"Wisconsin Lawyers, Wisconsin Attorneys, Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers & Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorneys"
It's time to give my opinions about lawyers and attorneys directories. There's been a growth of these online yellow pages advertising "Wisconsin Lawyers" "Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers" "Wisconsin Attorneys" "Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorneys." I don't think this works for lawyers as users are different from others who hire lawyers and attorneys based on tv or yellow pages. People surfing the Internet for lawyers or attorneys are smarter and would go to lawyers' sites to obtain information on a lawyer or attorney to make informed decisions. Further, when I check different states on directories, like Illinois, where I know many of the best trial lawyers, none of those lawyers are on the sites. Why not? Simple, they didn't pay. According to a Legal Ethics site - www.legalethics.com, lawyers and attorneys may have good reason not to buy this advertising as some state legal ethics committees have found some sites unethical. One outfit - "attorney-run" - calls itself "free" - but is only "free" to the consumer and costly to lawyers and attorneys.

Yet, there they are all over Google - www.google.com and Yahoo - www.yahoo.com. For example, legallawhelp.com drives Wisconsin residents to its directory through schemes to find those looking for Wisconsin lawyers and Wisconsin attorneys practicing Wisconsin personal injury law with names like "Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers, Attorneys and Law Firms - legal advice" "Wisconsin lawyers" "Wisconsin attorneys" "Wisconsin personal injury lawyers" "Wisconsin personal injury attorneys."

anattorneynearyou.com has a page called WISCONSIN PERSONAL INJURY- LAWYERS, ATTORNEYS, WISCONSIN PERSONAL INJURY. It has the same use of words for nearly every state, compare ALASKA and WISCONSIN! Some language at each said "A Wisconsin personal injury lawyer is sought because an individual experienced injuries that another individual or company was liable for. Wisconsin Personal injury lawyers can help recover any money that the individual qualifies for resulting in any physical or mental suffering, which can range from bodily injuries to an injured reputation. The severity of personal injuries can vary widely depending on the circumstances. A more serious personal injury may have caused lifestyle changes and adjustments, leading to a loss in wages and other inconveniences. A Wisconsin personal injury lawyer can help recover any lost damages."

Another site is p-i-law.com with its page "Personal injury lawyers - medical malpractice attorneys wrongful death wrecks accidents - PI NC." The site has more links than one could imagine such as AltaVista Google HotBot Yahoo Excite InfoSeek AOL MSN Northern Light SavvySearch Lycos WebCrawler Findlaw. Just a big money waster for lawyers.

apersonalinjurylawyersource.com is a page titled Wisconsin Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawyer. Yet, the links lead to nothing of substance. injurylawyerfinder.com, per Network Solutions Whois, is owned by an Austrailian outfit.

These lawyer and attorney directories might as well be called "How to make money off Personal Injury Lawyers". Guess that's why I get phone calls on a regular basis from these people trying to sell me into their web directory.


Wisconsin personal injury lawyers, in recent years, have seen auto insurers like Allstate Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, American Family Insurance, Farmers Insurance and others attack thousands of credible and honest Wisconsin citizens. These car insurers do so by forcing injury claims to trial ONLY because those claims involved a rear-end or bumper-to-bumper auto accident (1) involving little or no physical property damage to the car or cars in the collision and (2) a muscle, tendon, nerve or other soft tissue injury to the injured person. Wisconsin car insurance companies force those cases to trial and refuse to settle. The auto insurers challenge such cases only because it is impossible, absent surgery, for the injured plaintiff, personal injury lawyer or doctor to show - via x-ray or other visual or objective evidence - how badly the plaintiff was hurt in the car collision.

The argument car insurance companies and auto insurance company adjusters and defense lawyers make is that the person claiming injury must be lying, exagerating, or imagining their injury and pain because the CAR WASN'T DAMAGED. These auto insurance companies and car insurance company adjusters and defense lawyers even pay to have a doctor, chiropractor or other physician do a so-called Independent Medical Examination (typically a doctor who earns a fair amount of money doing such exams for insurers) and that physician predictably comes to trial and supports their "employer," the car insurer, and testifies that he/she found no physical or objective evidence to support the injury claim. They do this because the plaintiff can't prove otherwise. Where they can, the insurer's physician will point to some past treatment or prior complaint and claim the injury is pre-existing. Some of defense doctors, chiropractors or physicians go so far as to testify that the plaintiff lied, exagerated, or imagined pain.

The whole defense is typicall a fabrication created by car insurers, which is one reason their Insurance Institute wants no visible damage to a cars in crashes. As a result of this low impact/minimal impact defense, the auto insurance companies deny legitimate claims and force good honest people with legitimate claims to incur all of the costs ($2000-$5000) of litigation which are not recoverable even if they win at trial and wait 2+ years before they ever get medical expenses and wages lost back (no interest is recoverable). Below is a page from the U.S. Government's NTHSA site and it tells the truth about bumpers and property damage and contradicts the position of insurance companies, like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Farmers.

Bumper Q&A's

What is a bumper?
A bumper is a shield made of steel, aluminum, rubber, or plastic that is mounted on the front and rear of a passenger car. When a low speed collision occurs, the bumper system absorbs the shock to prevent or reduce damage to the car. Some bumpers use energy absorbers or brackets and others are made with a foam cushioning material.

What is the purpose of bumpers?
The car bumper is designed to prevent or reduce physical damage to the front and rear ends of passenger motor vehicles in low-speed collisions. Automobile bumpers are not typically designed to be structural components that would significantly contribute to vehicle crashworthiness or occupant protection during front or rear collisions. It is not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars. Bumpers are designed to protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as safety related equipment such as parking lights, headlamps and taillights in low speed collisions..

Is there a way to determine how fast a car was going during a rear end crash based on the damaged bumper(s)?


The biggest tragedy about "tort reform" - which I think many politicians fail to see - is how such legislation decimates many families ability to get justice. A Washington Post article published Sunday, New Vaccine Clause Angers Parents of Autistic: Amendment Buried in Homeland Security Law Restricts Right to Sue Makers of Drug Preservative, shows the people effected.

Hopefully, before it's too late, Americans will see the injustices done by so-called "tort reform." Although, in my experience, most people don't care about it until it directly effects them and by then it is too late to change your vote or call your representative.

Wisconsin residents, Below are three situations for you to think about:

Wisconsin mother dies due to a recalled dangerous and defective product. The family, the father and minor children, can not recover more than the capped amount of $350,000 for the loss of their mother and spouse's comforts and companionship.

Wisconsin doctor cuts off a Wisconsin man's wrong limb. The Wisconsin man can't recover more than the capped amount of $350,000 for the disfigurement and mental anguish caused by this - no matter how horribly disfigured he is and no matter how much mental anguish or suffering he has.

Wisconsin man is drunk at a bar. The bartender knows the man is drunk and keeps serving the man for 3 hours knowing that the man will drive home drunk on the highway. The man crashes into an innocent driver paralyzing her. The drunk has $25,000 and no assets. The innocent driver cannot recover a single penny from the bar or bartender because they have immunity.

All three of these scenarios are the law in Wisconsin. No lawsuits can't solve everything, but justice would be nice.


It's lawyer-bashing season and required reading is "In Defense of So-Called 'Greedy Trial Lawyers," Texas Bar Journal, November 2002. My favorite paragraph states:

"Like it or not, we need lawyers. All of us. We live in a country that regulates health and safety and resolves disputes through the civil justice system. Private trial lawyers make that system work. If your insurance company doesn't pay when it should, your car doesn't run as promised or your physician operates on the wrong leg, your recourse is to hire a lawyer and sue. We need lawyers, trial lawyers, sometimes even greedy trial lawyers. Just ask the doctors who have filed a class-action lawsuit against their HMOs."

Unfortunately, the leader of the Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, is on the fringe and pushing Congress and the President for "tort reform". Donohue's running ads in various states and planting media stories regarding asbestos, malpractice, a "litigation explosion," class actions, products liability, automobile "no fault" insurance, etc. Donohue makes false claims regarding insurers losing money, damage awards, the number of lawsuits, etc. I beg you to do your research to learn the truth!

See the Center for Justice & Democracy website. Recent postings include a response to two 60 Minutes programs Morley Safer Segment and Rooney Commentary. Other items include A Medical Malpractice Guide and Americans for Insurance Reform's. Also, check out recent press release highlights. A few of these are interesting including Study Shows that Warning Labels Save Lives and Average Medical Malpractice Payments Only $30,000; Payouts Virtually Flat for a Decade. Finally, see the MYTHBUSTERS! page which has facts.

I also highly recommend Public Citizen's Civil Justice and Legal Rights page.

We must use facts to educate our politicians regarding "tort reform" lies.


Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog has been morphed by this personal injury attorney in Wisconsin into a consumer site. Thus, I want to remind consumers that Christmas has hazards associated with it including dried out Christmas trees, unsafe lights and unattended burning candles. These can and do cause thousands of injuries. Each year hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,500 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. There are 11,600 candle-related fires each year, resulting in 150 deaths, 1200 injuries and $173 million in property loss. Christmas trees are involved in about 300 fires annually, resulting on average in 10 deaths and 30 injuries.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin: More snow. Since the leading cause of death in winter is car accidents, here are some tips for preparing your vehicle. Before winter have a mechanic check your car. Install good winter tires or at least make sure tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for winter conditions in Wisconsin. Keep a windshield scraper and broom for ice and snow removal. Maintain at least a half tank of gas. Plan long trips carefully. If you must go out during a storm, dress warm and have extra food and water. You should have a winter car kit that has flashlights with extra batteries, a first aid kit with pocket knife, several blankets, matches, mittens, a wool cap, small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels, small shovel, and booster cables.


Happy Thanksgiving from your Wisconsin personal injury lawyer. Here's a list as we head into the holidays of recalled children's products:

Gearbox Pedal Cars (75,000) distributed by Alpha International Inc. The paint on some contains high lead levels. Standards ban toys and children's products containing high levels of lead. Call Alpha International at (800) 368-6367.

Air Powered Rockets (140,000) distributed by Estes Industries. The rockets' foam tips can break off exposing sharp edges that can cause face lacerations or eye injuries. Six children were struck in the face by the rockets, including two who suffered detached retinas and four who suffered cuts requiring stitches. Call Estes Industries toll-free at (800) 576-5811.

Firestormer and Skyblazer toy air-powered planes (137,000) distributed by Spin Master Toys. The plastic air intake chamber of the air-powered toy planes can burst, throwing plastic pieces, posing a laceration, bruise and abrasion hazard to consumers. Call Spin Master Toys at (800) 622-8339.

Animal Toy Sponges (280,000) distributed by Dollar Tree Stores. The eyes on the toys can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Call Dollar Tree Stores at (800) 876-8077.

Stuffed Polyester Pool Animals (310,000) distributed by Dollar Tree Stores. The seams can separate exposing the polyester stuffing and foam beads. The foam beads pose a choking hazard to young children. Call Dollar Tree Stores at (800) 876-8077.

Cotton Candy Machine (188,000) distributed by Rose Art Industries. The motor on the cotton candy machine can jam and overheat, posing a fire hazard. Call Rose Art at (888) 262-4474.

Baby Walkers that can fall down stairs (2 brands totaling 53,500 units). Oriental International Trading Company distributed 3500 such walkers, and Bikepro distributed 50,000. The walkers fit through a standard doorway and are not designed to stop at the edge of a step. Babies using these walkers can be seriously injured or killed if they fall down stairs. Call Oriental International Trading Company at (866) 666-9868 or Bikepro at (800) 261-2559.

Toy Tracks on Activity Center (152,000) distributed by Graco Children's Products. The toy track can break, presenting a cut or pinch hazard and exposed small parts pose a choking hazard to young children. Call Graco at (800) 673-0392.

Also, be cautious with:

Playpens that can collapse (5 brands totaling more than 1,500,000 units) and entrap a child in the V-shape folded top rails. The top rails must be turned to set up the playpen. There have been 15 known deaths to children when top rails of playpens collapsed. A new industry standard requires that the top rails of these playpens automatically lock into place when the playpen is fully set up. Evenflo "Happy Camper," "Happy Cabana," and "Kiddie Camper;" Century "Fold-N-Go" Models 10-710 and 10-810; Baby Trend "Home and Roam" and "Baby Express;" and Kolcraft "Playskool Travel-Lite Model."

Lane Cedar Chests (12 million) distributed by Lane Co. The cedar chest lids automatically latch shut when closed, posing a suffocation hazard to children. Twelve children suffocated inside the chests. New locks, used since 1987, will prevent entrapments because they do not automatically latch shut. Contact Lane at (888) 856-8758.

Old Chest Freezers (made between 1945 and 1970) have heavy lids that latch. Children can suffocate in old chest freezers (and in other products with heavy lids that latch). There have been 27 known deaths in old chest freezers. Destroy the old freezer, take the door off or remove the latch.


I am adding a new lawyer to my list legal heroes - New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Forbes Magazine's recent article about Spitzer entitled Witch Hunt shows why Eliot Spitzer is a modern day hero. Forbes by demonizing Spitzer, is legitimizing his work (similar to the way Democrats originally demonized Rush Limbaugh). Corporate America might not like the idea - because it never likes to pay for its wrongs - but the fact is that once the corruption and abuses are punished, it's easier for the American public to have faith in those businesses and want to invest in such businesses.


As a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer, I have long known that insurance companies engage in business practices, which sometimes include targeting certain types of claims or people, hiring biased physicians and doctors to do medical exams, destroying records and hiding information, etc. Sometimes such cases result in "bad faith" litigation against the insurer, but more often insurance companies get away with such conduct. For this reason, we, personal injury lawyers, relish the moment when an insurer is caught red-handed by a court of law, especially a federal court.

A recent case was in U.S. District Court where a judge upheld a multi-million dollar bad faith jury verdict against insurers Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and UnumProvident Co. The decision states:

"There was testimony at trial that Paul Revere adopted Provident’s claims handling policies as part of the transition when it was acquired by Provident, including targeting certain categories of claims, and that Paul Revere employees admitted to such practices as destruction of the original medical reports from examining physicians, not knowing the California definition of total disability, and adopting a policy of failing to document claims processes in the file. There was testimony from experts and others that Defendants used a biased medical examiner, failed to advise its insured of covered benefits, targeted claims like hers for termination, failed to settle a claim when liability was clear, and forced its insured to litigate to obtain benefits. Based on the evidence presented at trial, this court concludes that Defendants have violated the Unfair Insurance Practices Act, Insurance Code §790.03, and that their bad faith in doing so, as found by the jury in this case, constitutes a violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200."

In addition to upholding the jury verdict the judge went one step further making a heroic order, which states:

"The court finds it more appropriate in this instance to order Defendants to obey the law, and hereby enjoins them from future violations, including but not limited to, targeting categories of claims or claimants, employing biased medical examiners, destroying medical reports, and withholding from claimants information about their benefits." See the full UNUM decision.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Freezing rain and snow. In light of this weather, I thought I would give you some information on what to do if you are in a car accident. First, stay at the scene of the collision and make certain that a police report is completed or at a minimum a driver’s car accident report. As the driver of a car involved in an accident, you are legally required under Wisconsin law to stop at the scene of any collision that you are in and that involves physical injuries or property damage. Obviously, if someone is hurt, call for help. If you are hurt, but do not need an emergency room, make certain that you go to the hospital or doctor within 48 hours. If it was the other person’s fault, do not trust their insurance company to take care of you and/or your car damage. You should also make sure that you get the name of any persons who witnessed the car accident. Careful, those eye-witnesses disappear quickly and this needs to be done fast. Before your car is fixed, take pictures of all the property damage. Then, later, once you are at home, make sure you call your insurer. For car insurance information, go to my web page Wisconsin personal injury attorney.


The asbestos article was published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel over the weekend, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asbestos article. Also, over the weekend, a fellow trial lawyer wrote an excellent editorial in a Dallas-Fort Worth paper. My opinion is that this war has just begun and that asbestos and so called asbestos reform is only the first battle.


Apparently, the incoming Congress not only has asbestos on the mind, but is planning on attacking the individual's right to bring medical malpractice claims. For years medical malpractice insurance companies and less-informed members of the American Medical Association have tried to blame "excessive litigation" and "high jury verdicts" as reasons for high medical malpractice insurance premiums. I don't really blame the doctors because if I were a physician, I'd be frustrated too. Recent facts though show that medical malpractice insurers lie - big surprise it's all about money. They are calling on Congress to enact irrational caps on damages. Not coincidently, such caps increase insurer profits. In fact, an ally of the medical malpractice insurance industry, The Wall Street Journal, recently revealed some truths as did the Denver Post. An October 11, 2002 article in the Post described how "Insurance companies have exaggerated the impact of malpractice claims to increase doctors' premiums." The article reports: "Once adjusted for inflation, insurance company losses linked to malpractice payments have remained stable over the last 30 years, according to the study. So, there is no truth to insurance and medical industry claims that an explosion in jury awards has fostered an escalation in physician premiums....."

The Wall Street Journal blames insurers' bad accounting and greed as having a "big effect on premiums." It stated that when the stock market's bull market ended, investment gains that covered up bad insurance practices disappeared and some doctors' medical malpractice insurance premiums sky-rocketed. Moreover, the article confirms that "doctors and hospitals win [medical malpractice lawsuits] about 62% of the time." It states "Some doctors are beginning to acknowledge that the conventional focus on jury awards deflects attention from the insurance industry's behavior. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for the first time is conceding that carriers' business practices have contributed to the current problem...." A CEO from a leading malpractice insurer was quoted as stating: "I don't like to hear insurance-company executives say it's the tort [injury-law] system -- it's self-inflicted."


Warning homeowner, a couple claims with your insurer and you may lose your insurance. A Washington D.C. couple learned this the hard way. Apparently, last Thanksgiving when a pipe broke in their home the couple made a claim to State Farm Insurance and it ended up paying about $3600 to repair water damage. The home was worth in excess of $600,000 and thus, it was a small claim in comparison. Nevertheless, the couple soon learned that State Farm refused to renew their insurance. The stated reason was the Thanksgiving incident, their 2nd claim in 2 years and the fact that during 25 years with State Farm, they filed a total of 3 claims, one for $278. Then, after this, the couple was REFUSED insurance from any other insurance company and had to buy insurance through a state plan that doesn't include any insurance for theft or liability. Read the whole State Farm Article.


Lectured yesterday at "Adjusting Motor Vehicle Accident/Premises Liability Personal Injury Claims in Wisconsin," at the Astor Hotel in here Milwaukee. After, I met a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to discuss asbestos and mesothelioma cases in Wisconsin.

Again, coalition of asbestos businesses are floating a scheme to "reform" the process for asbestos claims. This is the fourth battle in a war between victims of asbestos and businesses that profit from asbestos (asbestos is still processed and sold mainly overseas) but this time they have sympathetic ears in Congress and the White House. But if the public learns the truth, I doubt asbestos profiteers will prevail.

The asbestos-industry has known about the dangers of asbestos since the early 1900s Medical articles described asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma and the first asbestos lawsuit took place during that time. Yet, into the 1950s and 1960s companies like W.R. Grace and Owens-Corning sold asbestos ignoring asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Because tons of asbestos products were sold then and asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are hidden for 15-45 years, the extent of the illnesses were not known publicly until the 1970s. After looking at the dangers, the EPA issued a rule banning asbestos in certain uses, but the asbestos industry fought the ban so it could continue to profit from asbestos-laced products. Since 1960 MORE THAN 250,000 persons have died the horrible suffocating death associated with asbestos and 150,000 more are predicted to die.

Don't be confused by lies told in asbestos companies' tv ads, these people are dead and dying. These are not "no injury" cases. For an amazing article describing how asbestos effectively decimated a town see the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As a person who has witnessed the death associated asbestosis and mesothelioma and the effect it has on spouses, children and grandchildren, it's impossible for me to fathom 400,000+ families enduring such suffering.

It is simply reprehensible for asbestos companies, that profit and profited for decades, to now ask that these families be barred from accessing our civil justice system.


Being a personal injury lawyer, I see a lot of horrible injuries and thus, as a father, I may be overly cautious with my children and their toys. But I would rather be safe then sorry and thus, here are a few tips to help you choose safe toys:
1) Select toys to suit the age and skills of the intended child.
2) For toddlers who mouth objects, avoid small parts.
3) Look for sturdy construction.
4) For children under age 8, avoid sharp edges and points.
5) Be a label reader. Look for age recommendations.
6) Check instructions for clarity.
7) Discard plastic wrappings, which can cause suffocation.


Had a debate over the weekend regarding the role of trial lawyers in society. Apparently, some people (including many politicians) just don't understand that trial lawyers have a meaningful and important role in helping prevent injuries and helping those who have been injured by the improper acts of another. We help those who are harmed get fair compensation for their damages and help people assert the rights they have as consumers of products. Whether it's making the Country safe by taking hazardous product designs off the market, e.g. the Ford Pinto fuel system, or by putting financial pressure on employers to make working conditions safer, trial lawyers are a powerful meaningful voice for true reform. We have helped to make toys safer to prevent choking and children's clothes flame-retardant, and taken harmful medical devices off the market. And we make sure that parties causing the harm are held fully accountable.


One of the other things I am going to do here is rebut all the propaganda fabricated primarily by auto, home, liability, and other casualty insurers and individuals like Thomas J. Donohue, current President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The latter has tried very hard to skew the Chamber’s agenda, which should be about small and mid-sized businesses, towards “Legal/Tort Reform” calling for absurd “tort reform legislation, including product liability and medical malpractice reforms, to restore balance to the U.S. civil justice system.” This man's ideas are repugnant to justice and are founded on lies about an "insurance crisis." The facts show that nationally insurers have substantially increased profits. State Farm recently declared a “$1 Billion dividend for auto insurance customers,” which in Wisconsin resulted in $13,500,000 being returned to insureds. And in Wisconsin, the truth is reflected in the diminishing “loss ratios” of Wisconsin private passenger car, workers compensation and medical malpractice insurers, which show how insurers are making more money. Yet, when these insurers have underwriting gains, decreased loss ratios and increased profits, they credit being “well-capitalized, strong investment returns and a lack of catastrophic losses.” But, when there is some bad news insurers blame "Trial Lawyers," “higher auto claims,” "the size of the awards" and claim there's “the litigation explosion.”


Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

I've created Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog as means for providing consumers, lawyers and attorneys with general information and links relating to tort law and Wisconsin personal injury law. I am a personal injury lawyer in Wisconsin, but beware: the Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Blog is not legal advice, not a substitute for legal advice, and must not be thought of as legal advice. All cases are different and fact dependent and since initial opinions from personal injury lawyers are almost always free get as many as reasonably possible.

Here are a few resources for those seeking Wisconsin law. Case law is found at Supreme Court of Wisconsin Case Law and Wisconsin Court of Appeals Case Law, and administrative decisions made by Wisconsin agencies at Worker's Compensation, Equal Rights, and Employment Relations decisions.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer & Wrongful Death Attorney is my firm's web site, which contains a wealth of information including discussion of:

Personal injury cases handled by the firm
FAQs re: Wisconsin personal injury
The firm bio
Plane crashes
Car accidents
Intersection accidents
Motorcycle accidents
Truck & bus accidents
Boat, snowmobile & ATV injuries
Train Accidents
Slips, Trips & Falls
Dog Bites
Medical Malpractice

Wisconsin Lawyer Frank Pasternak