The Catcher of the Lie
Ted Warshafsky on community, Ralph Nader and getting the motherf---ers to fess up
By Kevin Davis
Ted Warshafsky was shopping for a lawn mower at a Wal-Mart store this summer when a sales clerk called out his name. "You're Ted Warshafsky, aren't you?" she asked. It took a moment—Warshafsky hadn't seen her in nearly 25 years—but then he remembered. She was the wife of a man who lost a leg in a farming accident in 1981. With Warshafsky as their lawyer, they received a $2 million settlement after suing the manufacturer of a grinding machine that, Warshafsky argued, had a poorly designed emergency shutoff system.
The woman embraced Warshafsky. "Because of you we were able to send our kids to college," she said. "My husband has learned to walk with a prosthesis. We've been able to travel a little. We owe it all to you."
Warshafsky would have none of it. "Look, I made a hell of a lot of money on your case," he said. "I'm a lawyer. My job is to handle your case. If I get lucky and win, I make some money. It's not some charitable thing."
Warshafsky's peers, on the other hand, will have none of that.
"What drives him is his social conscience. It's representing the little guy who's been wronged," says Victor Harding, a longtime colleague and partner with Warshafsky, Rotter, Tarnoff & Bloch. "He's taken enormous risks and outlays of time to do that."
"One of the most important things Ted has always said is finding the wrong and righting it," says Frank Crivello, another partner, who began his career with Warshafsky while a student, and who has co-authored with him an update of the Trial Handbook for Wisconsin Lawyers. "Ted has never been about the money."
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First Steps after a Crash: Acting Responsibly in Accordance with Wisconsin Law
Your Responsibilities after a Car Accident under State Law
Under Wisconsin law, drivers involved in an accident have certain duties and responsibilities. Any driver involved in the accident is required to:
- Stop at (or as close as possible to) the scene of the accident
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident, including arrangements for transportation to a hospital if necessary
- Call the police and report the accident
- Remain at the accident scene and give their name, address, vehicle registration (and upon request show driver’s license) to the other driver and passengers involved
If a law enforcement officer completes a Wisconsin motor vehicle accident report, you do NOT need to file a driver report of accident with the Department of Transportation.
If the at-fault driver fails to stop after a car accident they can be charged with hit-and-run, and you may be able to pursue punitive damages in your personal injury lawsuit.
Get more information on reporting a hit and run accident now.
lawyers fear an expensive legal battle
with trial tested adversaries. Learn More
last penny of your case
their piece of your cut-rate insurance settlement.
Whats your case REALLY worth?
for your injury.
How to Protect Your Case after a Car Crash
Failure to preserve evidence after being injured in a car accident can hurt your claim.
You can help your car accident claim by doing the following (if your injuries allow it):
- Take pictures of the accident scene (including signage & road conditions) and vehicle damage
- Contact your insurance company, notify them of the accident, and request claim form
- Never admit fault when speaking to anyone at the scene or on the phone
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses or bystanders
- Record the name and badge number of the police officer to obtain the crash report
- Consult a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and your legal rights.
Getting injured in a car accident can be extremely stressful, but it’s important to stay calm. Your words, your actions, and the evidence you collect are critical and can have a big impact on your car accident lawsuit.
Know When to Call a Lawyer
In the aftermath of a car accident calling a lawyer can mean the difference between walking away unscathed and being left on the side of the road. Call a lawyer right away if:
- Your injuries require surgery after a car accident.
- You were injured by a drunk driver.
- You were struck by a distracted driver.
- You are the victim of a hit and run.
- You were struck by a car while on your bike.
- You were in a car accident while pregnant.
- You were involved in a motorcycle accident.
Warshafsky Law employs a full legal investigation team to make sure no detail of your car accident is overlooked. Our car crash investigators will examine your case from every angle to determine total liability. Warshafsky car accident investigators have turned a $750,000 settlment into a $3.9 Mil victory. Warshafsky Law will review your case for free, and there is never any fee until you receive compensation for your injuries. Don’t delay—the longer you wait, the greater the odds of crucial evidence fading!
Statute of Limitations for Wisconsin Car Accident Lawsuits
Whether you have a personal injury claim, a vehicle damage claim, or both, Wisconsin law sets a time limit of three years on your right to file a lawsuit. Time is measured from the date of the accident or the discovery of the injury.
If someone caused a car accident resulting in the death of your loved one, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but in this case the time is measured from the date of death. Learn more about Wisconsin car accident death statistics.
Understanding how the statute of limitations applies to your Wisconsin car accident lawsuit is crucial. If the deadline has passed, your case will likely be dismissed. Even if you believe your auto wreck claim will be resolved with an insurance settlement, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.
Knowing the true value of your claim and keeping your option to file a lawsuit open, with plenty of time to do so, will provide more leverage to settlement negotiations. The best way to make sure your rights are protected is with a free consultation with a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer at Warshafsky Law. Insurance companies know we prepare every case to win at trial, and our reputation for winning record judgements means higher cash settlements for our clients.
Your Right to Compensation Depends on Proving Fault
Wisconsin tort law allows an injured individual to seek financial compensation for injuries. A tort is a wrongful act resulting in injury to another person. All torts involve:
- Breach of duty: drivers owe a duty to motorists, passengers, and pedestrians to operate their vehicle with care
- Injury: the victim suffered actual injuries or was killed as a result of the actions of the liable party
- Cause: the unreasonable or unsafe action of the liable party directly caused injuries or death of another
When a car accident happens in Wisconsin, an injured person has the right to claim damages from the person who caused the accident. However, determining liability is not always straightforward. The injured person must prove the other person was directly responsible for the injuries.
Shared Fault Law in Wisconsin
Wisconsin operates under modified comparative fault law, also known as shared fault law. This means each person involved in a car accident can be held responsible for part of the liability. If the injured person shares any portion of the liability, their claim value will be reduced by the same percentage.
For example, if the injured person is found to be 25% at fault, the damages recovered will be reduced by 25%.
In order to recover damages for your injuries in a Wisconsin car accident lawsuit, you must prove the other driver is at least 50% at fault.
Investigating the accident, determining the full scope of liability, and figuring out the true value of your claim within the legal timeframe can be daunting. The legal team at Warshafsky includes professional accident investigators who find things others miss. Our aggressive personal injury lawyers prepare each and every case to win at trial, and won’t settle until maximum possible compensation is achieved for your claim.
Damages Available to Wisconsin Car Accident Victims
There are different types of damages victims of Wisconsin car accidents may be eligible to claim in a personal injury lawsuit. Wisconsin drivers can even sue for pain and suffering caused by an accident. Compensatory damages are awarded to the injured in order to help make them whole again and are made up of general and specific damages. Punitive damages apply in cases where intent can be proved.
Specific damages are generally straightforward and include medical expenses, damage to property, rental car costs and lost wages. A lawyer can help you prove the true value of lost earnings or lost earning capacity by working with experts to calculate the present value of future lost income.
General damages refer to suffering such as emotional and physical pain, loss of enjoyment, and disability. An experienced personal injury attorney at Warshafsky law will thoroughly examine your circumstances and determine the maximum amount of general damages you are entitled to.
Punitive damages seek to punish the conduct of an extremely reckless driver and are rarely awarded in Wisconsin. In certain circumstances, however, a jury may find the defendant’s behavior reprehensible and willful enough to merit punitive damages.
Car Accident Injury Cases Warshafsky Law has Tried and Won
Common Car Accident Injuries
Depending on the severity of the accident, you and any injured passengers could be facing expensive treatments, surgeries, and other recovery costs. Medical expenses can rack up at a frightening pace for injuries like:
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Unlike settlement-mill law firms who churn through large numbers of cases, Warshafsky personal injury attorneys prepare each case to win at trial from day one.
If you suffered personal injuries in a car accident caused by someone else, a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer can help you hold the responsible person accountable and make sure you receive the total compensation you need and deserve.
Warshafsky Law understands you’re already dealing with physical and financial hardship after a car accident. Every case is no win, no fee, and we fully fund every case until compensation is awarded.
Get more information on reporting a car accident now.
Different Rules for Car Accident Claims against Government Entities
Government liability in Wisconsin car accidents has its own set of rules. If your car accident was caused by a government vehicle or employee, different laws apply to your personal injury lawsuit.
Examples of traffic accidents where government liability is a factor:
- The accident involved a bus or truck owned and operated by a government agency
- A government employee acting in an official capacity while driving a government-owned vehicle caused the crash
- Dangerous highway conditions, roadside hazards, or a poorly marked construction zone had a role in the accident
Sovereign immunity is a legal concept which protects government agencies and employees from much liability, but federal and state governments have laws in place to waive such immunity.
Due to the conditions of this waiver, government bodies have strict procedural rules for personal injury lawsuits filed against them. Failure to follow them precisely means you can lose your right to claim damages.
When filing a claim against the state government in Wisconsin, the following rules apply:
- You must send a written notice by certified mail, notifying the attorney general of your claim within 120 days
- The notice must include a detailed description of the facts, circumstances, injuries, and names of the government employee(s) involved, and the total damages you are seeking
- Total damages are limited to $250,000 and punitive damages are not an option
Claims against municipal governments such as the City of Milwaukee have similar rules and a cap of $50,000 on total damages. The government will investigate your claim and decide to pay it or deny it. If denied, you may file a lawsuit in court within three years of the date of denial.
Filing a suit against any government agency is no small feat. A Wisconsin car accident lawyer can help you start the process and jump through the necessary hoops to help you claim damages under these special laws. Warshafsky Law has the experience, resources, and determination to fight for your case, even against a government agency.
Wisconsin’s Car Insurance Laws Affect How Claims Are Handled
In Wisconsin, the safety responsibility (SR) law states drivers must have the means to cover costs resulting from a car wreck they cause.
Wisconsin’s auto insurance laws require three specific types of coverage: liability, underinsured motorist, and uninsured motorist.
For the at-fault driver in a traffic accident, liability car insurance covers costs from injuries and property damage. Minimum liability coverage under Wisconsin law is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 total for injury or death per accident
- $10,000 in property damage
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for damages when you’re injured in a car accident caused by someone who does not have enough car insurance or none at all.
Minimum underinsured/uninsured driver coverage for Wisconsin car insurance policies is $25,000 for injuries per person, and $50,000 for the total injuries suffered in the accident.
Penalties for Uninsured Motorists in Wisconsin
Drivers must be able to show proof of car insurance if they are involved in an accident or pulled over. If you are caught without any insurance you can be fined up to $500, and if you have insurance but can’t provide proof when requested by a law officer you can be fined up to $10.
If an uninsured driver is at fault in a crash, their driving and registration privileges will be suspended until they obtain an SR22 certificate (proving insurance coverage) and pay reinstatement fees.
Claims against Uninsured Drivers
If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your own uninsured motorist insurance kicks in. You can collect damages for injuries up to the limit of your policy. This coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents where you are not at fault.
Getting the maximum compensation you deserve after a car accident can be challenging. It’s not in the insurance company’s best interest to make it easy for policyholders to collect the full amount of damages they are entitled to.
Car Insurance Providers Warshafsky Attorneys have Beaten
- State Farm
- American Family
- West Bend
- Liberty Mutual
- Partners Mutual
- The Hartford
- National General
- Auto Club
- Artisan & Truckers Casualty Company
- American Standard Insurance
- Amica Mutual
Warshafsky Law is the personal injury law firm Milwaukee drivers turn to when they need a powerful ally against the tricks and tactics insurance lawyers use to delay or deny a claim. Call now for a FREE consultation and find out how an experienced personal injury attorney can help YOUR bottom line.
Milwaukee’s Toughest Car Accident Lawyers Protect Victims’ Rights
Being injured in a car accident can be a frightening and confusing experience, more so when you realize how many legalities are involved in collecting the damages you need and deserve.
Insurance companies may offer what they tell you is a fair settlement, but never doubt their main concern is saving money for their business. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Warshafsky Law know how insurers operate, and will use every means necessary to secure maximum compensation for your car accident claim.
Don’t trust your case to just any personal injury attorney—many work for settlement mills content to negotiate with insurers in order to settle quickly and collect a fee with minimum delay. Warshafsky’s aggressive lawyers won’t stop fighting for your case until a fair settlement amount is reached—even if it means going the distance and winning in court.
Report a Car Accident in:
- Brown Deer
- Menomonee Falls
- New Berlin
- Oak Creek
- South Milwaukee
- West Allis
- Whitefish Bay
- Milwaukee County
- Waukesha County
- Racine County
- Kenosha County
- Washington County
- Walworth County
- Dodge County
- Ozaukee County
- Jefferson County
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Contact Warshafsky Law if you or a loved one has been injured in a Milwaukee car accident. Make sure the laws work FOR you by contacting Milwaukee’s toughest car accident attorneys at Warshafsky Law.
Warshafsky prefers to split the difference. Now 81, and as outspoken and vigorous as ever, he says his mission as a lawyer has always been the same: to bring justice and compensation to those hurt by the negligence and oversights of others, to spark changes that lead to better products and safer practices, and to make a few honest bucks for himself in the process.
In his corner office overlooking Cathedral Square Park in Milwaukee, with his cocker spaniel, Gizmo, curled on a leather sofa, Warshafsky pages through three-ring binders that hold newspaper stories, magazine clippings and old letters relating to the many cases he's handled over his 56-year career. He stops on a story about a $1.2 million medical malpractice verdict from 1985. "I don't remember that one," he says, shaking his head. He flips to another article from 1979 about a $4.9 million verdict for the family of a boy who suffered brain damage in a car accident. That one he remembers; at the time it was the largest award ever granted in Wisconsin.
Framed on a nearby table is the jury form from one of his biggest cases: the $15 million verdict against Wyeth Laboratories on behalf of a couple whose daughter was brain damaged by a DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccination. That 1987 verdict was part of a landmark case in which the judge later agreed to make public internal company documents so that doctors, scientists and lawyers could make additional claims of other suspected DPT cases. It was, Warshafsky says, one of his proudest moments.
His life began in poverty. He was born in St. Louis, but his Russian-Jewish mother, Ida, and Polish-Jewish immigrant father, Israel, divorced when he was only 4. His mother moved him and his 10-year-old brother, Shepard, to Chicago, where they lived on the near West and South sides. As a boy Warshafsky worked all kinds of odd jobs: in the kitchen of a barbecue restaurant, as a delivery boy for a drugstore, in a canning plant.
As a young man, he was restless, unsure what to do with his life. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for less than a semester, then, near the end of 1944, he enlisted in the Marine Corps before being drafted. He was activated in 1945 with the Fleet Marine Force and was assigned to work aboard a ship that transported troops across the Pacific.
After coming home and learning the G.I. Bill would pay for school, Warshafsky decided to try college again. His choice of where to study was inspired during a drive with his uncle to Madison. "It was just the most beautiful place I'd seen in the world," Warshafsky recalls. "We were very poor when I was a kid and I never saw anything as nice as that: lakes, college students."
Intending to study agriculture and become a plant breeder, he could not picture himself hunched over a microscope all day. So he wound up majoring in business administration and accounting. Soon, though, he couldn't imagine a life as an accountant, either.
At a crossroads, a friend suggested law school, and he enrolled at Madison in 1949. "It was a way of avoiding settling down and going to work," he says.
Then the discovery. "I loved it," he says. "I absolutely loved it. I found a career. It was serendipitous."
Warshafsky's wife, Delores, whom he married in 1950, helped support him through law school, but he also earned a few extra bucks playing pool in the student union building. "I played pool all the time, and there was a fair amount of betting," he says. "I made a fair amount of money, but I wasn't a hustler. A pool hustler will sucker somebody in. I didn't do that."
After graduating in 1952, he worked at a small firm in Milwaukee that he assumed was committed to helping poor people. It wasn't. He quit.
Needing to support his family, he took a job at American Motors, operating a stamping machine on the third shift. That same year he opened a law office inside a tailor shop in a heavily Latino area in Milwaukee's South Side. He hung a sign out front: Abogado. "I spoke enough Spanish that I learned in my first semester of high school," he says, "and I knew how to conjugate verbs."
His first clients, most of whom were Spanish speakers, could not always pay, but he did notarizations for free and charged little, if anything, for small criminal cases. A lawyer he knew took jewelry and watches for payment, but Warshafsky detested this idea. Instead, to subsidize his pro bono work, he began to make money with personal injury cases.
In the late 1950s, eager to expand his practice, Warshafsky started attending educational seminars sponsored by the National Association of Claimant Compensation Attorneys. Through the organization, he met some sharp litigators, including Melvin Belli, Francis Hare Sr. and Perry Nichols. He also met a young lawyer named Ralph Nader, who spoke to the association about his investigation into the safety of the Chevy Corvair, which he chronicled in his book Unsafe at Any Speed.
"I was hugely impressed with Nader," Warshafsky recalls. "I invited Ralph back [to speak again] and devoted three days to products liability. I felt this was going to dominate consumer-oriented litigation in the near future."
More than that. Warshafsky felt Nader inspired lawyers to seek justice for consumers in a world where corporate greed could have deadly consequences. "Things were changing, society was changing, and Ralph recognized that," Warshafsky says. "He also preached to us that we had a duty to give back. Those of us making a goodly amount of money should give back."
Nader's inspiration took hold. In the 1970s, Warshafsky took on General Motors, claiming that a problem with the rear axle differential was causing spinouts and accidents. "We found out GM knew all about this problem," he says. "Then I got calls from all over the country. And there were a lot of lawsuits around the country. After that, GM adopted the limited slip differential. Now nobody will ever spin out that way."
During the ensuing decades, Warshafsky earned a reputation as a quick study on everything from differentials to jaw implants to vaccines to farm equipment. He also taught trial technique—including a summer course in cross-examination at Harvard Law School.
He handled cases that involved diet pills, medical errors and go-cart accidents. "We saw the law as a vehicle for improving our society and for making money," Warshafsky says. "It's sort of like Adam Smith's enlightened self-interest. So we went after product liability cases."
Warshafsky jokes that many of his victories served to put him out of business. When he succeeds in creating changes in designs or policy, the lawsuits end. "Whenever we're doing something good, making money and doing good, they change the fucking law," he says.
For all his joking, he has a rep as a no-nonsense lawyer. "He doesn't play a lot of games in court or fool around," says defense lawyer James Murray of Peterson, Johnson & Murray in Milwaukee. "He likes to get to the nub of a case."
Murray first met Warshafsky in 1975 and has defended cases against him ever since. "I was just a kid out of law school, and he already was an established lion at the bar," Murray says. "He can be charming when he wants to be, and tough when he has to be. I would consider Ted, even though he's been an adversary, a friend. He's part of a breed that's fading away."
Before Warshafsky recruited him, Victor Harding used to battle against him; he says watching Warshafsky in court was mesmerizing. "He is, bar none, the greatest I've ever seen in cross-examination," Harding says. "There is no one in the country like him. How he did it, I don't know. He would poke a witness here and poke a witness there and would bore in. You sit there in awe and wonder how he does it. He would read weaknesses and was phenomenal at it. And then he would bring it all together in the end, like a Dickens novel."
Harding helped Warshafsky pull off some of those legendary cross-examinations during the Wyeth vaccine case, a mammoth endeavor that spanned 10 years and required the lawyers to review some 40,000 articles and 20,000 documents. "This was before computers and we had all this information to sort out. Today it would take 30 seconds," Harding says.
Warshafsky, lead attorney on the case, often commuted between Milwaukee and Wichita, Kan., for the trial. "Ted would call me every night and say, ‘This is the next witness. What can we do to him?" Harding would find the relevant files and background and feed it to his partner. "We could disarm any expert," Harding says.
Warshafsky still comes into the office five days a week. "I still think I have the ability to analyze complex cases and point them in the right direction. I immodestly think I don't know anybody better in this office to cross-examine adverse witnesses, particularly technical adverse witnesses," he says. "If I have a talent, it's getting those motherfuckers—that's spelled with a small ‘m'—to fess up to the truth. There are some people who are such good liars, and there are some people who are such good catchers, and I think I have that [latter] talent."
While Warshafsky is inspired to continue working, he hopes to pass along his knowledge and skills. "I do recognize that I'm not immortal. I think it's unfair," he adds jokingly. "If there were a just God, I would be immortal because how would the world get by without me?"
McCarthy/Bond in '68
Although he never had any political ambitions, Ted Warshafsky was always interested in politics. Thus, in 1968, he stepped away from his law practice to serve as the field finance director for Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign, and as vice chairman of McCarthy's delegation to the ill-fated Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Warshafsky was drawn to McCarthy's support of civil rights, his advocacy for the working class and, most important, his position against the war in Vietnam. "I was very impressed with him," Warshafsky says. "There were a group of us who wanted to get a candidate to run against Johnson on the war issue."
In Chicago, Warshafsky found himself immersed in the chaos, tension, and mistrust among politicians and protesters. Phone lines to many delegations were mysteriously cut off and the hotel rooms of several McCarthy staff members and supporters were raided. "The authorities burst in and looked around the rooms. They didn't hit or hurt anyone. They just pushed people aside," he says. "They just went through the place, though I don't know what they were looking for."
Outside the convention hall, Warshafsky witnessed the violence on the streets and in Grant Park as police clashed with protesters. "The majority of the kids in Grant Park were just kids," he says. "Only a small minority were trashing things."
Inside the convention hall, meanwhile, Warshafsky made history. The delegation wanted to nominate a young civil rights activist named Julian Bond for vice president, making Bond the first black man nominated for the position. "We had maybe five or six minutes to prepare something," Warshafsky says. "We were all hoarse from shouting." Then the group chose Warshafsky to make the nomination speech.
"It was extemporaneous. I had no notes. I had no time to discuss it with anyone," Warshafsky recalls. "It was just off the top of my head. The reason I was picked was not because of my political influence. It was because someone said, ‘We got a trial lawyer here.'"
At 28, Bond was too young to be vice president, so his nomination was not officially recognized. Still, the McCarthy delegation made an important symbolic gesture that was seen on national television and discussed by Walter Cronkite.
Warshafsky considered himself a close friend of McCarthy, who died in 2005, though they had their differences. "He could be arrogant in a condescending way and he could do it quietly. He could hold onto a dislike. He hated the Kennedys," Warshafsky recalls. "If you attacked his personal integrity, you lost him as a friend. If you disagreed vehemently with his well-held, articulated views, you didn't." Warshafsky did the latter; they remained friends.
Even if McCarthy had made it to the White House, Warshafsky says he did not want a Cabinet position or a job in the administration. Instead, he says he would have asked for an ambassador post at some far-off island nation "where there's great weather, fine fishing and surfing."
lawyers fear an expensive legal battle
with trial tested adversaries. Learn More
last penny of your case
their piece of your cut-rate insurance settlement.
Whats your case REALLY worth?
for your injury.
What is considered dental malpractice?
Dental malpractice (dental negligence) is a type of medical malpractice and refers to an avoidable injury from:
- Negligent dental work (including using wrong/defective equipment)
- Failure to diagnose or treat a harmful condition (including misdiagnosis of tooth decay or gum disease)
- Delay in diagnosis or treatment of oral disease (including infection)
- Intentional misconduct by the dentist
Depending on your dental insurance, other types of malpractice may occur. One example would be a dentist giving an unnecessary diagnosis and treatment just to bill the patient’s insurance company for more money.
Orthodontists, endodontists, dental hygienists and other dental professionals can also be held responsible for malpractice resulting in injury.
What Successful Dental Malpractice Suits Look Like
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that if your injury was minor (one which caused only temporary pain and discomfort, for instance), it generally isn’t worth filing a suit over even if it was caused by malpractice. The type of injuries in successful dental malpractice suits are much more serious, with some resulting in hospitalization and even death to the patient.
Wait…did we just say “death”? Unfortunately, we did. While most people don’t think going to the dentist can result in serious injury, the risks are very real. When procedures go wrong, patients can suffer serious infections, brain abscesses, osteomyelitis and even death.
Dental Procedures Most Often Resulting in Lawsuits
- Tooth extractions
- Endodontic work (root canals)
- Dental implants, crowns and bridges
- Defective medical devices
- Complications from dental anesthesia
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Substandard TMJ and orthognathic surgeries
- Infections requiring hospitalization
- Sinus perforations
- Nerve damage
- Air embolisms
- Adverse drug reactions
Interestingly, there is no way to know just how many dentistry-related deaths occur because most state governments don’t keep records. As of this writing, only Texas clearly requires dentists to report all deaths that could be related to dental treatments. If their statistics reflect what is going on in the rest of America, we’re in serious trouble: after reviewing statistics for the state of Texas, The Dallas Morning News found that one dental patient dies about every other day.
Statute of Limitations on Wisconsin Dental Malpractice Lawsuits
Whether you suffered negligent dental work or your dentist failed to diagnose a hazardous condition, Wisconsin law sets a time limit on your ability to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
Your personal injury lawsuit must begin within three years of the date of the injury OR one year from the date the injury was discovered (or “in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered.”) Wisconsin Statutes section 893.55
A dental negligence claim may NOT be started more than five years from the date of the injury or the act omission.
When in doubt, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the act of dental malpractice. Not onlyis there a time limit, but physical evidence to support your case may fade.
Wondering how to define “reasonable” or whether the fairness of the statute could be questioned in your case? Schedule a completely free case appraisal with Warshafsky Law today.
Jaw-Dropping Dental Lawsuit Cases
If you follow any of the tabloids, you might remember hearing about a malpractice suit country music singer/actress LeeAnn Rimes filed against her Los Angeles dentist back in 2013. It all started after a dentist she consulted with about her Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ) recommended veneers and crowns on her upper teeth as a way to alleviate her TMJ problems while also improving her appearance.
Unfortunately for Ms. Rimes, what followed was a nightmare of severe tooth pain, chronic bleeding and inflammation of the gums. Over the course of 3 years, she had over 29 surgeries to correct problems caused by the veneers. These surgeries included 9 root canals, bone grafts, and a temporary bridge. In addition to suing for the pain these problems caused, she’s also suing for “permanent cosmetic deficiency” and for lost income.
Rimes’ case showed that even celebrities, who you would think have only the best dental care, are not immune to problems caused by bad dental work. While the vast majority of dentists are well qualified and do exceptional work for their patients, dentists who fail to follow the accepted standard of care for treatment can be sued for medical malpractice.
If you have suffered pain or injury as a result of dental care gone wrong, our Milwaukee dental malpractice attorneys can help you recover your expenses, as well as compensation for loss of income and pain and suffering.
Other notable dental malpractice cases:
How Much Money Can You Expect In A Dental Malpractice Suit?
Without knowing the specifics of your situation, it’s impossible to give a dollar amount for the problems you’ve experienced due to dental work. Each case is unique, and the costs involved in correcting the problem, as well as the degree of pain and suffering endured, obviously affect the size of the judgment. If you’re looking for a ballpark idea, though, the average payment in a dental malpractice suit is $65,000 (according to Medical Protective, the leading provider of malpractice insurance in the United States).
Regardless of what type of case you have, our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys will secure the maximum possible compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Unlike the typical “sign and settle” law firm, we prepare every case from day one as if it will be heard before a judge and jury. We’ll never recommend you take an insurance company’s settlement offer just so we can move on to the next case. Our reputation was built on a willingness to go to bat for every client in a court of law, and it has resulted in some of the highest judgments in Wisconsin history.
When you have Warshafsky Law on your side, you can count on a legal team with a willingness to fight for everything you’re owed.
Victim of Dental Malpractice in Wisconsin? Schedule a Free Legal Consultation Today
Warshafsky Law offers a free initial legal consultation to anyone considering legal action against a dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon. You will meet with one of our experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorneys, not a paralegal. There is no charge and no obligation to hire us.
If you have grounds for a dental malpractice suit and would like to have us represent you, we will not ask for any payment from you until your case has been resolved—either through settlement or through a judgment made in court.
Warshafsky Law also offers a No Win, No Fee guarantee: if we do not succeed in your case, you don’t owe us a thing. With Warshafsky Law, you have absolutely nothing to lose.
Contact a Milwaukee dental malpractice attorney now to schedule a free legal consultation.
When pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the hospital, VA, or emergency room is liable for the actions of its employees, including:
- Medical technicians
If a hospital employee harmed someone while doing something job-related, the patient can sue the hospital for the injury. However, doctors are often independent contractors, not hospital employees. In these cases, as long as the patient knew the doctor was not employed by the hospital, the hospital is not liable.
Not every case of negligence in a hospital in considered malpractice. For example, if a custodian employed by the hospital fails to put out a “Wet Floor” sign and someone falls and is injured, it is a case of standard negligence, not medical malpractice.
Types of Hospital Malpractice Injuries
There are a wide range of reasons a hospital can be held accountable for malpractice, including but not limited to:
- Nurse administers medication incorrectly (wrong dosage, wrong drug, etc.)
- Nurse fails to follow doctor’s instructions or treatment plan
- Hospital staff improperly dresses/treats wounds, causing infection
- Medical technicians give anesthesia or drugs they should have known would cause a reaction for you
- Poor hospital staff hygiene
- Keeping inaccurate patient records
- Failure to properly disinfect any rooms or equipment
- Failure to make sure all staff and independent contractors have proper credentials (education, training, licenses)
- Failure to have enough nurses, technicians, and other staff available
If you believe any of these or similar situations happened to you or your loved one in the hospital, contact our medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible.
ER Errors and First Responder Negligence
First responders (such as emergency medical technicians, ambulance crews, and firefighters) are generally protected from malpractice lawsuits due to the dangerous and unpredictable nature of their work and in order to preserve emergency services. If a first responder behaves recklessly or negligently, or if they intentionally cause an injury, their employer is held responsible.
Once a patient arrives at the emergency room, the ER doctors and nurses are held to standard medical malpractice regulations. It’s important to remember medical malpractice means a competent doctor in the same situation would have done something differently and prevented the injury. Due to the circumstances in an ER, physicians’ mistakes usually have to be quite severe to be considered negligence.
Other instances of emergency room malpractice include refusing to treat a patient. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the ER is required to examine and stabilize (as much as possible) any patient who arrives, whether they can pay or not. The hospital (not the ER doctor) can be held responsible for the violation of this rule, even if the ER transferred the patient to another facility instead of directly refusing to treat.
Good Samaritan Rule
The Good Samaritan rule protects doctors, nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals if they offer assistance in an emergency outside the hospital. Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan statute states:
“Any person who renders emergency care at the scene of any emergency or accident in good faith shall be immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering such emergency care. This immunity does not extend when employees trained in health care or health care professionals render emergency care for compensation and within the scope of their usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of any emergency or accident, en route to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities or at a physician’s office.”
Off-duty doctors and non-medical professionals are judged by the Good Samaritan law, not medical malpractice standards, unless the patient has a doctor-patient relationship with the rescuing doctor.
One of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits involves the doctor misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose an illness. When you tell the doctor about your problem, it’s reasonable to expect an accurate diagnosis so you can begin the correct treatment as soon as possible. With the wrong diagnosis, you could miss out on effective treatments, be given the wrong (and potentially harmful) treatment, and suffer unnecessary injury or wrongful death.
In order to prove medical malpractice occurred, our personal injury attorneys and medical experts will thoroughly investigate your experience, comparing your doctor’s actions with how other similar doctors would have acted. If we can show that another competent doctor would not have made the diagnostic error, then we will be able to pursue your doctor for misdiagnosis medical malpractice and get a high settlement or judgement for your personal injury.
Prescription drug mistakes can be dangerous – even deadly. Medical malpractice involving prescriptions can occur at any step in the process, from the pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, and marketers to the nurse who administered the drugs. A serious medication error could be:
- Wrong medication prescribed
- Written incorrectly on prescription by doctor
- Administered incorrectly by nurse
- Administered incorrectly by malfunctioning equipment
- Failure to see harmful drug interaction or other complications
- Manufacturing defective or unsafe medications
- Illegible prescription
Receiving the wrong medication or dosage due to a pharmaceutical error or any other circumstance could, at the very least, delay their correct treatment and, at worst, lead to death.
Even when everything is done right, all types of anesthesia – local, regional, and general – come with the risk of side effects. The smallest mistake by anesthesiologist can cause permanent injury, brain damage, or wrongful death. Malpractice may occur before anesthesia is even administered if the anesthesiologist fails to check the patient’s medical history or give the patient the proper preoperative instructions.
Types of anesthesia errors during surgery include:
- Too much or too little anesthesia
- Incorrect anesthetic drug
- Failure to monitor vital signs
- Failure to properly intubate
- Improper intubation
- Defective equipment
Effects of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia Mistakes Lawsuit MilwaukeeIf a patient receives too little anesthesia, they may remain awake during their surgery, unable to move or speak to inform the surgeon. This traumatic experience is known as anesthesia awareness and can cause the patient to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Other results of anesthesia malpractice can include:
- Brain damage
- Organ damage
- Heart problems
- Nerve damage
If you or a loved one has suffered due to anesthesia errors, trust our Wisconsin medical malpractice attorneys to fight for your rights and for the highest possible verdict.
If you or your child were harmed due to negligence during pregnancy or childbirth, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Whether you have a separate gynecologist and obstetrician or you go to an OB/GYN, there is often overlap between obstetrics and gynecological care, especially when it comes to early pregnancy care. All obstetricians are trained in gynecology, but the opposite is not always true.
Sue Gynecologist for Malpractice
Aside from negligence in pregnancy and childbirth, improper gynecological care can result in serious complications due to:
- Incorrectly operated gynecological surgery
- Unrecognized injury during surgery
- Improperly performed office procedures
- Incorrectly read lab results, Pap smears, and pathology reports
Severe complications can occur from mistakes in even the simplest of procedures. Laparoscopy can result in injury to nearby organs, excessive bleeding, and sepsis (a life-threatening inflammatory response to an infection). A misread Pap smear or pathology report can lead to an unnecessary hysterectomy. Negligence during Pregnancy, or Negligent Prenatal Care
Prenatal Care Malpractice Attorney WaukeshaBoth mother and child can be harmed if the obstetrician fails to notice a birth defect or the following conditions in the mother before childbirth:
- Rh incompatibility
- Gestational diabetes
- Genital herpes
- Neonatal lupus
- Other diseases that could be contagious from mother to child
- Ectopic pregnancy (embryo implants somewhere other than uterus, such as fallopian tube)
Negligence during Childbirth
Childbirth can be dangerous for both mother and child even with a skilled, experienced, and competent obstetrician handling delivery. A negligent physician may be liable for malpractice if he or she fails to:
- Prepare for complications due to the baby’s large size
- Anticipate complications due to a tangled umbilical cord
- Properly respond to signs of fetal distress
- Order a cesarean section (C-section) when appropriate or necessary
- Correctly use forceps or vacuum extractor during childbirth
Although it is impossible to prevent all complications, OB/GYNs (and all doctors) have a duty to provide reasonably skillful and careful treatment. If you or your baby were harmed during pregnancy or childbirth due to the negligent actions of your gynecologist, obstetrician, or OB/GYN, our medical malpractice attorneys will ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve.
When dental malpractice occurs, patients have the right to file a dental malpractice lawsuit, as well as file a complaint with the state dental board. Common types of dental malpractice lawsuits include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to correctly diagnose and treat oral cancer, periodontal (gum) disease, and other conditions
- Delayed treatment
- Unnecessary tooth extraction
Orthodontic malpractice lawsuits may involve the improper use of metal braces or Invisalign braces. If applied incorrectly or not properly monitored, braces can lead to gum disease, jaw problems, teeth extractions, and future surgeries or orthodontic treatments. Similarly, Invisalign braces are only approved for certain circumstances. If used outside those situations, Invisalign can cause serious damage to the patient’s mouth.
Our medical and dental malpractice attorneys in Milwaukee have the experience and knowledge for your dentist or orthodontist malpractice lawsuit. We gather evidence and expert testimonies to get you the greatest settlement or jury judgement possible for your personal injury.
Surgical malpractice can refer to the negligence of any medical staff involved in a surgery, including the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and surgical nurse. The known risks of surgery are exempt from liability because patients typically sign an informed consent form beforehand. Surgical errors, on the other hand, are unexpected, preventable mistakes which cause harm to the patient.
- Anesthesiology errors
- Punctured organs
- Damaged nerves
- Operating on wrong body part or wrong patient
- Leaving surgical instruments inside the body
- Accidental damage to nerve, organ, blood vessel, etc.
- Nursing staff negligent with post-op care, causing severe infections