Statistics are a useful tool used in various ways to take raw data and use it to tell a story. The story that many people in Wisconsin have is about motor vehicle accidents. 5.8 million people call Wisconsin home, and thousands of those find themselves involved in a motor vehicle accident of some kind each year.
From crashes involving animal strikes to collisions involving drunk or impaired drivers, only 23 states rank higher regarding vehicle-related fatalities in the country. Whatever the reason for the auto accident you have been involved in, you need an attorney to help fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Types of accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can happen in a wide range of ways. From urban hazards such as heavy traffic, weather-related collisions, and road rage to more rural-oriented accidents such as distracted drivers, head-on collisions, and animal impacts, Wisconsin contains a cross-section of different accidents.
Here are some types of accidents common to driving in our state.
- Distracted driving: Common with cell phone use, distracted drivers face delayed reaction times and contribute to accidents by missing valuable cues in defensive driving and observing traffic signs and signals.
- Animal impacts: Wisconsin is home to a wide range of wildlife, especially deer. When animals cross roads and highways, they become a hazard to drivers, often resulting in injuries due to impact. At the very least, accidents caused by animal strikes cost drivers thousands of dollars in damages per accident.
- Rear-end collisions: Common to driving in cities and interstates, rear-end collisions are also common in rural areas where slow-moving vehicles such as tractors and farm equipment share the road. These accidents can be life-threatening, especially with traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and serious impacts at high speeds.
- Head-on collisions: With a high fatality rate across the nation at 58 percent, the forces exerted on passengers of vehicles during head-on collisions is nothing short of catastrophic. Often associated with drunk driving accidents, impaired drivers are fixated on oncoming traffic and veer into opposite lanes, causing these collisions.
- Truck vs. car: Trucks are massive vehicles that haul loads into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Trucks require specialized drivers trained in maneuvering these vehicles safely with the challenges of limited visibility, slower stopping times and distances, and long hours on the road. Sometimes drivers and trucking companies put pressure on truck drivers to meet deadlines. As a result, drivers are often tired or on substances that can contribute to accidents, which are almost always serious, if not fatal.
- Road Rage: This kind of reckless driving turns a vehicle into a weapon that could adversely affect the lives of other drivers and pedestrians.
- Drunk/impaired driving: Despite decades of campaigns and laws created to limit drunk or impaired driving, thousands of people are injured on Wisconsin roads, as a result, each year. Wisconsin ranks third in the nation in alcohol consumption at 64.4 percent, with 40 percent of fatalities being alcohol or drug-related.
Types of injuries
With the forces exerted during a motor vehicle collision, the damage done to the relatively soft tissue of the occupants can be significant.
Here are some typical injuries that people in motor vehicle accidents face.
- Cuts and scrapes: From minor scrapes and road rash to lacerations due to broken glass or twisted metal, these injuries can be life-threatening, require surgery, and even disfigure survivors.
- Broken bones: These injuries are common due to the force of impact. Seat belts and airbags can only do so much to limit the damage.
- Loss of sight or hearing: Collisions can result in the loss of sensory organs such as eyes, and brain damage and contusions can cause permanent hearing loss.
- Internal bleeding and damage: From punctured lungs to ruptured spleens, our bodies are at the mercy of the physics involved in a car accident. Many of these injuries result in the loss of an organ or even death if left untreated.
- Whiplash: When the weight of the head is decelerated and accelerated suddenly, you risk injury to the neck, spinal cord, and tissues that support the head. These injuries can lead to chronic pain, loss of motor function, and even paralysis.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: The forces acting upon the soft tissue of the brain and its blood vessels in an auto accident can be devastating. Ruptured blood vessels and brain bruising can result in pressure, which, left unchecked, can cause permanent cognitive damage, stroke, and even death.
- Burns: Fuel spills, coolant, and even the propellant on airbags can cause burns in vehicle accidents. These injuries are often serious and can lead to infection, disfigurement, and even death.
- Shock: The trauma of a vehicle accident might not seem as serious as you think at first, but the human body can easily go into shock, resulting in death.
- Death: From the person injured who didn’t survive the accident to the other occupants of the vehicle who did, death is a horrible experience that affects many people involved in auto accidents. Families are often left to deal with the emotional aftermath of the death of a loved one, as well as the financial burden that has replaced them.
What to do after an accident
Chances are you have already begun putting things together after being involved in an auto accident.
After the dust settles and the ambulance has taken you or your passengers to the hospital, here are some important things to remember.
- Do not admit fault: In the wake of a serious accident, you are in no condition to determine who was at fault for the accident. Remain calm and instead focus on preserving your health and beginning the healing process. Law enforcement usually determines fault on the scene. It can be contested by your attorney if necessary in their investigation.
- See a doctor: Even if your injuries seem minor, serious conditions such as internal bleeding, whiplash, or TBI might be a concern. These injuries are potentially fatal and must be addressed as soon as possible. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan (such as surgery, pain management, and counseling) and attend all follow-up appointments and rehabilitation.
- Document everything: Get the contact and insurance information of other parties involved. The best way to do this is by taking a picture of their insurance card with your smartphone. Get the contact info of any witnesses, law enforcement, or first responders. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and any weather or road conditions. Your attorney can use these in an investigation during the settlement process and even present them in court as evidence if the case goes to a jury trial. Keep all medical receipts and bills concerning the accident, repair costs, and other damages you will need to be compensated for.
- Contact an attorney: Though you might think you can handle the matter yourself, you will be dealing with an insurance company whose priority isn’t compensating you. Instead, they will be focused on maintaining their bottom line and keeping their costs as low as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the settlement process.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Insurance companies provide monetary compensation for accidents, usually for medical expenses, repair, and replacement value of the damaged property, and they will do this in such as way as to keep their costs down. They will offer settlement amounts that often will not cover the extent of your losses. Medical bills are very expensive, and insurance companies will offer as little as they can for total losses on vehicles, often leaving you without transportation and mounting medical expenses.
Insurance companies don’t make it easy for you to get the compensation you deserve. More often than not, you will be dealing with the stress of negotiating with an insurance company, even if the other party admits to full responsibility for the accident. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has fought insurance companies trying to lowball victims of motor vehicle accidents for years. We have met with a great deal of success for our clients and will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
The Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Difference
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers was established in Wisconsin for a decade, serving the community in personal injury law with the dedication, experience, and know-how our clients need. Our partners and associates have first-hand experience with personal injury and bring empathy and attention to our client’s cases.
We are committed to helping our clients rebuild their lives. We know that recovery is often a painful and expensive situation due to no fault of your own. Having a skilled attorney on your side is critical in seeking justice during these trying times.
It is hard to put a price tag on your experience if you have been injured in an accident. Medical bills, repair and replacement costs, pain and suffering, and lost time at work all burden victims of motor vehicle accidents. Your losses go beyond a car’s replacement value from the mental anguish of getting back on the road to rehabilitation after a severe injury.
Our clients have won settlements far exceeding the initial dollar amounts offered by insurance companies. Insurance companies will try to lowball settlement amounts because they have been getting away with it for so long. Without an attorney, you will face negotiation battles, deadlines, timelines, and meetings with agents who will do anything to protect their bottom line.
Results with Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers often exceed initial offers from insurance companies, with more than $51 million recovered for our clients.
Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
With our staff of attorneys, paralegals, and other professionals, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers know how to navigate the often confusing landscape of motor vehicle accident cases in Wisconsin. Our team is dedicated to the community and fighting for our client’s rights. We know that you have been involved in a life-changing event and need to recover your losses as well as possible to put your life back together.
Contact us at (715) 226-6149 for a free consultation if you have been hurt in Wisconsin or Minnesota. We have several offices throughout the area to serve our client’s needs, specific to their location for ease of access.