashes involving a stolen vehicle. The victims were either occupants of a stolen vehicle or were in another vehicle involved in a stolen vehicle crash. This is a significant increase compared to previous years. According to the Milwaukee police, there were only 2 fatalities due to stolen vehicle accidents in 2014. The amount of stolen vehicle deaths this year represents about 16 percent of all traffic fatalities in Milwaukee in 2015.

What is even more troubling is that some of these accidents have involved teenagers. In November, two teenagers were killed in separate crashes in Milwaukee involving underage drivers without licenses. To see a list of all of the incidents involving stolen vehicles this year, see the article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/deaths-from-crashes-in-stolen-vehicles-up-sharply-in-milwaukee-b99623076z1-357239181.html

To avoid car theft, remember to always lock your car doors, park in well-lit areas, and lock garage doors. You should never leave your car running unattended or leave your windows open. For added security, you may want to consider installing a GPS tracking system or alarm system on your car. Also, do not leave valuable personal property in your car. Many car thefts happen when a high-value item is visible in a vehicle.

Holiday Travel Driving Tips

holidaydrivingtrafficThe holiday season (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day) is typically the busiest travel time of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, during the Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (50 miles or more) increases by about 54 percent. During the Christmas/New Year’s travel period, the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number during the rest of the year. While airports, bus stations, and trains get major traffic during the holidays, most long-distance holiday travel is done by personal vehicle.

Traveling with more cars on the road can make your travel experience stressful. If you plan on driving somewhere during the holidays, take a look at our holiday travel driving tips to make your trip a little easier:

• Get your car examined – Before driving a long distance, it is a good idea to get your car looked at, especially if you will be driving in winter conditions. Getting a quick tune-up can give you peace of mind and help you to avoid unfortunate car troubles.

• Be prepared for a change in course – Before you depart, familiarize yourself with your travel route and take a look at what the weather will be like. Be aware of and prepared for detours, construction, road closings, and traffic, which could increase your travel time. In heavy traffic areas, tune in to a local radio station to find out about delays. By staying flexible with your plans, you can decrease the stress and anxiety that might come with traveling.

• Stay alert and make frequent stops – Dehydration can quickly lead to fatigue and decreased alertness. It is important to stay hydrated, pack food, and make regular stops. With more traffic, and possibly winter conditions, driving can be exhausting. Take time to stop, stretch, get fresh air, and take bathroom breaks. Also, fill up with gas whenever you are able to. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll be thankful that you have gas in your tank when you are stuck in traffic.

• Pack a safety kit – Pack safety essentials in your car, such as a cell phone, car charger, rope, jumper cables, first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, etc.

• Remember basic car safety – Always wear your seat-belt, use extra caution in work zones, and don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

• Stay in touch – Let someone know your destination, route, and expected arrival time, so that they can contact you if something arises.

Two Wisconsin Deaths Bring the Total Bicycle Fatalities to Highest Since ’90s

black bikeA Milwaukee bicyclist recently died after being hit by a motor vehicle, bringing the total Wisconsin bicycle fatalities to 15 for the year. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the number of bicycle fatalities this year is the highest annual total since 1999, when 18 deaths were recorded.

The total number of bicycle fatalities this year is an alarming difference from last year, when only 4 bicycle fatalities were recorded in Wisconsin. Although the circumstances and responsibility vary with each accident, about 60% of adult bicycle crashes are the result of motorist error, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The most common motorist error is making a left turn across the path of an oncoming bicycle. The most common error among bicyclists is riding the wrong way in traffic. To decrease the amount of bicycle crashes and fatalities, everyone on the road must follow the rules of the road, stay alert, and always be aware of their surroundings.