Experienced Car Accident
Lawyer in Eau Claire County
Filing an accident claim after a car wreck is a stressful experience. What initially looks like a few pieces of paper can soon turn into a nightmare for injured motorists struggling to get back on their feet. At Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, we have heard stories from countless people who tried to handle their own insurance claim, only to give up in frustration after a couple of months. Don’t let this happen to you.
Contact our law firm today. We have deep experience in car accident cases around Wisconsin, and we offer our services to those living or injured in Eau Claire. It is possible to obtain compensation to cover car repairs, medical bills, and income loss, but you should hire the right attorney quickly. We will negotiate with the defendant and their insurer to obtain as much compensation as possible. An Eau Claire car accident attorney can explain more in a free consultation.
Bodily Injuries after a Car Wreck
Car accidents are extremely traumatic. According to one estimate, an unbelted person in a car going 30 miles per hour will suffer 24,000 pounds of force on their body when they collide with a stationary object. That is a lethal amount of force.
Nonfatal injuries include:
- Facial wounds
- Neck injuries
- Dislocated shoulders and knees
- Lacerations or abrasions
- Back sprains
- Spinal column injuries
Each year, nearly 600 people die in Wisconsin car accidents, which is a tragedy. But even nonfatal injuries can leave someone sidelined for months, unable to work or enjoy life like they once did.
Common Car Accidents in Eau Claire
Our Eau Claire car crash lawyers have helped clients injured in many types of accidents:
- Speed-related collisions. A speeding motorist can run a red light or rear end a car because the driver cannot stop in time. Speed-related accidents often cause especially serious injuries.
- Failure to yield. Wisconsin has detailed rules for yielding at intersections and on the road. Unfortunately, some motorists refuse to yield even if they know they should, and they cause a wreck. These are dangerous accidents, especially when one vehicle is trying to merge on the highway.
- Rear-end collision. A motorist can crash into a car directly in front of it, often because the driver is distracted or confused. Motorists can be thrown forward, and unbelted occupants might go through the windshield.
- Multiple vehicle pileups. Several cars can smash against each other, often on congested roads, like I-94 or any road with a construction zone. Pileups can be especially dangerous because emergency personnel might need extra time to reach injured victims.
- Single-vehicle accidents. One vehicle might crash without being struck. For example, a driver might need to take sudden, defensive action to avoid a crash and end up going off the road. Malfunctioning parts on a car might also cause this type of crash.
- Drunk driving accidents. Impaired drivers kill hundreds of people each year and injure thousands more. Alcohol and drugs delay reactions and increase risky behavior.
Identifying Fault in Wisconsin Law
To obtain compensation after a crash, we need to identify who is at fault. You might assume it’s the other driver, but they could also point the finger at you.
We rely on various types of evidence to identify what happened, including:
- Accident eyewitnesses
- Dashcam or surveillance video
- Physical evidence like paint smears or debris fields
- Photographs of the vehicles immediately after the crash
- Each driver’s own statements about what happened
Sometimes an accident is just that: an accident. No one is to blame, because the collision was just bad luck. But in most cases, one driver was negligent, which means they failed to drive with sufficient care. In that case, we can seek compensation from a negligent driver for your injuries and related financial losses.
Can Both Drivers Share Fault?
Yes. For example, you might have been distracted by your cell phone when a drunk and speeding driver crossed the center line and smashed into you. In this example, both drivers were careless. Wisconsin law acknowledges comparative fault.
So long as you are not more at fault than the other driver, you should be able to seek compensation. Your own fault will reduce your damages, at a minimum.
Will Insurance Cover Your Car Accident?
We usually negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company to reach a settlement. Fortunately, Wisconsin requires that drivers have minimum coverage when they register a car:
Bodily injury liability. This coverage will pay for medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. Drivers should carry a minimum of $25,000 per person, up to $50,000 for accidents with two or more injured people.
Property damage liability. This insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle when the other driver is to blame. The current minimum is $10,000.
- Uninsured motorist insurance (UM Coverage). You pay for this insurance, but it kicks in if you are hit by a driver who is uninsured, or if you are hurt in a hit and run. You should have at least $25,000 per injured victim, up to $50,000 per accident.
Other Insurance Policies
Our clients might have other optional insurance which can pay compensation following a crash:
- Medical payments coverage. This insurance pays for medical care to treat car accident injuries. It is no-fault insurance.
- Collision coverage. This optional coverage pays for car repairs, regardless of fault. Although optional, many car lenders require that borrowers carry collision insurance.
- Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM insurance). This insurance will cover uncompensated expenses which exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. It is fault-based, unlike collision and medical payments.
What is a Fair Settlement for an Eau Claire Car Accident?
A fair settlement should compensate for all out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash. Many people are shocked at the size of medical bills that pile up on their kitchen table. The negligent driver should pay for these expenses.
Out-of-pocket losses include medical care for your injuries: tests, doctor appointments, prescription medication, surgery, and rehabilitation, among other expenses. Hold onto your receipts and bills so we can calculate the total cost of care.
Other economic losses include car damage and lost income. Some accident victims feel intense pain, which keeps them away from work. That’s an unfortunate drop in income when they really need it most. You should request monetary compensation and show your lawyer your pay stubs and car repair bills.
Our lawyers will also negotiate a settlement for all the non-economic losses suffered, such as:
- Bodily pain
- Mental anguish
- Reduction in the quality of live
- Impairment of the marital relationship
Schedule a consultation today to speak with a member of our team about how much compensation you might receive.
Top 5 Reasons to Hire our Auto Accidents Attorney following an Accident
Some accident victims think they can negotiate their own settlement. After all, Wisconsin does not require that you hire a lawyer to help you. But here are 5 reasons you should pick up the phone and call us:
1. Negotiating a settlement is exhausting. Injured victims need to maintain focus on their recovery if they hope to heal their injuries. Let our Eau Claire car accident lawyers fill out insurance forms, answer questions, and handle phone calls. We will lift a heavy burden from you, so you can focus on rehab.
2. Insurance companies don’t play fair. You might think that fault is obvious, and your injuries deserve a large amount of compensation. However, insurance companies are businesses. They are focused on their balance sheet, not what’s best for you. We have seen many people with life-changing injuries get only small settlement offers. Send the insurance companies a message by hiring a seasoned lawyer to handle negotiations.
3. You don’t want to ask for too little. Do you know how much you can get for a broken arm, whiplash, and pain? Some accident victims just ask to have their medical bills reimbursed. But we know how to demand financial compensation for pain and suffering. There is no reason to leave money on the table.
4. We might have to sue. Our firm has successfully negotiated settlements for most clients. But there’s always the possibility that both sides remain so far apart that a lawsuit is the only way to seek resolution. You will definitely need a lawyer to help with litigation. And an insurer will come to the table with a fair offer if they know you have experienced litigators on your side.
5. You can afford our legal services. Our firm represents car accident victims with contingency fee agreements. Essentially, you will not owe us any legal fees until and unless we win your case. There is no risk to you!
Work with Our Eau Claire Car Accident Lawyers
Our team has dedicated the past 30 years to making sure dangerous drivers are held accountable when they crash into innocent people. We have a distinguished track record of success and can handle any motor vehicle accident case from start to finish. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about how we will assist you.
Attorney William SkempMelissa, Source: Avvo
"Mr. Skemp was so thorough in handling my case.
He was literally the junk yard dog I was hoping to hire and fought for me the whole way. Even when I felt like giving in. His staff is so helpful and kind as well. "
Attorney David FitzpatrickGeorge, Source: Google
"If you been denied SSI, call them they will fight for you and pay nothing unless they win."
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Attorney SCOTT BUTLERAbby, Source: Google
"We hired Attorney Scott Butler after a motor vehicle accident. Immediately a weight was lifted off our shoulders, as he handled everything with the insurance companies, medical paperwork, etc so that we could focus on healing and getting on with life. He is highly attentive, kind and genuine. His communication is fabulous-frequently reaching out just to check on us, prompt in returning calls/emails. Couldn't have had a better experience with our case. My family would highly recommend Scott Butler to anyone."