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New Richmond Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

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Protecting The Rights Of New Richmond Drunk Driving Accident Victims

Thousands of car collisions occur every year. In New Richmond, Wisconsin, like many areas of Wisconsin a portion of them often had to do with drunk driving.

Many drunk driving car collisions can happen on Wisconsin Highway 64. Some are at regular intersections like 112th St & 170th Ave. The two-lane and rural roads that surround New Richmond have a higher potential of an incident late at night when most people enjoy an alcoholic beverage.

Whenever you get injured in an alcohol-related collision, the team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our New Richmond drunk driving accident lawyers do our best to recover the most damages possible for you so that you can pay for medical and other bills. If someone injured you in a New Richmond drunk driving accident, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation.

The Definition of Driving Under the Influence in New Richmond

In Wisconsin, a driver is under the influence when the person cannot drive a vehicle correctly due to alcohol. The person can’t operate a car safely and puts themselves and other passengers at risk of an accident.

By law, a person under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol in their body when they drive. If drivers are over 21, the legal limit for the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08. It would be illegal for anyone over 21 to drive if their BAC is higher than 0.08.

If a police officer discovers a driver consumed too much alcohol, they could arrest the person. Penalties for intoxicated driving can range from your license getting revoked to six years in prison. This, however, will not pay for the damages you sustained in a New Richmond drunk driving accident. For that, you will need to call us.

Do Not Settle Before Consulting an Attorney in New Richmond, WI

After a car accident with an intoxicated driver, you may want to file an insurance claim to obtain full compensation. Before you settle, make sure to assess the extent of your injuries. Some injuries do not show immediate symptoms after a collision.

Insurance companies usually want to end a case as soon as possible if they can keep the payout low. They may try to pressure you into accepting their initial offer. Some insurers may provide a higher offer in the case of an alcohol-related accident. Make sure to consult a drunk driving accident attorney before signing a release of liability form.

A DUI Conviction Benefits Your Case

A DUI conviction can help ensure that you get the most compensation possible for an alcohol-related collision. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is likely to avoid a civil lawsuit as much as possible. The insurer knows a trial has a higher chance of the jury deciding in the plaintiff’s favor if there was a DUI conviction. The company may provide you with a high-end settlement out of interest.

Don’t be dissuaded, however, if the drunk driver is not charged or convicted for a crime. The civil claims process is wholly separate from the criminal process, and a lack of prosecution or conviction does not bar you from pursuing compensation for your injuries.

Recoverable Damages in New Richmond, WI

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A drunk driving accident can lead to serious injuries. A person could suffer from broken bones, a head wound, back injury, or even a catastrophic injury. Sometimes, injuries are not visible or take a while to become apparent. You or a loved one should seek medical attention soon after an alcohol-related crash.

Keep copies of your hospital records and expenses. They can help with the calculation of the amount of compensation you can receive.

Recoverable damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle damage

In a few incidents, an intoxicated driver may have been considered to have harmed you or a loved one in a way that is recognized as an intentional disregard for your rights and safety. In this case, you could get awarded additional money in the form of punitive damages (damages to punish the conduct of the drunk driver).

Before You Get Started With a New Richmond Drunk Driving Accident Claim

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When you decide to pursue and settle a claim, make sure to gather as much information as possible. The at-fault driver’s insurance company most likely will require a lot of details regarding the accident. Even if they know the drunk driver is liable, they could argue comparative fault to reduce reimbursement.

If possible, collect every detail you can before you start the drunk driving accident claim process. You should get the name and contact information of the other driver and their insurance company. You will need to know how to contact them since you may interact with them during the claim process.

If any witnesses were present at the scene, record their name and preferred method of contact. Most phones come with camera capabilities. Before you leave the accident scene, take pictures of the location of the vehicles. Record the visible damage to each car and their license plates.

Collect images of any other details present at the site. Take multiple photos of everything to ensure you get a clear picture of the accident.

Questions and Answers About Drunk Driving Accidents in New Richmond

There is no excuse for drunk driving. When a driver gets behind the wheel after just one drink, they put the lives of others at risk.

Unfortunately, driving under the influence continues to be one of the leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities across the United States. If you have been in an accident, it’s normal to have questions.

Below, we look at five of the most frequently asked questions after a drunk driving accident. If you still have questions or need help with your case, contact an experienced car accident attorney.

Who Can Be Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident in New Richmond?

Drunk driving is not only a criminal act but also a negligent act that can cause severe injuries. In most drunk driving accidents, the party under the influence will ultimately need to pay for the injuries they cause. However, other parties may bear liability to a victim.

A car accident attorney in New Richmond will consider the evidence of the accident and all parties who are potentially liable to you for damages due to their actions.

  • Employers - If an employee drinks on the job and causes an accident, that employer bears liability to accident victims for their injuries.
  • Parents of an underage driver - A parent may also hold some liability for the negligent acts of children under 18 when they drive. This may include driving while intoxicated.
  • An establishment that provides alcohol to a minor - In most scenarios, a host or establishment is not liable for the actions of a drunk driver if they provide the alcohol to that driver before the accident. There is, however, one notable exception. Any establishment or host that provides alcohol and knows or should have known that the individual is a minor and that minor injures someone with their drinking then can become liable under Wisconsin laws.
  • The vehicle owner - Drunk drivers who operate the vehicle of another person and cause a crash may open up liability to the vehicle owner. In many instances, it is the vehicle owner’s insurance that will apply to an accident claim. However, if the vehicle owner knew the driver was under the influence, they can also be personally liable for the damages after a drunk driving accident.

What Is Your Risk of Being in a Drunk Driving Accident?

Drunk driving remains a significant threat to the safety of the public in Wisconsin. Drunk drivers that take to the road when impaired risk the health and safety of everyone on the roadways. In just one year, police arrest over 27,000 people in Wisconsin for driving under the influence, and nearly 6,000 drunk drivers crashed.

Can You Sue if Your Loved One Loses Their Life in a New Richmond Drunk Driving Accident?

While many people in drunk driving accidents survive, some victims suffer fatal injuries due to a drunk driver's actions. If you lost a loved one in a negligent drunk driving accident, you may seek compensation for the loss of your loved one through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. The reality is that no one plans to lose their loved one unexpectedly at the hands of a drunk driver.

The surviving family of a drunk driving accident victim will need to cope not only with the devastating loss of a family member but the arrangements for their death, which can include significant costs. Furthermore, when a loved one contributed to the family's finances, their sudden loss can leave families with overwhelming uncertainty and challenges to meet their needs.

How Much Compensation Can I Recover in a Drunk Driving Case?

If you are the victim of a negligent drunk driver, you may seek compensation for the damages and injuries you incur. You cannot know the exact amount that you will ultimately receive for your damages, but a car accident attorney can evaluate your injuries, their severity, and their effect on your life, such as work and your future.

Your attorney can calculate each aspect of damages you may pursue to help guide your case and negotiate with the insurance companies and other parties to reach an adequate settlement that will meet your needs.

Damages in a drunk driving case can include:

  • The costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation now and in the future.
  • The loss of income that occurs because of your injuries; this can include current lost wages, future wages, and impacts on the income you would have earned if not for your injuries.
  • Pain and suffering that occurs because of the accident and your injuries, including emotional, mental, and psychological distress or trauma.
  • The cost to repair or replace your property, including your automobile.
  • A wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one; may include the loved one’s contribution to the family unit, funeral and burial expenses.

What should I do after a New Richmond drunk driving accident?

Any accident is scary. But drunk driving accidents carry their own set of challenges. Drunk drivers are unpredictable, and in some cases, aggressive. If you suspect the other driver is drunk, you need to exercise extreme caution and prioritize your safety. With that, there are a few steps you should take after a drunk driving accident.

This includes:

  1. Stay at the scene: If you are in an accident, the law requires you to stay at the scene and render care if necessary. However, this does not mean you should put your life at risk. If you have reason to suspect the other driver is drunk, your best recourse is to stay in your car and lock your vehicle until help arrives.
  2. Call emergency services: If you or someone in your vehicle has sustained a life-threatening injury, call 911 right away. Even if no one is seriously injured, you still need to request help from emergency services. When the police arrive they can evaluate the other driver’s condition and take a report of the accident. The officer’s report can provide critical evidence in your drunk driving accident case.
  3. Gather evidence: Remember, you should only leave your vehicle if it is safe to do so, or once emergency services have arrived. At this time, you need to gather evidence. Take pictures of the scene and talk to any witnesses. Ask the officer to collect the other driver’s insurance information.
  4. Go to the doctor: Drunk driving accidents are serious. You should never leave your health to chance. Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to go to your nearest care provider for a thorough investigation.
  5. Call our experienced car accident attorneys: After an accident, the law may entitle you to certain financial damages. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and help you fight for a fair and just resolution to your case.

How do I prove the other driver was drunk?

Proving the other driver was drunk is not a requirement for a personal injury case. However, it may solidify liability and bring to light other parties who may hold financial responsibility. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to prove your case.

Factors that can prove driver intoxication include:

  • A traffic citation or arrest at the time of the accident
  • Field sobriety results
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records, including toxicology reports
  • Video surveillance
  • 911 calls from other drivers

Additionally, your attorney will likely evaluate the other party’s driving record and any indications of a pattern of behavior.

If the other driver was drunk, does that mean my case is worth more?

Let’s be clear—there is no way to accurately estimate how much any personal injury case is worth at the beginning of the case. There are a lot of factors that determine how much you may recover after a drunk driving accident.

This includes:

  • The cost and severity of your injuries
  • If you had to miss time from work
  • The overall change in your quality of life as the result of the accident
  • The policy limit for the other driver’s and your own insurance

That said, if your case goes to court, the jury may award punitive damages. The court typically reserves punitive damages for cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm. In many cases, drunk driving falls under this umbrella. Technically, punitive damages are a punishment towards the other party, designed to deter others from repeating the same actions. However, if the court does decide to impose punitive damages, they do get added to your final money award.

Can I sue a bar that over-served the drunk driver?

The short answer is maybe. Third-party liability in drunk driving accidents usually falls under a some state’s dram shop laws. In Minnesota, for example, a parent, spouse, or another eligible party may recover damages from the bartender or bar if the bartender caused the intoxication by illegally selling alcohol to the intoxicated party. In most cases, this comes into play when a bartender serves someone who is under the age of 21.

Dram shop laws don’t just cover bartenders. The laws extend to private parties as well. This means, if a person over 21 furnishes alcohol to a person under 21 and that person later causes an accident, you may have a case for legal action against the adult who provided the alcohol.

How long do I have to take action after a drunk driving accident?

After a serious accident, the last thing you probably want to do is deal with the insurance companies. This is understandable, and it’s okay to take time for yourself. However, you also need to understand that the law limits how long you have to take action after a motor vehicle accident.

In Minnesota, for example, the time limit for these accidents is two years. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident.

This means, if you intend to sue the other driver, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the court no later than two years after the accident. In most cases, if you miss this deadline, you will not have any recourse against the other driver. While this may seem like a long time, you must allow your attorney enough time to review your case and negotiate with the other party’s insurance.

How Soon After a Drunk Driving Accident Should I Contact an Attorney?

You should always contact a car accident attorney if you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident. When you have any indication that the other driver that caused the accident may have been under the influence of alcohol, you must urgently seek an attorney to protect your rights in an insurance claim and lawsuit if it should become necessary.

When an insurer is aware they are likely liable for an accident, they will move quickly to resolve a claim. Unfortunately, quickly does not necessarily mean fairly. Fast settlement offers after drunk driving accidents are often less than the value of a victim’s claim. An insurer makes the offer as quickly as possible hoping that a victim will accept to close the case sooner rather than later. This can be a terrible mistake that leaves you unable to seek additional damages if you learn that your injuries are more severe than you believe or discover additional losses.

If you are in a drunk driving accident, contact a New Richmond car accident attorney for a free evaluation of your case.

Hire Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in New Richmond, WI

Russell Nicolet
Drunk Driving Accident Attorney, Russell Nicolet

A New Richmond drunk driving accident attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an alcohol-related accident. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we often help those who suffered injuries from a motor vehicle collision. After an incident with a drunk driver, our team can represent you in mediation, negotiation, and trial.

We have multiple locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the community of New Richmond. If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident in New Richmond, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (715) 226-6164 for a free case evaluation.

New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017
Phone: 715-226-6164

SEE HOW NICOLET LAW MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLIENTS’ CASES

CAR ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,200,000.00*

CAR ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$50,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

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$1,117,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

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115,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

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$1,100,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

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$650,000.00*
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PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

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PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

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$0.00 - denial*

DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

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$815,000.00*

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM

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UTV ACCIDENT

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$550,000.00*

UTV ACCIDENT

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$75,000.00*

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12 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota to serve you

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Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
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HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
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LA CROSSE:

119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 608-527-0876
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NEW RICHMOND:

1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
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RICE LAKE:
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
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RIVER FALLS:
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
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SUPERIOR:
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
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WAUSAU:
408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
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Minnesota Locations:

DULUTH:
306 West Superior Street,
Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
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HIBBING:
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
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MINNEAPOLIS:
225 South 6th Street
Suite 3800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 446-3999
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WOODBURY:
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Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
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