When you are involved in a car accident, you can suffer a severe injury. Your injury can be as financially devastating for you and your family as it is physically devastating for your body.
If another party caused your accident through negligence, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your expenses, known as damages, through a personal injury claim. The most effective way to recover this type of compensation is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can act as your advocate and help you demonstrate to the negligent party’s insurance provider or the court, depending on whether you are pursuing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, that your injury and related damages were the direct result as the other involved party’s negligence.
As mentioned above, car accidents are often the result of driver negligence. Driver negligence comes in many forms, including:
Not all car accidents are the result of driver negligence. Sometimes, they occur because of debris in the roadway, poor roadway design, or maintenance issues like uneven pavement. When this is the case, an injured victim may pursue compensation for his or her damages from the government or private entity charged with maintaining the section of the roadway where the accident occurred. Pursuing compensation from a government entity is a different process from pursuing them from a private individual’s insurance provider, so if you were injured in this type of accident, talk to your lawyer about these differences to ensure that your claim remains valid.
A car accident can also be the result of a vehicle malfunction. In a case like this, the negligent party could be the car’s owner, the dealership or private party that sold the car to its current owner, the vehicle’s manufacturer, or the company that manufactured the part that malfunctioned.
There are many different ways you can be injured in a car accident. These include:
Many types of injury that can result from a car accident can have long-term complications, like cognitive impairment for years following a traumatic brain injury. It is also possible to suffer mentally following a car accident by developing depression or anxiety.
Stop your car immediately. If you or anybody else needs emergency medical care, call 911.
Otherwise, call the local law enforcement to have an officer sent to the scene. Once the officer arrives, fill out an official accident report with him or her. Do not leave without a copy of this report.
Exchange insurance information with every other driver involved in the collision and take down the names and contact information for each witness present. Before leaving the scene, take as many photos as you feel are necessary to fully illustrate the accident. After leaving the scene, seek medical attention for yourself.
Through a car accident claim, you can pursue compensation for the following damages:
Each of these categories is actually quite broad. Compensation for your medical expenses, for example, can cover your immediate medical needs following the accident as well as your long-term pain management and recurring therapy costs. If you are unable to work because of your injury, you can recover compensation for the time you spend out of work recovering from the initial injury as well as the difference between what you would be earning if you had not been injured and your earning capacity after being disabled in the accident. Your pain and suffering damages are all of your expenses that do not fit into either of these categories. They can include:
In your personal injury claim, you must demonstrate that another party breached his or her duty to act in a safe, responsible manner to prevent injuries and that because of this breach, you suffered your injury and the related financial damages. You can do this with evidence, such as:
You can recover compensation for your damages even if you were partially at fault. This is known as Wisconsin’s contributory negligence law. As long as you were not more than 51 percent at fault for your accident, you can recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. However, the total amount of compensation you can recover is reduced according to the percentage of fault you hold.
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that once three years pass, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit and recover compensation.
After you have received appropriate medical care for your injury, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Neenah to discuss your rights and legal options for pursuing monetary compensation for your damages. To get started, contact our team at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We can answer any questions you have and guide you toward the most productive course of action for your case.