River Falls Car Accident Attorneys
Most drivers in River Falls try to avoid car accidents by driving responsibly. However, some do not consider others’ safety and drive recklessly, speed, drive under the influence, or drive while distracted, making a simple car trip a potentially dangerous opportunity for all of us on River Falls roadways.
While the average safe driver tries to avoid driving too close to these people, they can often sneak up on you, and before you know it, cause a collision. Hopefully, the person who hit you has insurance so that you can promptly recover damages. And, hopefully, the insurance company comes up with a fair and reasonable offer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes you even have to pursue a claim against your own insurance company.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a River Falls car accident, contact the River Falls car accident lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation, and learn more about how our team of River Falls car accident associates can help you.
- River Falls Car Accident Attorneys
- After a River Falls Car Accident
- Contacting Insurance Companies
- Should I Settle my Case, or Litigate?
- Protecting the Rights of River Falls Car Accident Victims
- Car Accident Injuries
- Recovering Damages After an Accident
- River Falls Car Accident FAQs
- Contact a River Falls Car Accident Lawyer at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
After a River Falls Car Accident
While you are at the accident scene, if possible, call first responders and then check on the others involved in the accident. If you are not injured and it is safe to do so, take photos of the accident, including any property that suffered damage in the wreck.
You can also ask witnesses what they saw and get their contact information. Be sure to get the other drivers’ contact, insurance, and registration information. Even if your injuries seem minor, let the emergency medical technicians check you over.
After the police release you from the scene, obtain medical attention as soon as possible—preferably immediately. Some injuries won’t show up for hours or even days. Finally, contact a River Falls car accident lawyer for a free case evaluation.
Contacting Insurance Companies
First, let your insurance company know that you were in a wreck. Let them know the date and location of the accident, your policy number, and your attorney’s contact information. If you have the other driver’s insurance information, you can also give your insurance company that information. Otherwise, do not give them any further information, no matter how hard they press you for it.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are in business to make a profit. That means that they are going to find any reason to deny your claim. Barring that, they will look for reasons to offer you a pittance, even twisting the facts of the case to make it look like you were at fault for the accident.
The River Falls car accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are familiar with this, and other tactics the insurance companies use to protect their bottom line. We can help you get the compensation you deserve from insurance companies. If the insurance company still refuses, we’ll already have most of the information required to start litigation.
Should I Settle my Case, or Litigate?
With our help, many people have settled their cases for a fair and reasonable amount. However, some insurance companies just won’t budge. In other cases, the defendant does not have enough insurance. You might have to litigate if you can’t get enough money from the insurance company, especially if you suffered injuries that caused long-term or permanent disabilities or if you lost a loved one in a car accident.
In other cases, if the driver of a commercial vehicle caused the accident, you could recover from several parties, including the company, inspectors, auto technicians, dispatchers, and more. Sometimes, you can settle with all of the insurance companies involved and recover a fair and reasonable amount, but in other cases, you might have to proceed to court to get what you deserve.
Finally, if you believe you should receive punitive damages, you will most likely have to take your case to court. It is always best to keep your options open so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Protecting the Rights of River Falls Car Accident Victims
Accident victims face an uphill battle to their physical and financial recovery. Thankfully, Nicolet Law Firm can help. Committed to helping our clients navigate the complicated claims process, we are proud to offer the fierce advocacy and compassionate counsel accident victims deserve.
The trusted personal injury attorneys at Nicolet Law have the knowledge, skills, and resources to pursue all car accident claims, including those involving:
- Bicycle accidents
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Head-on collisions
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Rollover accidents
When you trust us with your case, we will investigate your accident to identify its cause and determine liability. By working with a host of industry experts and accident reconstruction specialists, we will bring hard facts to insurers and into court, if necessary.
Not sure whether you can afford an attorney? Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers delivers legal services on a contingency basis. In other words, our clients only pay us when we win their case, either at trial or by negotiating a settlement award.
Car Accident Injuries
The type of car accident injuries you could suffer in a River Falls car accident depends on several factors, including speed, the size of the vehicle, and how the other vehicle hits yours.
Typical car accident injuries include:
- Bumps, scrapes, bruises, scratches, and cuts, including road rash.
- Thermal and chemical burns.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Strains and sprains.
- Pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Amputated limbs or digits.
Recovering Damages After an Accident
You can recover the compensation you deserve after an accident via a settlement, or by pursuing a court judgment. However, you must file your case within three years. While this time seems like a long time, it is better to file as soon as possible. It takes time to go through settlement negotiations and investigate your case.
You can recover compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Compensatory damages include economic damages and sometimes non-economic damages. The court orders these types of damages in an attempt to make you whole again.
On the other hand, the court orders the defendant to pay punitive damages if his or her actions or inactions were considered grossly negligent. Instead of making you whole, punitive damages act as a punishment against the defendant and a deterrent to others.
Economic damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, replacement or repair of damaged property, and funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses. Future medical expenses and lost wages are for those you incur after a settlement or a trial award. Even if you go back to work, you could recover partial future lost wages if your injuries and/or disabilities caused by the accident prevent you from making the same salary as before the wreck.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship and/or consortium, loss of use of a body part or bodily function, inconvenience, amputation, disfigurement, and excessive scarring.
River Falls Car Accident FAQs
River Falls, Wisconsin is a beautiful, quiet town along the Kinnickinnic River. It’s a small community of 15,638 citizens. Like larger cities across the state and in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area, however, residents deal with accidents due to a steady traffic stream.
Over 6,000 University of Wisconsin students increase local commuter numbers. River and park recreational facilities attract tourists and traffic from surrounding areas. Accidents occur because conscientious motorists often share the road with speeding, distracted, and risky drivers.
No matter where you live, you sometimes encounter bad drivers who cause serious accidents and injuries. We produced our River Falls Car Accident FAQ because we want you to understand your basic rights and responsibilities when an accident occurs.
Because River Falls is close to large city centers like Minneapolis, you might have a higher risk of getting into a car accident, especially if you commute to the city for work, school, or to enjoy the nightlife. Regardless of how careful you are when you drive, sometimes you cannot avoid other drivers who disregard the rules of the road or drive under the influence.
If a car accident injured you in River Falls, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation.
What should I do after a River Falls car accident?
If you can move around without causing additional injuries to yourself:
- Call first responders.
- Check on others involved in the accident.
- Obtain contact information, registration information, and insurance information for anyone else involved in the accident.
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses. You can also ask witnesses what they saw. Be sure to take notes.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Be sure to take pictures from all angles. You should also take pictures of any marks on the road and damage to property, such as yards, fences, poles, and trees.
- Let the emergency medical technicians check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor.
- Give your version of the events to the police officer for a police report. Ask how to obtain a copy of the report and when it will be available.
- Once the police release you from the scene, obtain medical attention as soon as possible. Since some injuries do not show up for hours or even days, tell the medical professionals that you were in a car accident and want a thorough checkup.
- Contact a River Falls car accident attorney.
- Contact the insurance companies to notify them that you will be filing a claim through an attorney, if you have not yet hired an attorney. Only give them your contact information, the other driver’s policy number, and then contact a personal injury attorney.
What if the other driver’s insurance company calls me?
The insurance company will try to get you to discuss the accident. Regardless of how persistent it is, continue referring it to your attorney. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Any claim they have to pay cuts into their profit.
They may try to trick you into saying something that they can use against you to deny your claim or offer you a small amount that might not cover your medical expenses.
What happens if the at-fault driver does not have insurance?
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, the uninsured motorist insurance part of your policy will cover some or all of your damages. Your health insurance should also cover some of your medical expenses.
You can also sue the at-fault driver directly. You might receive a judgment against the at-fault driver, but if he or she does not have assets or money, the judgment stays recorded. If the defendant buys a house and then sells it, you might recover some of the amount due from the sale of the defendant’s home.
Who pays my medical expenses while I am waiting for a settlement or a trial award?
Your vehicle insurance company and your health insurance will pay some or all of the medical expenses. When you get a settlement or a trial award, you pay the car insurance and health insurance back. However, an attorney may be able to help you negotiate paying back a discounted amount.
What are secondary injuries, and is the at-fault driver liable for those, too?
Secondary injuries happen because of the initial injuries you suffer in an accident. For example, a car accident causes a compound fracture that needs surgery. The surgical wound becomes infected. The infection is a secondary injury.
Car accident injuries can also exacerbate pre-existing injuries. In both cases, the defendant is likely liable for medical expenses, and possibly pain and suffering for secondary injuries and exacerbated pre-existing injuries, because you would not have suffered them if not for the defendant’s actions or inactions.
Why should I hire a River Falls car accident lawyer?
The main reason to hire a River Falls car accident lawyer is that insurance companies have tricks they use to deny a claim or offer a very small settlement. Those who try to settle their own claims without the help of an attorney often recover far less money than they need to pay for their injuries. A car accident attorney helps you recover the compensation you deserve.
Additionally, the insurance company is less likely to offer an unfair amount because it knows that those who hire car accident lawyers will likely take the case to court. When you take your case to court, it costs the insurance company even more since they have to pay for their attorneys. They would rather settle for as little as possible.
What damages can I recover?
The damages you can recover depend on the severity of your injuries. You could recover past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, replacement or repair of personal property destroyed or damaged in the accident, and funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses. Even if you can go back to work, you could still recover partial future lost wages if you cannot work for the same salary or hourly wage you did before the wreck.
You could also recover pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship and/or consortium, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part or bodily function, inconvenience, and extra compensation for an amputation, excessive scarring, and disfigurement.
How Often Do Accidents Occur in River Falls?
Few car accidents in the area cause serious or catastrophic injuries, but even a single injury is one too many. The River Falls Annual Police Report and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s crash statistics document the most recent accident and injury data.
Total Crashes in Wisconsin: 115,694
- Total fatal crashes in the state: 540; total fatalities: 593
- Total accidents in River Falls: 207
- Total accidents in Pierce County: 473; total fatalities: 3
- Total accidents in St. Croix County: 2,258; total fatalities: 7
Total Injuries in Wisconsin
- Total injury crashes: 23,747
- Total injuries: 32,373
- Total hit and run crashes: 18,480
- Total hit and run injuries: 2,588
- Total hit and run fatalities: 27
Should I Call the Police After I Have an Accident?
Wisconsin’s Accidents and Accident Report Statutes, §346 explain car accident reporting requirements.
An accident becomes “reportable “ when it involves:
- Injuries or fatalities
- State or government-owned property: $200 in damage
- State or government-owned vehicles: $1,000 in damage
- Another person’s property or vehicle: $1,000 in damage.
These reporting requirements apply to accidents on roads and highways, in parking lots and parking structures, or anywhere else you drive your vehicle. Your accident isn’t reportable if it occurs in a private parking area on a farm or a single-family residence.
Report your car accident to your municipal, county, or state traffic patrol officer. In River Falls, dial 911. If a law enforcement officer doesn’t investigate your accident, you must still file a Driver Report of Crash DT4002 for any reportable accident. The WDOT Crash Reporting Page outlines reporting requirements and provides online forms.
Am I Automatically Responsible if Someone in the Other Car Sustains injuries?
You are not automatically responsible for another person’s injuries, but you must assist the injured person. Wisconsin statute, §346.67(1)(c), requires that you help any person injured in your accident. If necessary, you must also call for emergency medical treatment.
Should I Tell the Police Officer If I Believe I’m At Fault?
No matter how you feel, never admit or accept fault, if you didn’t cause the accident because:
- You jeopardize your legal rights and your insurance company’s right to act on your behalf.
- Liability issues are complicated. You might not understand them enough to recognize your legal rights and responsibilities.
- When you admit fault, your admission usually ends up in a police report and insurance company claim files.
- An admission of fault usually influences a liability insurer’s payment decision.
- When you admit fault, you often end up defending your statement during insurance company investigations and in future depositions. Admissions and post-accident apologies sometimes resurface, out of context, during court testimony.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Accident Report?
Within 10 days, a Wisconsin law enforcement officer must complete and forward an accident report to the Department of Transportation. Visit crashreports.wi.gov within 10 to 15 days of your accident. You pay the report fee then download an accident report in PDF format.
Does a Police Officer Decide Who is at Fault?
Police officers don’t decide which driver is at fault. When an officer investigates an accident, they follow WDOT Instruction Manual completion standards. They view and evaluate an accident scene and document the available facts. They write down driver and witness versions and sometimes provide an opinion about driver factors that may have contributed to an accident.
Who Decides Which Driver Is at Fault for My Accident?
Liability insurers usually conduct independent investigations and make the initial decisions about liability and fault. They visit accident sites, review formal reports, and obtain witness and driver statements. Based on their investigation, a liability insurer decides if their insured is at fault. They then contact the injured parties to settle their claims or deny liability on their insured’s behalf.
What Should I Do if the Liability Insurer Refuses to Pay My Injury Claim?
If you believe that the other person is liable, you must take action before your statute of limitations expires.
- Talk with a personal injury attorney about handling your claim. This usually works out better when you consult with an attorney immediately after your accident.
- Ask a personal injury attorney to file a suit to recover your damages.
What Is My Statute of Limitations?
In Wisconsin, the Tort Actions statutes, §893.52 and §893.54 include a three-year statute of limitations for auto accident-related property damage and injuries. Your three-year statute of limitations begins counting down the day you have an accident. If you don’t settle your claim or file a suit within three years, you no longer have a legal right to make a claim.
Should I Report the Accident to My Own Insurance Company?
Your auto insurance policy is a contract. It’s an agreement that explains your and your insurance company’s duties and responsibilities. When you report your accident, it informs their insured about a covered accident.
Your accident report gives your insurance company the information they need to comply with their duties.
Here are several additional reasons for reporting your accident.
- Your insurer needs to know about accidents so they can investigate the circumstances, protect your legal interests, and pay claims on your behalf.
- When you delay reporting an accident, it sometimes prevents your insurer from protecting both your rights and their rights. If your delay creates significant problems in defending you or settling liability claims, your policy gives your insurance company the right to take appropriate coverage actions.
- If you purchased Medical Payments Coverage, your insurer needs to know about any potential claims, so that they can pay your medical bills.
- Your insurer needs to determine if they owe you an uninsured motorist injury settlement. Uninsured Motorist Coverage applies when an uninsured or hit-and-run driver causes your injuries. The coverage is mandatory under the Automobile and Motor Vehicle Insurance statute, §632.32(4).
Do I Need a Lawyer if a Car Accident Hurt Me?
Yes. The process of presenting and resolving injury claims is often complicated. You need a car accident attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to protect your rights as soon as possible.
When you handle an injury claim on your own, you must deal with negligent drivers, insurance investigators, and claim attorneys. In resolving your claim, you must understand legal concepts, damage values, and other complex issues. Our law firm handles these and many other responsibilities on your behalf. We work hard to produce the best possible outcomes.
When you consult a car accident lawyer at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, you have a no-obligation opportunity to discuss your accident. We listen to your concerns and tell you more about your legal options.
Contact a River Falls Car Accident Lawyer at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, money does not eradicate your injuries or bring your loved one back. It does, however, significantly reduce the financial stress of the missing income. You can also recover money or future lost wages and future medical expenses, including any therapies you might require.
We know that the time after a car accident is stressful, whether you suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one. Let our experienced River Falls car accident lawyers take some of that stress off your shoulders. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (715) 200-3626 for your free case consultation.
River Falls Office
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022