Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer
An unexpected car accident almost always leaves the victim with a whole host of questions, frustrations, and difficulties to navigate. Pursuing an insurance claim or lawsuit can be intimidating and any mistakes can jeopardize the victim’s ability to recover financially from the accident. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we help protect our clients’ rights under the law. Our team of attorneys and staff work hard to pursue the compensation our clients deserve for their injuries.
Successful Results for Our Clients
Personal Injury Client
Accident Testimonial | Nicolet Law
Car Accident Testimonial | Nicolet Law
Car Accident Client
Victims of a serious car accident are often unaware of how much their injuries will affect their lives going forward. A car accident can have a significant impact on a person’s physical wellbeing, their ability to get back to their normal activities, as well as their finances. Our team works hard to advocate for the maximum possible compensation from the parties responsible for our clients’ injuries. If you choose to work with us, our attorneys will fight for you to get the just compensation you could be eligible for under the law.
While we cannot predict the outcome of any future case, positive outcomes for past clients of Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have included:
- $1.2 million for a child who suffered serious burn injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
- $1.1 million for the victim of a Northern Wisconsin automobile accident.
- $850,000 for a family that suffered serious injuries in a car accident.
The Risk of a Motor Vehicle Collision in Wisconsin
Each year, Wisconsin roadways see more than 500 fatal traffic accidents and more than 23,000 injury crashes. Given this, it is not uncommon for drivers to see at least one accident a day along their daily commute or travel. While car accidents may seem like somewhat routine events on interstates, highways, and neighborhood roads, they can change the lives of the victims whom a negligent driver injured.
Wisconsin is home to various metropolitan areas such as Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, and Kenosha. City roads are more congested, which raises the risk for motor vehicle accidents, especially during busy commuting times. Busier roadways in combination with distracted and impatient drivers can create dangerous circumstances that increase the likelihood of collisions and injuries.
Rural roads also present unique risks throughout Wisconsin. Dangerous weather, poor road conditions, or narrow lanes can create hazards, especially when drivers engage in reckless behaviors like excessive speeding.
The Most Common Injuries in Wisconsin Car Accidents
Car accident injuries can cause severe pain and may require long-term treatment. Some accident victims face mild to moderate injuries that disrupt their lives for days or weeks. Often, they must miss work, seek emergency medical treatment, and may require physical therapy to recover and heal.
In auto accidents that cause serious or catastrophic injuries, a victim may never fully recover and can face a lifetime of complications and difficulties because of their injuries. Issues such as chronic pain, scarring, disfigurement, and mobility limitations often become part of a victim’s daily life.
The most common car accident injuries include:
- Concussions, head trauma, and other traumatic brain injuries.
- Whiplash and other types of neck or back injury, including spinal cord damage.
- Injuries to ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
- Burns, lacerations, cuts, and bruises.
- Broken bones.
- Loss of a limb or amputation.
- Internal damage and bleeding.
The Cause of Most Car Accidents: Negligence
After the initial shock of a car accident wears off, accident victims are often left wondering who or what really caused the accident. Sometimes the reason is clear in the aftermath of an accident, either because of clear evidence or the other driver’s admission of guilt. In other accidents, it may be necessary to dig deeper into the events that led up to the accident. There may be many factors that contribute to an accident. However, the negligent actions of one or more parties are to blame in the majority of car accident cases.
Negligence on the road can take many forms. In many car accident cases, one of the drivers usually made a mistake or a series of mistakes that led to the accident.
Negligent car accident causes can include:
- Distracted driving.
- Drunk or drug-impaired driving.
- Fatigued driving.
- Reckless maneuvers.
- Excessive speed.
- Failure to obey traffic signals.
Liability in a Car Accident
Ultimately, the insurance companies or a court will decide who is liable (legally and financially responsible) for the accident. Insurance companies are often the first to decide fault through their investigation of the accident. While an insurance determination of liability decides how the insurance company handles insurance claims for accident-related damage, it is not always the final determination of liability for a vehicle accident.
In instances in which there is a dispute about who is at fault, one of the parties sometimes chooses to file a lawsuit in civil court. If the case proceeds through trial without the parties settling first, the court determines fault and how much money the at-fault party owes the accident victim for their injuries and other damages.
Motor vehicle accident liability can be complex and many factors determine how much compensation the at-fault party ultimately owes the victim. Personal injury law is the guiding principle under which most car accidents resolve. Under personal injury law, a victim must show that the at-fault party was negligent to recover compensation for their injuries.
To establish that the at-fault party was negligent, the victim must show:
- The other party owed them a duty of care (in car accidents, this is usually the duty each driver has to everyone else on the road to drive safely and follow all traffic laws and signals).
- The other party violated their duty of care either through their actions or failure to act.
- The victim suffered an injury.
- The injury was a direct result of the other party’s actions or failure to act.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
When someone suffers injuries and other losses as the result of a car accident that someone else caused, the law allows the victim to seek monetary compensation for their damages. Damages in a car accident can include both economic and non-economic losses.
Insurance companies, the court, and/or your car accident attorney will calculate the economic and non-economic damages that may be available in your lawsuit or car accident insurance claim. In most cases, your attorney and the insurance company will agree and settle. However, if they cannot settle or the injuries and damage you sustain add up to more than the policy limit, it may be necessary for your lawyer to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties on your behalf.
The damages that may be available in a car accident claim or lawsuit can include compensation for:
- Medical care costs.
- Loss of income.
- Estimated future medical care and lost income.
- Vehicle and personal property damage.
- Pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death.
Wisconsin Car Accident FAQ
Motor vehicle accidents can change a person’s life instantly, often resulting in devastating injuries, excruciating pain, and extensive medical expenses that can impact not only the victim but their family’s financial stability for the rest of their lives.
However, if a Wisconsin car crash injured you because of another person’s wrongful actions, you should not deal with these horrifying consequences on your own. Instead, you deserve answers and information regarding the legal options you have after this traumatizing incident.
That is why we will go over some frequently asked questions many victims often have after a Wisconsin car crash. With this information, we hope you have a better understanding of the legal remedies you can pursue and what you need to do to secure the financial recovery you deserve. You may also contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today to discuss your legal options.
1. How Do You Know If You Have a Valid Legal Claim Following a Wisconsin Car Crash?
Following a car crash, it can be challenging to determine whether you can pursue legal action for the injuries you sustained.
In truth, there are just too many factors and questions that can affect your ability to bring a legal claim, such as:
- Did the car accident harm you?
- What was the extent of your harm?
- Has time expired to bring a car crash injury claim?
- Is there insurance money available?
That is why the best way to determine if you have a viable injury claim is to reach out to an experienced Wisconsin car crash attorney as soon as possible following your accident and let these lawyers figure out whether you have a valid case.
2. What Are Some of the More Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Collisions in Wisconsin?
Car crashes can occur for a variety of reasons and include everything from reckless driving to the weather condition. However, in Wisconsin, some causes are more common than others. They include:
Speeding. Speeding reduces the amount of time a motorist has to react to conditions on the road and often increases the force involved in an impact when a collision occurs. As a result, those who drive at excessive speeds can end up causing deadly accidents. Statistics even show that every year Wisconsin experiences over 15,000 speed-related crashes, over 150 speed-related deaths, and over 6,000 speed-related injuries.
Bad Weather. Wisconsin is known for its long and rough winters, which means that the road conditions can often become hazardous during this time due to the snow and ice. Consequently, the winter months, which occur from December through February, can significantly increase the number of car crashes and the severity of these accidents because of the dangerous road conditions.
Intoxicated Driving. Alcohol is a substance that impairs thinking and reduces the brain’s function, reasoning, and muscle coordination. Consequently, those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol not only put their lives in danger but others on the road. In fact, every day, 28 people in the United States die because of drunk driving, which is about one person every 52 minutes.
Distracted Driving. Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts attention away from driving, including eating and driving, talking to people in the car and driving, and texting on the phone while driving. As a result, this distracted driving can lead to deadly and devastating accidents since these activities can cause motorists to take their eyes and hands off the steering wheel.
Motor Vehicle Defects. Motor vehicle manufacturers are required by law to design vehicles that meet the minimum safety standards. Yet, even though rapid advancement of car technology allows these manufacturers to continuously improve the safety of their automobiles, problems with the design and the car’s functionality still happen and are often one of the leading causes of car accidents on the road.
Not Following the Rules of the Road. Traffic signals and signs are used to keep order in traffic and are also designed to reduce the severity of traffic accidents and the number that occurs. That is why when a motorist neglects to obey these signals and signs, they are putting not only themselves in danger but others on the road, including motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and passengers.
Deadly Roadways. Even though car collisions can happen on any road in Wisconsin, certain streets and intersections in the state are known to be more dangerous than others.
- One of the most deadly intersections in Wisconsin includes Capitol Drive West and 35th Street North in Milwaukee. It is considered one of the most complex intersections in Milwaukee County because of its heavy traffic that spans multiple lanes and the intricate merging lanes from Roosevelt Drive onto Capital.
- Locals have dubbed highway 49 from Verona to Belleville as the “bumpiest” freeway in the state. Although temporary fixes have been made to it, it is still one of the more dangerous roads in Wisconsin.
- Interstate 94 has received the title of one of the most deadly interstates in Wisconsin, with over 132 fatalities occurring on it every year.
3. How Long Do You Have to Pursue Legal Action After a Car Accident in Wisconsin?
Every state has set time limitations when it comes to filing a legal suit after an alleged offense. These time limitations are known as the statute of limitations, and if an individual does not file their case within that time, they can't pursue compensation for their harm and losses.
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim after a car crash is three years. However, there may be exceptions to this regulation that impacts this filing period by shortening or lengthening the amount of time an individual has to file their case. For these reasons, you should not wait long after a car crash to seek legal help. Instead, you need to reach out to an experienced car crash lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can help you determine the maximum amount of time you have to file your case while also ensuring that your legal motions and documents are prepared correctly and filed before time expires.
4. What Types of Compensation Can You Pursue in a Wisconsin Car Crash Lawsuit?
After a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Generally, in Wisconsin, this compensation falls into the following categories:
Economic Damages: These damages are the actual and verifiable losses that result from an accident.
They can include:
- Past, current, and future medical bills related to your medical expenses following a car accident, such as hospital stay, doctor visits, surgeries, prescription medications, emergency services, and assistive medical devices.
- Lost wages.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Personal property damages.
- Replacement services.
- Rehabilitative therapy, including physical and occupational therapy.
- At-home nursing care.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages refer to the rather subjective losses that follow an accident, which are not easily quantifiable.
They can include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life and quality of life.
- Loss of a limb.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
In addition, in exceptional cases, the victim may receive punitive damages. However, unlike the other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and to deter others from committing these acts. Yet, for the court to award these damages, the victim’s lawyer needs to prove that the defendant intentionally disregarded their safety or rights.
5. How Much Is a Wisconsin Car Accident Case Worth?
Unfortunately, no attorney will be able to tell you exactly how much your case is worth immediately following a car accident. This is because there are just too many elements that can impact the value of your claim and, ultimately, how much money you can receive.
Take, for instance, the following factors that can affect the worth of your case after a car crash:
- What were the severity and the extent of your injuries?
- What type of medical treatments do you need right now?
- Will you need medical treatments in the future or any other ongoing care?
- Are the injuries permanent following the car crash, or did they result in a disability?
- Are you able to work following the accident?
- Are you still able to take part in your everyday activities after the accident?
- How credible is the evidence presented?
- How certain is the defendant’s liability?
- What is the extent of your pain and suffering?
- Do you need replacement services following your car crash?
Yet, even though a lawyer cannot tell you precisely how much money you can receive after a car crash, when you work with our experienced Wisconsin motor vehicle accident attorneys, we can investigate your accident, figure out which of these factors influence your case, and prepare a strong case to maximize your recovery.
6. If the Insurance Company Wants to Take a Statement Following the Car Crash, Should You Let Them?
The insurance company is not your friend, nor are they there to help you. They are a business, and like other businesses, they want to make money. How do they do this? By offering you less in a settlement or denying your claim altogether, the more profit they make. For these reasons, when dealing with an insurance company, it is always best to err on the side of caution since these insurance adjusters will often try to find or do anything they can to get you to admit fault for the crash.
For these reasons, before you make any statement to the insurance company, you should reach out to a skilled Wisconsin car accident lawyer. These attorneys can not only help prepare you for what you can expect from these adjusters, but they can also take over these discussions with the insurer on your behalf, ensuring you do not say anything that can impact the value of your claim.
7. Why Should You Reach out to Our Experienced Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyers Following a Motor Vehicle Crash?
To bring a successful injury claim after a motor vehicle accident, you need to have a solid understanding of the state’s laws and be able to provide sound legal arguments and relevant, detailed evidence proving what happened and who was at fault. However, after a car crash, this is probably the last thing on your mind.
Fortunately, when you work with a skilled Wisconsin car crash attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, you will not have to worry about tackling this legal battle on your own. We are ready to fight on your behalf and go after the damages you deserve.
Once you retain our Wisconsin car crash attorneys, we can:
- Go over the accident with you in detail, determine the viability of your legal claim, and figure out what legal options you should pursue.
- Answer all the questions and concerns you have regarding your case and the legal process involved.
- Thoroughly investigate the car accident and secure the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Bring in experts such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, and financial specialists to substantiate your claim.
- Handle all the negotiations with the other side, such as the insurance company, and fight for the fair settlement you need.
- Pursue trial if the other side is unwilling to settle and work relentlessly to get the successful case outcome you want.
If a car crash impacted your life, or the life of a family member, do not wait any longer to seek the legal help you need. Rather, reach out to the knowledgeable Wisconsin car accident lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation, and let us show you how we can fight for your rights and the damages and justice you deserve.
How Our Team of Attorneys Can Help You After an Accident
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers we understand the challenges that residents of Wisconsin face after a motor vehicle accident. You must already deal with the consequences of your injuries. To add to that the financial stress and uncertainty of medical expenses and other losses. It can feel overwhelming. The Wisconsin statute of limitations also adds a time constraint that requires you to initiate a claim or lawsuit as soon as possible. We can work alongside you to evaluate your case and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve from the at-fault parties.
Protect Your Interests
If you choose to hire a car accident attorney from our legal team, we will step in swiftly to alert all relevant parties that we will be representing your rights and interests. You will no longer have to manage communications with anyone other than us concerning the accident. We will keep you up to date on all happenings in your case and advise you through each stage of the process to protect your legal rights.
Evaluate Your Impacts and Losses
After we gather the available evidence in your case, we will go over your losses, including your injuries, to calculate the maximum compensation that could be available to you. Damages in a claim or lawsuit vary based and our estimate of damages may not equal what you ultimately collect, but we will help give you insights into the viability of your case. In addition, the calculation of damages will serve as a guide for you as we proceed through settlement negotiations. This number can help you better understand settlement offers and what is best for you as we move forward in the process.
Collect Available Evidence
Our office will assist you in collecting evidence and information that is relevant to your case. While you may already possess some vital information (such as your medical records), we can also help you acquire information that might be more difficult to attain or may be withheld by other parties to the case.
Negotiate for You
When an insurer makes a settlement offer in your case, we will communicate that offer to you and discuss the merits of the offer and the options that may still be on the table in your case. Our team will advise you on what we believe is the best course of action. You will make the final decision about whether or not to accept a settlement; we serve only to provide you with the best available information and the likelihood of successfully negotiating for additional compensation.
Help You Reach a Positive Resolution
Ultimately, we hope to resolve every case in a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer. In most cases, the parties settle outside of court. However, there are some situations in which it might be necessary or in your best interests to pursue a lawsuit against the defendants in your case. If a lawsuit should become necessary, our team will represent you throughout and until the conclusion of a trial. We will work hard to reach the best possible outcome for you as quickly as possible given the facts of your case.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation under the law. Contact our team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (715) 226-6149 for your free case evaluation.
La Crosse Office
119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601