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Waupaca Personal Injury Lawyer

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Accidents happen every day. Maybe you were injured when you walked into a store and slipped and fell on the floor, or maybe you were struck by a vehicle as you crossed the street. Regardless of how the accident happened, you have suffered serious bodily injuries that have required immediate medical attention—and that cost considerable money.

At Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, we represent personal injury victims in their fight to obtain compensation when someone else has caused their accident. We would be pleased to represent you as well.

Personal Injury Cases We Handle

People in Waupaca can be injured in all types of accidents. We have deep experience representing clients injured in the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Trip and falls
  • Dog bites
  • Premises liability
  • Railroad accidents

We have represented clients who have suffered devastating injuries that can permanently and dramatically impair their lives, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Whiplash
  • Wrist injury
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Wrongful death

If you have been injured in an accident, chances are we handled a case very similar to yours and know what evidence you need to obtain compensation. We might have even gone up against the insurance company that represents the driver or business owner who injured you.

What You Need to Prove to Receive Compensation

Most personal injury cases are brought under the legal theory “negligence.” A negligence claim requires that you prove four elements to hold the defendant legally responsible:

  • You must show the person that injured you owed you a duty of reasonable care. For example, businesses owe their customers a duty to keep their premises safe or to warn of dangers that can’t be immediately fixed. Motorists also owe drivers and pedestrians a duty to operate their vehicles carefully.
  • You must prove the defendant breached their duty of care. This means showing that the defendant was not as careful as he or she should have been. A business owner who mops their floors but doesn’t warn customers to be careful might have breached their duty of care.
  • You need to prove that you suffered damages. If your bodily injuries needed medical attention, then you have satisfied this element.
  • You must show that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries. Generally, this is not difficult. For example, a motorist who strikes you has undoubtedly caused your broken bones, bruises, and lacerations. Sometimes, a question arises if you have a pre-existing condition that you claim was aggravated in the accident.

These four elements are required, and you can lose your case if you are missing even one. Meet with an experienced Waupaca personal injury lawyer to review your situation and identify what evidence will be most helpful as you build your case.

How to Negotiate a Settlement

In the typical personal injury case, the person who injured you does not pay compensation out of his own pocket. Instead, you make a claim with his insurer. This is true if you were injured in a car accident, truck accident, or on the premises of someone’s business.

Although you should immediately notify the insurer that you were injured, you generally do not submit a claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). It is important to wait until you reach MMI because you can typically receive compensation for all medical bills and lost wages caused by the accident, and you won’t know the full cost until you reach MMI.

At that point, you can submit a demand letter to the insurance company and request money to cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Most insurers will swiftly reject your demand but make a counteroffer for a much lower amount. You do not need to accept it. Instead, you can reject the counteroffer and propose a new offer. This back-and-forth process is at the heart of negotiations.

Few injured victims can negotiate effectively with a gigantic Wisconsin insurance company on their own, so hiring a Waupaca personal injury lawyer is your best bet. An attorney understands the tricks insurance adjusters use and can counter them effectively.

Paying for Immediate Medical Care

Settlements can take months to negotiate, so you will probably need to pay for immediate medical treatment. If you need surgery, for example, you can’t wait around for a settlement. Someone has to pay for the surgery—and soon.

If you have health insurance, you can use it to pay for your immediate medical needs. Your insurer will have a right to reimbursement out of any settlement or jury verdict you receive. So if your insurer paid for $30,000 in medical care, it has a right to that amount out of your settlement. This is called its right to subrogation.

If you don’t have health insurance, you might need to pay for care out of pocket. Discuss your options with your Waupaca personal injury lawyer.

Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries

The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have after an accident to make a legal claim. The purpose of the statute is to encourage victims to get to court in a timely manner so that evidence is still fresh and the defendant has a fair chance to defend himself. Wisconsin’s statute of limitations for personal injuries is found at § 893.54.

Generally, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. We have unfortunately seen some people wait too long, and what happens is this: the defendant files a motion to dismiss the case because the limitations period has run, and the judge agrees, tossing the suit out of court. As a result, injured victims cannot receive compensation no matter how much the defendant is to blame for the accident.

Reach Out to Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Waupaca, WI

If you have been injured in an accident, please avoid delay. Our team is eager to help you, but the more time we get to build a case, the stronger our efforts will be.

Please call 920-267-6822 to schedule your free consultation with a Waupaca personal injury lawyer at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC.

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