The Wisconsin Association for Justice strives to promote a fair and effective justice system – one that ensures justice for all, not just a privileged few. The Association supports the work of attorneys to ensure any person harmed due to work place injury or injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can have a fair day in court, even when taking on the most powerful interests.
As part of this commitment, the Association offers information for consumers and the public at large about our civil justice system and important steps that consumers can take to ensure their rights are protected.
The Right to a Clean Hospital Room
By Russ Golla
Patient safety is one of our society’s greatest concerns. It may surprise some, but attorneys play a major role in improving patient care. You might say, we prefer clean hospital rooms over court rooms. It might also surprise you to learn that there are no standards that require the hospital room you or a loved one will be put in at some point in your life must be free of bacteria or viruses in sufficient numbers to cause an infection. When a patient gets such an infection while receiving treatment for another condition, we call that a Hospital (or Healthcare) Acquired Infection or HAI. Keep Reading
Who Drives the Driverless Car?
by Scott B. Thompson an associate at Gingras, Cates & Luebke. (Summer Verdict 2016)
When the dust settles at the scene of a collision, an all-too familiar series of events unfolds. Drivers and passengers exit respective vehicles and initiate rudimentary damage assessments. Emergency authorities receive hurried phone calls from concerned witnesses, while the pain of injury takes hold. Traffic begins to accommodate for a new obstruction. Drivers dig through glove compartments to locate insurance cards. This familiar scene, however, may soon face dramatic alteration. Keep Reading
New Report - Medical Errors Are Killing Us
At first the report reads like a gigantic typo - a new medical study says medical errors are killing 251,000 of us every year. That would make medical errors the third leading cause of death in the nation claiming almost 700 lives a day...more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer's.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine paints a frightening picture of health care in the US. The study points to everything from bad doctors to communications breakdowns when a patient may be moved from one department to another.
Here in Wisconsin, the problem is compounded by a legal system that favors the medical community at the expense of a patient's legal rights. Under Wisconsin law, it is almost impossible for a victim to go to court if they think they've been hurt by a medical mistake. You can click on this link to a WCLO-AM radio interview with former WAJ President, Dan Rottier, on why the study matters for Wisconsin.
If you are one-of-the-ten cases that ever get to court, be prepared for an uphill battle. Plaintiffs win about 10% of the cases. And if you did win, Wisconsin consistently ranks at the bottom in settlements.
The Power Of Justice
CNN's Michael Smerconish recently aired a compelling commentary on the civil justice system.
Using the GM case as a springboard, Smerconish showed how the Melton family - who lost their daughter in a crash - turned to the courts to find justice both for their family and their daughter.
Smerconish referred to the civil justice system as a check on free enterprise especially when profits take a back seat to safety.
As he so aptly put it...it's all about accountability.
You Should Know Monthly E-Newsletter
- "You Should Know" features important consumer issues that affect your rights. View the August issue on Justice Served, recognizing ordinary people who took extraordinary action to pursue justice, and in the process, helped protect the safety and legal rights of others. Eric Rice, from Madison, is recognized for his work in working to pass the Family Justice Bill. Eric lost his 20-year-old daughter, Erin, in 1999 when she was misdiagnosed. After he learned the family could not pursue a wrongful death claim because Erin was an adult, Eric has been working to change the unfair law. Click here to view previous issues.
- A selection of consumer legal topics for Wisconsin residents.
Award-winning HBO documentary "Hot Coffee"
- Screen the film with your community group and request a speaker for the screening!
The American Jury Brochure:
- Provides answers to common questions regarding jury duty and guidelines to ensure effective and impartial participation in this great American tradition. Click here to view brochure.
What to do If You Are In A Traffic Accident Brochure:
Understanding Auto Insurance Brochure:
- The brochure offers information on types of insurance people must and also should purchase in Wisconsin and suggests questions to ask your insurance agent when buying insurance. It is updated to reflect the changes the Legislature passed in 2011. Click here to view the brochure.
For more information on the duties insurance agents owe to their policyholders, check out this article by Green Bay lawyer Edward J. Vopal of Habush, Habush & Rottier, Agreements and Special Relationships: Insurance Agents' Duties and Liabilities to Insureds in Wisconsin.