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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Settlement reached in Milwaukee motorcycle crash lawsuit

A trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court has been avoided. A jury was originally scheduled to hear allegations of how a motorcycle crash injury was caused by road repair contractors' negligence. The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants to seek compensation that would help the victim's family with expenses, lost wages and other financial burdens. The settlement among the parties totaling $3.9 million eliminated the need for the trial, which was anticipated to take at least a month.

According to reports, the 51-year-old man was riding his motorcycle eastbound on Center Street in 2010. Avoiding a protruding manhole cover, he hit an oil slick on the road and lost control of the bike. Allegedly, the oil slick was on the surface prepared for paving due to repeated damage to cars that had hit the unmarked, raised cover as they traversed through the intersection.

The motorcycle accident victim suffered frontal lobe brain injury and other serious head injuries that have caused him permanent disability. Records state he is unable to work due to short-term memory loss and affected moods and cognitive abilities.

Negligence on the part of the paving contractors was alleged in the lawsuit. To prepare the road, they milled down the existing pavement to expose four to five inches of the manhole. The plaintiffs allege it was left in this raised state for more than a week, without markings or barricades to warn drivers of the obstacle. The complaint claims damage to oil pans of vehicles passing over the manhole caused the oil on the road surface, and ultimately, the motorcycle accident.

Victims and survivors of any type of accident are entitled to seek compensation from liable parties through the courts. There are times when a lengthy trial must proceed, and a jury will decide who should be held accountable. Other times, a clear understanding of the circumstances, evidence of negligence and legal options will allow for a better outcome through strong negotiation tactics. Either way, protecting the injured and providing future security with effective strategies is the goal after an accident.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Motorcycle crash case against paving contractors settles for $3.9 million" Bruce Vielmetti, May. 26, 2014

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