With just over 10,000 residents, New Richmond is hardly a big city. However, with its year-round attractions, top-shelf shopping and dining options, highly rated school system, and beautiful surroundings, New Richmond offers a lot. Unfortunately, with all these attractions and commercial options, New Richmond also offers plenty of opportunities for negligence to injure someone.
If someone's carelessness or recklessness injures you, you can seek compensation through a personal injury claim. While pursuing compensation is your right, the process can frustrate, overwhelm, and confuse personal injury claimants.
Call the experienced New Richmond personal injury attorneys from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to find out how we can seek compensation for you.
The Accidents Our New Richmond Personal Injury Lawyers Work On
Personal injury law is a wide umbrella of cases involving a bodily injury resulting from someone’s careless or reckless behavior.
Some accidents that can occur in New Richmond and result in a personal injury claim include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: New Richmond may be a small city, but that doesn’t mean it is free of traffic-related accidents. WIS 64 is a designated truck route that begins in New Richmond and extends across the state, bringing semi-truck traffic through the city and the hazards of these massive vehicles. Additionally, drivers in New Richmond are often commuters. Motor vehicle accidents involve not only cars or commercial trucks but also motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, ATV/UTV, or snowmobile accidents occurring on trails or roadways.
- Premises liability matters: New Richmond’s Chamber of Commerce boasts a membership of around 500 businesses and organizations. There are more than 3,800 households within the city limits and numerous public buildings and properties. All individuals and entities who own, manage or control property in New Richmond must regularly inspect the premises for hazardous features that could cause injuries to guests. If owners find these risks, they must promptly mitigate the issue and provide ample warnings of known hazards that have not yet been repaired. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claim. However, other common premises liability matters that cause injuries include swimming pool accidents, elevator or escalator accidents, fires or floods, dog bites, ATV accidents resulting from a property hazard, and negligent security.
- Nursing home neglect or abuse: There are three nursing homes in New Richmond and another in Hammond. Federal nursing home laws require skilled nursing facilities to provide to uphold the rights of the elderly and vulnerable residents they serve, including the right to be free from abuse and discrimination. Unfortunately, nursing homes across the country are facing historic staffing shortages that have caused many facilities to scale back on admissions and placed many of them in jeopardy of closing down. According to a recent study, 87 percent of U.S. nursing home providers face moderate to high staffing shortages. Understaffing is one of the most common culprits of nursing home abuse and neglect. When there are too many patients for the staff to care for properly, errors in care occur. Additionally, the rush to get employees to fill positions often comes at the cost of ensuring they are properly trained and qualified to handle their job tasks.
- Product liability: New Richmond’s visitors and residents rely on thousands of products during their busy lives, including foods, medications, appliances, children’s toys, furniture, automobile parts, and more. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the products they make available to consumers are free of engineering, manufacturing, or labeling errors that could harm product users.
- Workers’ compensation: New Richmond features a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, and retail. When an employee is injured at the workplace, they can typically obtain compensation for medical expenses and wage loss through workers' compensation. Workers' compensation is a type of no-fault insurance policy that an employer purchases on behalf of their employees. Most businesses in New Richmond are required to carry workers' compensation. In limited circumstances, an injured employee can seek compensation through a personal injury claim, such as when a third party (not the employer or a coworker) caused the injury. The experienced attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident and Injury Lawyers can assist you with the workers' compensation process or a personal injury claim, depending on the facts of your accident.
What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process in New Richmond?
When an individual is injured due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness in New Richmond, the personal injury claims process provides two opportunities to seek compensation.
Claimants can use a liability insurance policy held by the at-fault party, such as an auto liability policy for a motor vehicle accident or a homeowner's policy if the injury resulted from a premises liability matter.
- Initially, claimants seek compensation through a personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
- If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, it can be filed as a personal injury lawsuit, a legal claim filed in civil court that requests the judge or jury hear the case at trial. They then decide whether the defendant owes compensation to the claimant and—if so—how much.
When you file the claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider, a claims adjuster is usually assigned to investigate. The claims adjuster is an insurance company employee who evaluates claims and determines if the insurer owes compensation.
It cannot be stressed enough: A claims adjuster works for the insurance company, which makes money by collecting premiums on policies, not losing money on high payouts for their insured's liability. As kind and concerned as a claims adjuster can be on the phone, they're not working for you, and their interests are not aligned with yours.
After interviewing all parties involved and analyzing information about the accident and your injury, the claims adjuster can accept the claim, deny it, or offer to settle the claim for less than its established value.
If the insurer denies the claim, the insurance provider must notify you and provide a reason for the denial. If the adjuster chooses to settle the claim, their initial offer is generally far below the claim's value. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf to get the claims adjuster to increase the offer to a level that fairly compensates you for your losses.
You must file your New Richmond personal injury lawsuits within the Wisconsin personal injury statute of limitations, which is three years from the accident. The insurer can make settlement offers after you file the lawsuit and even after a trial begins. However, if you allow the statute of limitations to expire, you cannot sue, and the at-fault party's insurance provider will not settle with you.
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal ramification for insurance companies who fail to compensate injury claims featuring an insured’s liability. Without the ability to file a lawsuit, the insurance company has no reason to settle.
How a New Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You With Your Claim
If an accident in New Richmond injured you, seek medical treatment and report the accident through the proper channels, then speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can answer your legal questions, explain more about the personal injury claims process, and tell you about the services offered to assist you with your claim. Here is a brief look at those services.
To have a successful outcome to your claim, you must show that the injury you incurred resulted from someone else's carelessness or recklessness. Your attorney will perform a thorough investigation of your accident to discover all sources of liability. Additionally, because insurance compensates nearly all personal injury claims, your attorney will also determine the liability insurance resources held by the at-fault party that can provide your compensation.
Valuing Your Claim
Your claim is worth far more than the medical expenses you incurred from the accident. You can also seek compensation for expenses such as wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage you experienced during the accident. In addition, you can seek compensation for the impacts of your injury on your quality of life, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Beyond the documented expenses of your injury, some of the factors your attorney will consider when valuing your claim include the amount of liability insurance available, the severity of the injury, and the presence of permanent injuries that will result in lost earning capacity.
Communicating With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Provider
As mentioned, the claims adjuster works for the at-fault party’s insurance provider, and their job is to keep the payout on your claim as low as possible. Your attorney can manage communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect the value of your claim from the tactics that claims adjusters use to reduce claims and focus on negotiating a settlement offer that fairly compensates you.
Filing Your Claim on Time
While most personal injury claims resolve by settlement, you must retain your right to use the court if the at-fault party's insurance provider fails to compensate you. Your attorney will manage the timeline of your claim so you file within the statute of limitations and maintain this important right.
Gathering the Evidence Needed to Prove Your Claim in Court
Depending on the accident, the evidence needed to prove liability can include:
- Photos of the accident scene.
- The police report or report of an injury filed with the owner or manager of a business or facility.
- Eyewitness testimony from those who saw the accident take place.
- Video surveillance from traffic cameras or those placed in parking lots or businesses.
- Expert testimony provided by an accident reconstruction specialist or a medical professional.
- Documentation of your expenses and work records showing wage loss.
Collecting Your Compensation
After your claim, your attorney will receive your compensation for you. From that compensation, they will deduct payment for their services and will satisfy medical liens placed against your award. Afterward, they will release the remainder of the funds to you.
New Richmond Personal Injury FAQs
Over 400,000 personal injury claims get filed every year, but only a small fraction may see a trial. Over half of claims are the result of a car accident. Around New Richmond, Wisconsin, local busy intersections and highways like Wisconsin Highway 64 have the potential for crashes. Distracted driving and increased traffic can contribute to the risk of an accident.
Local nursing homes and elderly care centers could have the risk of a medical malpractice case. A person has a chance of getting hurt from a defective product at home or even from a recreational vehicle like an ATV or snowmobile. Personal injury claims can cover a wide range of accidents.
We at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are committed to helping clients who have gotten hurt because of someone’s negligence. Our attorneys can help clients through the legal process while they recover from their injuries. If you suffered a personal injury in New Richmond, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
If someone had suffered from a personal injury accident, they or their family members have a limited time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, but for most cases the deadline in Wisconsin is three years after the date of the accident. After three years, you lose the right to seek compensation.
Exceptions for the statute of limitations do exist, but they rarely get used in personal injury cases. One reason why the law would delay the deadline is if the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. If the law deems the person mentally ill during the accident, the clock would not start yet.
The victim has two years to file a claim once they turn 18 or get their mental competence restored. If the liable party leaves and resides in another state before the plaintiff could file a lawsuit, the deadline does not count the absence.
Can You File a Claim Against the Government?
A victim can establish a personal injury claim against Wisconsin’s government or a Wisconsin municipality or town. You may face special time limits or rules, but you need to file a notice of claim to the town, city, or state government within 120 days. However, you do not have to create a lawsuit during the time limit. All you need to do during the deadline is notify the government agency of your claim through writing.
If you do not send a notice before the 120 days are up, you could lose the right to file a lawsuit later on. Speak to a personal injury attorney about creating a claim against the state or local government.
What Are the Damage Caps?
A severely injured person can obtain a large amount of money when they have a successful personal injury claim. However, specific laws in Wisconsin limit the maximum compensation someone can receive. The damage caps depend on the type of personal injury case, and not all of them have one.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can get up to $750,000 for non-economic damages. The loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress count as non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are not common, but the damage cap is $200,000 or double the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is greater) for personal injury cases. If you seek compensation from Wisconsin’s government, the maximum limit is $250,000 in some cases. Damages from a local municipality usually get capped at $50,000. The caps may vary or not apply depending on the case.
How Do Damages Get Calculated?
Different factors go into the final settlement of a personal injury claim. Economic damages are easier to calculate since they have a definitive value. Medical bills and lost wages already give people an idea of how much they can recover. You can estimate compensation for ongoing and future treatment and lost income as well.
Non-economic damages tend to make the calculation of reimbursement difficult. Unlike a hospital bill, damages like mental anguish are intangible. The law does not have any guidelines on measuring the cost of pain and suffering. If the case goes to trial then usually, the jury decides how much money a victim gets for non-economic damages.
How Do You Receive a Settlement?
People receive their settlement money as either a lump sum or a structured settlement. Neither of them will get taxed. Lump-sum payments are the most common form of compensation. The defendant or their insurance company issues a single paycheck to you. Many people pick a lump sum since they can get all the money quickly.
Some people choose to receive reimbursement in the form of a structured settlement. A structured settlement means you get compensation through multiple installments over an agreed length of time. You and your lawyer can negotiate how much money each payment contains and if the checks arrive weekly, monthly, or yearly. A structured settlement benefits those who want to meet long-term goals.
Talk With a New Richmond Personal Injury Attorney for Free
If an accident caused by someone else’s negligence injures you, let a New Richmond personal injury attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers help you understand more about the process of seeking compensation for your injury. We have helped the injured of Western Wisconsin obtain the compensation they need since 2007. Contact us online or call (715) 226-6164 for your free case consultation.