Category Archives for Personal Injury

How Should I Hire a Bicycle Accident Attorney?

Hiring an attorney for any legal problem is a daunting task. When you have been injured in a bicycle accident by a negligent motor vehicle operator, it becomes even more important that you carefully select a bicycle accident attorney who can help you receive fair and just compensation for the harms done to you, and who can restore you to the life you were living before your injuries, and the life you deserve. There are some things you should consider before you entrust your bicycle accident injury claim to an attorney. Let’s review some of them.

What experience has your potential attorney had in recovering compensation for bicycle accident injuries?

Every bicycle accident is different and each bicyclist may suffer different injuries when a negligent motor vehicle operator causes harm. But it is invariably true that when a negligent car or truck driver collides with a bicyclist, the cyclist loses, and often to his or her extreme injury. It is fair, and reasonable, that you inquire of any attorney you may retain to protect your interests, about his or her experience in obtaining full and fair compensation for other bicyclists who have been similarly injured. Clifford & Raihala is proud that its bicycle accident attorneys have years of experience providing proven results to bicyclists injured through no fault of their own. Here are some examples:

In a recent, and tragic, Madison collision, a tow truck turned left in front of a bicyclist’s right of way, taking the cyclist’s life. The cyclist had no warning that the tow truck would pull in front of him, invading his right of way. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Madison investigated the collision and discovered that the police determined that the tow truck’s turn signal light was not operative, eliminating any claim that the bicyclist could have avoided the fatal collision. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident lawyer team, led by Attorney John Raihala, successfully resolved this claim for $2,000,000.00, without even filing a lawsuit and allowing the family to resolve the matter peacefully and without trial.

In another recent case, our client was severely injured when struck on his bicycle through no fault of his own. Thankfully he survived, but his injuries were severe and some were permanent, causing physical pain and suffering and significant economic losses, established by opinions of an Illinois physical rehabilitation expert retained by our bicycle accident attorneys. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident attorneys established the severe harms done to our bicyclist client and his family, and recovered $1,925,000.00 from those responsible to compensate him for his injuries.

Does the attorney understand and keep up to date with the law regarding bicycle accidents?

The law changes. Often dramatically. In one recent case, our client was injured not when struck by a moving vehicle, but by a parked car’s driver opening the car door into our client’s right of way. This is known as “dooring,” for obvious reasons. Not long before this event, the law provided that it was the bicyclist’s responsibility to avoid a collision when this happened. The car operator was exonerated. However, Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident lawyers knew the law had changed before the collision and successfully asserted the new law to obtain a $575,000.00 recovery for our client’s injuries knowing that the law, now, appropriately places responsibility for “dooring” on the car operator who is, after all, “in control of the instrumentality of injury.” When you hire a lawyer for your bicycle accident injuries, be sure that lawyer knows the law and any changes to it.
Is the attorney familiar with the uniqueness of bicycle accidents?

Bicycle accidents are unlike other car, truck and motorcycle collisions. They are unique and often occur under circumstances that other vehicle crashes do not. You should be comfortable in knowing the bicycle accident attorney you hire to handle your important case is experienced in and familiar with the unique circumstances of bicycle crashes. An awareness of the unique aspects of bicycle accidents, and experience in resolving such claims, is a minimum requirement.

In one recent case, our bicycle accident client entered an intersection from a designated bike path with a green light but was struck by a pizza delivery vehicle which turned right on a red light into her right of way. Our bicycle accident attorneys understood that Wisconsin law provided that, if turning right on a red light, a car driver must yield right of way to a bicyclist lawfully entering the intersection even if on a bike path. As well, our bicycle accident lawyers inspected the intersection and found that there were two – yes, two – separate “no turn on red” signs at the intersection, and that our client had yelled a warning to the pizza delivery driver before impact. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident lawyers recovered $190,000.00 for our client’s injuries because we understood the unique circumstances of this bicycle collision.

In another unique bicycle accident case, our client was a college student athlete riding his bicycle in an eastward-bound dedicated bike lane on University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin. A car driving in one of four west-bound vehicle lanes turned left into his right of way, crashing into his side causing severe leg fractures. The car operator claimed she was blinded by the setting sun and didn’t see the bicyclist. This common claim ignores the driver’s duty to not proceed if blinded by anything. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident lawyers knew the right of way established by our client’s bike lane, and knew that being blinded by the sun was no defense, and recovered $245,000.00 in compensation for our bicycle client.

Numerous factors can make bicycle accidents unique and deserving of special considerations not applicable to motor vehicle collisions, including “dooring” cases as mentioned above and even a case we have undertaken involving a bicycle striking another bicycle on a bike path where our bicycle accident attorneys have established insurance coverage from the negligent bicyclist.

If you or a family member or loved one have been injured while riding a bicycle as a result of the negligence of another — a motor vehicle operator or even another bicyclist — consider the above factors in selecting an attorney to vindicate your rights, and helping to make you whole again. Clifford & Raihala’s experienced and dedicated bicycle accident attorneys stand ready to assist you. Contact us at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click to connect right now. There is no charge for the consultation and no obligation. We will be honored to help you.

What is My Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?

If a lawyer tells you he or she knows what your motorcycle accident claim is worth in your first interview with a law firm, it’s time to move on. No motorcycle accident attorney can accurately value your claim in your first visit. No competent motorcycle accident attorney should pretend he or she can.

At Clifford & Raihala, our motorcycle accident attorneys know that valuing a claim for injuries in a motorcycle accident is complicated and deserves careful evaluation. This cannot, and should not, be done lightly. Our clients deserve, and receive, serious consideration of all the factors that determine what each should receive as full and fair compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle collision.

In fact, there are numerous factors that influence what a motorcycle accident claim is worth, and many of them depend on the quality and experience of the motorcycle accident attorney representing the injured rider. Clifford & Raihala’s motorcycle accident attorneys understand that motorcycle accident injuries include both economic and noneconomic losses, and must be evaluated carefully. A biker who has been severely injured in a collision almost always suffers significant economic losses. These include medical expenses for the immediate care and for the rest of the biker’s life; lost wages and loss of earning capacity; and, not unimportantly, the property damage to the motorcycle.

But the noneconomic losses suffered by a motorcycle accident victim are even more important. These include pain and suffering which include not just past and future physical pain and suffering, but emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment, disfigurement, and – importantly – the loss of enjoyment of life. The motorcycle accident attorneys in Madison at Clifford & Raihala understand that your injuries effect almost every aspect of your life, and we have helped injured persons throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. We know injured bikers deserve compensation for those losses. How many family gatherings, vacations, birthday celebrations, graduations, weddings and even funerals, have you missed because your motorcycle accident injuries kept you from participating in the special activities of your life? We know that even the normal activities of your life – quality time with your family and friends, even performing the normal activities of your work – are important to you, and become a part of your loss from your injuries. The loss of these deserve compensation, and our motorcycle accident attorneys are dedicated to obtaining that compensation for you, and are experienced and skilled in doing so.

The motorcycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala will evaluate every aspect of your claim to assure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. These include:

How clear is responsibility for the accident?

What is the full extent of the injuries?

Has there been a full recovery?

If not, what continuing problems exist, and how long will they continue? Are they permanent?

What effects do these problems have on the activities of daily living?

What are the total medical bills, and what will they be in the future?

Is there a past, present or future income loss?

How do state and local laws affect the claim?

All of these questions must be answered before a case can be evaluated, but they are just the beginning. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala know that the evaluation of claims is an art perfected only after years of personal injury attorney practice. The Clifford & Raihala law firm has almost 50 years of that experience. You deserve a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney who has that experience. Each case deserves to be considered on its own merits. No two are exactly alike. No claim should be put in the hands of a non-lawyer staffer of a law firm. If you have been in contact with a law firm after your accident, your first meeting should be with a lawyer. If the firm has you meet with an investigator, legal assistant or other non-lawyer staff member, you may want to consult with another firm. You deserve to meet with a lawyer and to have a lawyer manage every stage of your case.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, and believe you are entitled to compensation for the harms done to you by a negligent driver, feel free to call the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click to get started in learning your rights. There is no charge for a consultation, and no obligation, but you will meet with an actual lawyer, not a non-lawyer staff member.

Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

In a word, the answer is “yes.” If you have been injured as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle, you likely have suffered serious personal injuries. While it may seem clear that the driver was at fault, in fact insurance companies go to great length, and often considerable expense, to defend against claims brought by injured pedestrians, primarily to avoid payment of substantial compensation for the serious injuries suffered.

The pedestrian accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala have represented many clients severely injured by a car while they were walking. In one of our Illinois cases, for example, a bus turned left at an intersection striking our 36-year-old client who was crossing the intersecting street. The bus driver was cited for failure to yield to the pedestrian’s right of way, but the insurance company defended against our client’s right to compensation claiming she was not in the cross walk and that the driver’s view was obstructed by shadows from the setting sun. Our pedestrian accident attorneys retained an accident reconstruction expert (who actually acquired a similar bus to reconstruct the accident) and two bus safety experts to overcome the insurance company’s claims. Clifford & Raihala’s personal injury lawyers also obtained interviews with two witnesses supporting our client’s claim that she was in the cross walk. Because our pedestrian accident lawyers knew how to handle the complexity of her pedestrian accident claim, we successfully obtained a $9,000,000.00 settlement for her.

In another Wisconsin pedestrian accident, our client was crossing a street in Madison when a truck turned left into her right of way, again causing severe leg injuries. Our pedestrian accident attorneys searched the area of the collision for street or commercial video cameras, but found that the closest camera was two blocks away and didn’t have sufficient range to film the collision. Nonetheless, we recovered full insurance policy limits for her injuries, without having to file a lawsuit. The driver’s insurance company claimed our client was at fault and was responsible for the collision. Attorney Raihala had promptly obtained a sworn statement from a witness who confirmed that our client was “entirely in the crosswalk,” and that the driver was “not slowing down” and was “100% responsible for causing the collision.” The insurer promptly settled when our pedestrian accident lawyer presented it with the affidavit, and we recovered $640,000.00 for our client.

Similarly, on another Madison, Wisconsin street, our client was crossing at an intersection when a car turned into his right of way. The insurance company tried to argue that our client had not been in the cross walk, but our pedestrian accident attorneys had obtained a street camera video showing the car striking him as he crossed in the intersection. As well, the video showed our client being hit by the front end of the car and sent flying over the car, landing on the street behind the vehicle. The graphic video helped us recover full, fair and substantial compensation of $260,000.00 for our client’s injuries.

Sometimes, pedestrians are injured by mechanisms other than being struck by a motor vehicle. In one of our pedestrian accident cases, our client was walking on a city street alongside a 4-story parking ramp when, without warning, several hundred pounds of ice and snow were blind- dumped over the top floor of the ramp, falling on and crushing her. She suffered multiple vertebral fractures, a crushed rib cage, and other injuries, plus a year-long delay in starting medical school. Our pedestrian accident attorneys obtained 911 recordings on which she was clearly heard groaning in severe pain. As well, we retained a national expert in snow removal protocols to establish the equipment operator’s clear negligence. By those efforts, our pedestrian accident attorneys in Madison helped our client recover $1,250,000.00 to compensate her.

So, the answer is yes: if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian by the negligence of another, whether a driver of a car or truck, or a heavy equipment operator, you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to make sure that the defenses raised by the responsible party’s insurance company do not prevent you from being fully, fairly and, often, substantially compensated. The personal injury attorneys at Clifford & Raihala include experienced pedestrian accident attorneys who know how to investigate pedestrian accidents and to assure our clients receive full compensation. Our personal injury attorneys have been representing injured clients for almost 50 years. To speak with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys, call 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422), or click to connect now. There is no fee or obligation for this consultation. We would be proud to help.

When Should I Call a Personal Injury Attorney?

The answer is clear: as soon after a motor vehicle collision as possible. And the reasons for contacting a personal injury attorney promptly after you are injured in a motor vehicle crash are compelling:

Obtaining evidence which may control the outcome of your case. The first days after a collision offer unique opportunities to obtain important evidence you may need to prove who caused the collision and the extent of injuries you suffered for which you deserve compensation. Clifford & Raihala’s team of personal injury lawyers are experienced in promptly seeking available evidence regarding the accident and the scene of the collision. In fact, one of our personal injury attorneys gave a presentation subtitled “Tips on Early Action in Every Case” to a statewide audience of lawyers who represent injured parties. He taught those lawyers the importance of acting fast to gather photographic or video evidence of the scene, including from video cameras from nearby commercial establishments and highway or street video cameras; to obtain 911 transcripts which often provide detail not included in the police report; and to interview witnesses immediately.

Protecting you from insurance investigators. The insurance company for the driver who caused your injuries through negligence may be required to compensate you for those injuries; your own insurance company may be similarly responsible if the other driver’s insurance is inadequate to fully cover your losses. That means both insurers have interests adverse to yours. Insurance investigators and adjusters are well trained and skilled in protecting the insurance company’s money. Often, the other driver’s insurance will try to interview you as soon as possible. These so-called “interviews” are so fraught with peril for a just-injured victim that, in Wisconsin, statements taken by an insurer within 72 hours of a collision are not even admissible in court. It is reasonable, and fair, and very important that you protect your own interests by speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Clifford & Raihala, you can speak with a personal injury attorney, at no cost and with no obligation, to find out how to protect your interests. Our personal injury attorneys often can meet you at the hospital or at your home since you may be unable to travel.

Meeting legal requirements to protect your claim. In some cases, there are strict legal deadlines to take certain actions to protect your claim. If you don’t act within those deadlines, your personal injury claim may be barred. For example, if the negligent driver was operating a government-owned vehicle, you may have to file a notice of claim within a short time meeting very strict formal requirements. If you have been injured by a “phantom” vehicle – e.g., one that cuts off your lane of travel or forces you off the road, and then drives on – you will be prevented from obtaining compensation from your own insurance policy which provides “uninsured motorist ” coverage, even though you paid for that coverage, unless you file a report within 72 hours. And, you must provide notice of your claim to your insurance company within 30 days to secure that coverage. Personal injury lawyers at Clifford & Raihala will act to protect you from letting these strict deadlines bar your right to compensation.

Planning the strategy for your case. Every case is unique. Your case needs and deserves a case management plan suited to the circumstances of your case. Some law firms assign new cases to non-lawyer staff to “sign up” the new client and to “manage” the case, often just getting the accident report and medical records, notifying the adverse insurance company, and other routine steps. But, no case is “routine.” Each deserves a strategy evaluation addressing what issues might be in dispute, what sources of evidence may be available to address if not dispose of those issues, how long will information or evidence be available, and how to best obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Every client of Clifford & Raihala has one of our skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys manage every aspect of the claim from the first interview all the way to jury verdict, if necessary (usually, cases are settled before any lawsuit is filed). If your first interview with a law firm is with an investigator, an intake person, or paralegal or some other assistant – someone who is not an actual lawyer — move on. When you hire a law firm, you deserve to be represented by a lawyer, not a non-lawyer staff member.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you have the right to compensation for all injures and losses caused by the negligence of the other driver. The personal injury lawyers at Clifford & Raihala in Madison stand ready to help you throughout Wisconsin and in Illinois to make sure you receive full and fair compensation. There is no fee unless you recover compensation. Call our personal injury attorneys at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click to connect right now. The consultation is free and with no obligation.

Why You Should Call a Lawyer immediately After a Collision

When you have been injured by a negligent motor vehicle operator – whether while riding a motorcycle or bicycle, walking as a pedestrian, or driving another car – you may be overwhelmed by the emotional impact of what you’ve endured, or by physical injuries, or by concerns over how you will recover financially, physically and emotionally. Obtaining financial compensation for your losses may initially be far down on your list of needs following the collision.

But, what you do to protect yourself from further harm in the first days after a collision is key to assuring that you are fairly treated by the negligent driver’s insurance company and by our justice system. Clifford & Raihala’s personal injury attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin have decades of experience protecting personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin and Illinois; we want you to know how you can act to vindicate your rights and protect your claims for fair and just compensation, in the hours and days following a collision.

First, be aware that insurance companies require car drivers they insure to promptly report any collision they have caused. That means that the insurer of the driver who negligently injured you – and who may owe you compensation for the injuries its insured caused you — will know about the collision almost immediately after it happened. That insurance company will immediately begin to mount its defenses against you, to claim its insured was not responsible, to claim you were completely or partially responsible, to convince witnesses that you were the negligent party, and so on. That insurance company may even come into your hospital room to interview you. Be aware, they have no right to do so, and the interview is designed to make you admit that you might be responsible, and that your injuries really aren’t that bad.

During these important days immediately following the collision, you have no one on your side, but the negligent driver’s insurer is mounting a campaign against you while you are completely unaware of their activities and tactics. You need someone on your side. At Clifford & Raihala, our personal injury attorneys know that steps taken immediately after a collision can assure you will receive fair and full compensation for your injuries and financial losses.

When our personal injury lawyers are retained shortly after a collision, we will immediately begin obtaining information needed to prosecute your claim, information including the motor vehicle accident report from the police, medical records and bills, police and client photos of the accident scene, interview statements from witnesses named in the accident report, ambulance reports, applicable insurance policies, and other case specific information.

But the first days of representation create a unique opportunity for Clifford & Raihala’s personal injury lawyers in Madison to obtain evidence that may control the outcome of your case. Nothing is routine for our personal injury attorney team. We are creative in seeking information from new sources and unexpected places. Several examples are worth considering.

Highway Videos: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) operates over 250 traffic cameras throughout Wisconsin. These cameras monitor and record traffic mainly on heavily traveled highways. The DOT has a website which shows camera views and maps showing the location of traffic cameras. So, we can quickly determine if a DOT camera video has captured the actual collision in which our client was injured. However, these videos are routinely kept for only 72 hours, so fast action is imperative. As well, many municipal street videos are available at key intersections, as are videos for commercial establishments. Clifford & Raihala personal injury attorneys may seek these videos to demonstrate exactly what happened to cause our client’s harm. In one recent car-pedestrian case, we obtained a video showing our client hit in a crosswalk by a turning car and being thrown over the car causing significant injuries. The video eliminated any defense claim that our client was not in the crosswalk, did not have the right of way, and that the driver was not negligent.

911 Transcripts: Most 911 centers have detailed reports available for every incident or collision. These provide valuable information regarding time and duration, names and telephone numbers of witnesses and damages. In one recent case, Clifford & Raihala personal injury attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin obtained the 911 transcripts of multiple callers who observed different views of a tragically fatal rear-end collision with our deceased client who had stopped in traffic “due to an object in the roadway,” as the accident report described it. We found a 911 caller’s report that the object had fallen off a truck, which meant that “another vehicle” was involved and triggered our client’s own insurance policy’s “uninsured motorist” coverage of $100,000.00 which we recovered. When added to the insurance coverage of the driver who hit her, our personal injury attorneys obtained a total recovery for her family to $310,000.00 for their tragic loss.

Witness Interviews: Clifford & Raihala personal injury attorneys understand the importance of interviewing witnesses promptly in the appropriate case to secure evidence establishing our client’s lack of fault and the negligence of the other driver. In one recent case, our pedestrian client was struck by a negligent driver. The driver’s insurance company claimed our pedestrian client was at fault and was responsible for the collision. Clifford & Raihala’s partner John Raihala, who heads our personal injury lawyer team, had promptly obtained an affidavit from a witness who swore that our client was “entirely within the crosswalk,” and that the driver was “not slowing down” and was “100% responsible for causing the collision.” When he presented the affidavit to the insurer, it settled the claim for $640,000.00. The settlement was secured by promptly obtaining the witness’ statement.

There are many reasons to promptly seek competent legal representation immediately after you have been injured, or after a loved one has been fatally injured, in a motor vehicle accident. These are just a few. But, know this: when you have been injured through the fault of another, Clifford & Raihala’s personal injury attorneys in Madison stand ready to promptly come to your assistance. Call us at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click to connect with us now. There is no obligation and no fee unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Do’s and Don’ts After a Motorcycle Accident

The motorcycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala understand the traumatic nature of being struck by a car or truck while riding your motorcycle. The initial shock of the impact, that surge of adrenalin throughout your body, the emotional turmoil and likely physical injuries all combine to make clear-headed decision-making difficult, if not impossible. It is important, then, that before you ride you have a pre-accident plan of what you should do in the unfortunate event of a crash — at the scene of the collision, at the hospital or urgent care center immediately after if you are injured, and in the days and weeks following the crash. Our motorcycle accident attorneys offer the following suggestions to help you put your plan in place before you are struck by a negligent motor vehicle operator.

At the scene of the collision:

Do . . . Call 911 immediately. This may be obvious if there are serious injuries. But even if there are no obvious injuries, some injuries do not surface right away. And injuries are not the only reason to call for police to investigate. If you believe the other driver was at fault, a police report will help you obtain the compensation for any injuries and property damage to your bike you deserve.

Do . . . Assess your condition. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin, who handle cases statewide and in Illinois, often hear that our clients did not know they were injured in a collision until hours or days later. The stress of a collision can obscure injuries like concussions, strains and sprains, muscle and ligament tears, etc. Before you tell the police that you are OK, make sure you have carefully considered any potential injuries that may not be obvious. The most important issue is your physical well-being – address that as a priority.

Do . . . Observe. If you are able, look at your surroundings, try to see what factors may have led to the negligent driver’s conduct. Pull out your cell phone and start taking pictures, especially before any vehicles are moved and of the car or truck that hit you and your bike. If possible, take a picture of the motor vehicle’s license plate. If you are unable, ask any co-rider or passenger of yours to do it. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

Don’t . . . Admit fault. In the confusion and uncertainty during the immediate circumstances following the collision, you may feel you should acknowledge some responsibility for the crash. It is a common misbelief that each operator bears some responsibility for a crash involving two moving vehicles. That is false. Realize that issues regarding legal responsibility are complex and shouldn’t be decided at the roadside of a crash. Your duty after a collision is to simply state the basic details of what you know about the crash – not what you surmise.

Don’t . . . Decline medical transfer. Our motorcycle accident attorneys often see cases where the rider declines transport via ambulance to a hospital, even when recommended by EMTs at the scene, only to drive themselves to an emergency room or urgent care center hours later. When you have been injured by a negligent motor vehicle operator, you probably are not the best to judge what medical care you might need. Deciding to accept transport offered by first responders may determine what medical care you may need urgently or emergently, and may impact the compensation which you should ultimately be awarded.

At the emergency room or urgent care center:

Do . . . Tell your doctors. Our motorcycle accident lawyers understand that most of us are unwilling to complain about anything. This is not a time to “be tough.” If a patient doesn’t tell a doctor each and every pain, discomfort or symptom he or she is feeling, the medical records won’t report them, and the doctor is likely to overlook them. Protect yourself by making sure your ER doctor knows every symptom you feel when you are brought to the hospital, no matter how small.

Do . . . Express your concerns. Every medical intake wants to know the “subjective” concerns of the patient. It is important for your well-being that you tell your providers how you are feeling and what concerns you have.

Don’t . . . Minimize anything. Your initial visit to a medical provider after a motorcycle accident is not a time to discount or minimize your physical complaints. Make sure you are open with your physicians about any issue may have, or may think you have. You cannot overreact to injuries suffered in what most often are catastrophic crashes.

Don’t . . . Speak with an insurance adjuster. When a motorcycle accident victim is hospitalized after a collision, the negligent motor vehicle operator’s insurance company will actually contact the victim, even while the victim is still hospitalized. They are not trying to help, since that would involve the insurer compensating the biker. No, they are trying to undermine the biker’s claim, to trick the biker into admitting some liability, to helping them avoiding compensation they owe. Do not speak with the insurance adjuster. Do not! Clifford & Raihala’s motorcycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin urge you: Do Not Decline Transport!

In the days and weeks following the motorcycle accident:

Do . . . Recover from your injuries. It is important for your future that you follow your medical providers’ advice and instructions to recover from your injuries as best you can. As well, following your doctors’ advice and instructions and complying with treatment recommendations will assure your ability to obtain the fair and full compensation you deserve for you injuries.

Do . . . Consult with competent motorcycle accident attorneys. At Clifford & Raihala, we are proud that our motorcycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin have helped many bikers get the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by motor vehicle operators. We understand that motorcycle accidents often result from the vulnerability of a biker to a car or truck operator who fails to observe, maintain look out or to be attentive to the presence of a motorcycle. Our motorcycle accident attorneys know that motor vehicle operators too often negligently fail to recognize that motorcycles have the same rights of the road as they do. Our motorcycle accident attorneys stand ready to help bikers, and their family members and loved ones, to vindicate the rights of motorcycle riders injured by the negligence of another.

Don’t . . . Speak with an insurance adjuster. Yes, they will continue to pursue you, trying to get you to concede that you were somehow responsible (so their insured was not) and to find information against you. They will not tell you how they will use information against you. You do have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurer, but understand that your own insurer may be adverse to you. Speak to an attorney before you speak with any insurance company, yours or the negligent driver’s insurer.

If you or a family member or loved one has suffered loss, unfairly, through the neglect of a car or truck driver, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin at Clifford & Raihala at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click to contact us now. Our consultation is free, and there is no obligation.

Safely Passing Bicyclists Avoids Bicycle Accidents

One bicycle safety policy that has gained significant interest and activity in state legislatures across the nation is “3-feet” or “safe passing” laws. These laws try to achieve a goal that, when passing bicycles, motor vehicles allow adequate space to avoid dangerously sideswiping bicyclists or causing a bicyclist to “overcorrect” to avoid the vehicle. In fact, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation in 1973 when it enacted Section 346.075 of the Wisconsin Statutes which requires a motorist to exercise due care, leaving a safe distance of no less than three (3) feet clearance when passing a bicycle. The statute requires the motorist to maintain that clearance until it is safely past the overtaken bicycle.

As of September 2021, 35 states have followed Wisconsin’s lead with three (3) foot clearance requirements. Several other states have adopted stricter requirements (e.g., 4-foot passing laws or requiring a motorist to completely change lanes when passing if another lane is available.) Others have adopted more general standards requiring motorists to pass bicyclists at a safe distance or speed, without defining a minimum clearance.

These relatively recent law changes follow a developing awareness of motor vehicle risks to bicyclists. Studies have shown the relationship between bicycle accident occurrences and motor vehicle operator patterns of conduct. Analyses of causes of bicycle accidents have produced data demonstrating that a large number of bike accidents happen when a motor vehicle is overtaking and passing a bicycle.

The bicycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala understand the legal responsibilities and duties motor vehicle operators owe bicyclists on our roadways. Wisconsin’s “3-foot” law is an important tool in assessing fault of the car driver who sideswipes a bicyclist. But, the evaluation of the negligence of the driver doesn’t stop there. Our bicycle accident lawyers also investigate whether the circumstances of a given bike accident might show the driver still didn’t exercise due care, even where the driver gives three feet of clearance. While mandatory, the “3-foot” rule is just the minimum requirement. If the driver failed to exercise due care and was otherwise negligent (e.g., was distracted, using a cell phone, inattentive, intoxicated, etc.), that driver may still be responsible and owe the bicyclist compensation for injuries and harms he caused.

Some are skeptical about the “3-feet” or “safe passing” laws, doubting whether they can actually be enforced or whether they provide sufficient space for bicyclists. Many bicyclists feel that laws dictating that they must ride to the far right of a lane are of more concern because they often encourage too-close passing, leaving bicyclists vulnerable to being “doored” by a parked car. Those concerns may very well be right and deserved to be taken seriously. The safe passing laws, however, at least provide a less arbitrary legal framework to protect bicyclists who are injured in a bicycle accident caused by a passing car. They are helpful tools for our bicycle accident attorneys in vindicating the rights of our clients who have been injured in a bicycle accident.

The bike accident lawyers at Clifford & Raihala are skilled and experienced in using these and other available tools to make sure that our clients who have been injured by a motor vehicle driver receive fair and full compensation for their injuries. That’s why our bicycle accident attorneys have recovered $2,000,000.00 in one recent, tragic fatal truck-bicycle crash; $1,925,000.00 for a severely injured survivor of a car-bike collision; $575,000.00 for a client who had been “doored” while riding his bicycle; and hundreds of thousands of dollars for other clients injured on bicycles by negligent motor vehicle operators. Every case is different and these examples are unique to the circumstances of those cases, but may give you some idea of the broad experience of our bicycle accident attorneys.

If you or a family member have been injured in a bike accident, contact Clifford & Raihala to see if our bicycle accident attorney team can help. There is no obligation and no fee for the consultation. Call 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422).

Clifford & Raihala Bike Accident Attorneys Can Help You

In a recent 3-year period, there were almost 3,400 reported vehicle-bicycle collisions throughout Wisconsin. Ten percent (10%) of these bike accidents resulted in either the death or incapacitating injury of the bicyclist. Incapacitating injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, serious and often multiple fractures, and more.

The bicycle accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala have decades of experience obtaining successful recoveries for persons injured in bicycle crashes. Indeed, Clifford & Raihala has been protecting those injured by the negligent conduct of others for almost 50 years. In bicycle accident cases, we have sought and obtained full and fair compensation for our bicyclist clients for injuries and harms caused by a negligent motor vehicle operator.

Our bicycle accident attorneys understand that these crashes often have similar causes and characteristics. For example, in the three-year period reported above, 70% of the fatal crashes occurred on roads where the speed limits were 35 miles per hour or greater – speed does kill. Two-thirds of fatal crashes were in urban areas. Alcohol was involved in 27% of the fatal bicycle crashes. Surprisingly, almost 40% of the fatal crashes involved a motorist striking a bicyclist from behind. Another analysis showed that, in 78% of bike fatality collisions, the cyclist was struck by the front of the vehicle. These statistics tell an important story: fatal bike crashes occur when a motor vehicle operator is speeding, has been drinking, or is not properly maintaining lookout to observe a bicycle in the road. Experienced bicycle accident attorneys are aware of these common bicycle accident patterns, and use that awareness to assure their bicycle accident client can advance his or her claim accordingly.

These statistics are stunning. They suggest that most bicycle accident fatalities occur when the motor vehicle operator does not even see the bicyclist he or she is about to crash into. If the statistics prove true, most bike accident fatalities occur when a vehicle driver strikes the bike from behind, leaving the bicyclist totally helpless and completely unable to avoid the collision. The results are awful, and wholly unavoidable by the bicyclist. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident attorneys are familiar with the causes of bicycle crashes and understand the factors which contribute to those causes. We have had years of experience in evaluating car-bike collisions and proving how a driver’s negligence caused such crashes. It is important that an injured cyclist, or his or her family, contact us as soon after the collision as possible so that we can begin gathering available evidence promptly. As experienced bicycle accident attorneys, we apply this data to assure our clients receive the full compensation they deserve.

For example, our bicycle accident lawyers have obtained videos of collisions from the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or nearby commercial or residential security cameras. These are becoming commonly available. Urgency, however, is importantly since these videos are frequently erased after a short while. In one recent case, we obtained a street video showing our client being struck by a vehicle and being thrown over the car. The video showed him being struck from the front end of the vehicle, tossed into the air, flying over the car and landing on the street at the back of the vehicle. This evidence is invaluable. We also try to identify and interview eye witnesses to a collision. Memories fade, so doing this promptly can be important.

If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered loss from a bicycle collision, contact a Clifford & Raihala bicycle accident attorney to protect your rights. Call 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click for a free consultation with no obligation. If you hire us, there will be no fee at all unless we recover compensation for you.

Cars Striking Pedestrians Result in High Death or Severe Injury Rates

A report prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reviewing crashes over a recent three-year period where pedestrians were hit by automobiles disclosed what may seem obvious: when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the result is almost always injury to the pedestrian, most often severe injury or death of the pedestrian. The report, entitled “Wisconsin Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis: 2011-2013,” disclosed that during the period studied, there were more than 1,600 pedestrian crashes. Those crashes included 152 pedestrian fatalities. This amounted to almost 10% of all fatalities in vehicle collisions in Wisconsin.

When collisions with pedestrians don’t result in death, they still cause severe injury at a high rate. “Severe” injuries are categorized as “incapacitating,” often resulting in permanent or long-term disability. In the reported period, 774 pedestrians suffered “severe” injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. In fact, pedestrian crashes comprised almost 9% of all Wisconsin crashes causing severe injuries during the three-year period. Most of the non-fatal and non-severely injured pedestrians still suffered non-capacitating injuries. Experienced pedestrian accident attorneys understand these statistics.

Setting these “labels” aside, these injuries are real. They include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, fractures, organ damage and soft tissue injuries. They can cause long-term or permanent pain and suffering and disability and may dramatically impair the injured party’s ability to support him- or herself or family. They can impede or impair one’s ability to enjoy life, and can cause mental anguish, emotional distress, depression, and other physical and psychological harm. Pedestrians injured by a negligent car or truck operator are entitled to compensation for their injuries and the harms done them. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney knows how pedestrians suffer from injuries caused by a negligent motor vehicle operator crashing into a vulnerable pedestrian.

Where a death tragically occurs as a result of a pedestrian accident collision, the deceased victim’s immediate family members suffer severe loss and are entitled to recover significant compensation for the harms caused by a negligent driver. The role of a personal injury is to assure the family is fairly compensated. First, the deceased victim’s estate may recover compensation for any pre-death pain and suffering the pedestrian endured. Second, the deceased’s survivors are entitled, under the law, to recover their losses for the economic support the loved one would have provided them and their loss of their society and companionship of their loved one. The valuation of that is an important calculation of a skilled personal injury attorney which will be measured by each individual case.
The personal injury attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin at Clifford & Raihala are experienced in vindicating the rights of pedestrians injured by negligent motor vehicle drivers. Our personal injury attorneys in Madison have decades of representing those injured in car crashes and seeking and obtaining fair and full compensation for their injuries.

Clifford & Raihala pedestrian accident attorneys understand the causes of car-pedestrian crashes. We know that 83% of fatal pedestrian crashes occur at intersections or roadways with no traffic signal or stop sign facing the driver. We know that 45% of fatal crashes occur on roads with speed limits of more than 35 miles per hour. We know that almost 70% of crashes occur even though there was a marked crosswalk present at the scene of the collision. We know that the vast majority of pedestrian fatalities at intersections involved driver error, including failure to yield to the pedestrian at a crosswalk or disobeying a traffic signal.

The knowledge and experience of Clifford & Raihala personal injury attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin can help you or a family member obtain the fair and full compensation you deserve if you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian crash. Call Clifford & Raihala at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8842) for a free consultation to learn about your rights, and how our personal injury attorneys in Madison can help you if injured in Wisconsin or Illinois. Feel free to connect with us at We will be honored to help.

Clifford & Raihala Bicycle Accident Attorneys Bring Experience and Knowledge to Your Case

If you or a family member has been injured in a car-bicycle collision, you deserve lawyers who have the experience and understanding of bike crashes to make sure you are fairly and fully compensated for your injuries. Clifford & Raihala’s bicycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin have been representing people injured in car crashes for almost 50 years. We are experienced bicycle accident attorneys and have handled bike crashes of every kind, from tragically fatal injury to serious fractures, traumatic brain injury, and more.

We understand the serious nature of bike crashes, and their causes. In 2019, almost 850 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. Another 49,000 cyclists were injured, a 5% increase over the preceding year. Almost 80% of those bike crashes were in urban areas. Alcohol involvement was reported in 34% of all fatal bike accidents. Almost 70% of the fatalities happened during weekdays, with one in five occurring between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Clifford & Raihala bicycle accident attorneys research these statistics (see, e.g., in the “Traffic Safety Facts” report published annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at and other sources) because that data helps us understand how and why our bicycle accident client was injured.

Clifford & Raihala bicycle accident attorneys in Madison, Wisconsin believe having an understanding of how, and when, and why motor vehicle-bicycle crashes happen is an important background to providing our bicycle accident clients with capable legal representation, and assuring they receive full compensation for their injuries. That’s why we have recovered millions of dollars of compensation for our bicycle accident clients. Some of those results can be reviewed here: LINK

Our law firm has handled bicycle accident cases where the motor vehicle operator has violated some of the most basic, but important, duties to the bicyclist. Motor vehicle operators need to share the road with bicyclists. They need to allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicycle on the roadway, to look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling from a parking space, and to yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators and have the same responsibilities – and rights – as motor vehicles. All too often, car drivers don’t recognize the rights of bicyclists on our roadways. And the results can be devastating.

Frequently – all too frequently – bicyclists suffered sever and life altering injuries when a car or truck crashes into them. Our bicycle accident lawyers have represented clients who have been struck by a negligent motor vehicle operator resulting in injuries from severe fracture requiring multiple surgeries and long-term rehabilitation and therapy to injuries to multiple organs to fatalities. The injuries are rarely mild. The consequences are frequently awful. Unfortunately, our bicycle accident attorneys have had to resolve claims where the bicyclist has succumbed to fatal injuries, and the survivor family members should be compensated for not only their economic losses of support but their loss of the society and companionship of their loved one.

Our bicycle accident attorneys have obtained millions of dollars of compensation for our bicycle accident clients. If you or a family member have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us at 608-257-7900 (toll free at 888-791-84220 or click There is no charge and no cost for this consultation, and no obligation. Our bicycle accident attorneys will be pleased to answer your questions about our experience in representing bicyclists. We think you will be impressed, comforted by our experience and successful results, and convinced that we can help you, too. If you retain Clifford & Raihala to represent you, there will be no fee charged unless we recover compensation for you.