Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
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608-406-2282 866-821-1345
Serving Injured And Disabled Clients In Minnesota and Wisconsin

Should I consult a lawyer about my car accident?

Many people understand the benefits of hiring a top-notch attorney to pursue recourse in a highly complicated case. However, in car accident cases that appear more straightforward, the same people often think of trying a little legal DIY. They speak with insurance adjusters and maybe even file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, such a scenario rarely ends well for the plaintiff. 

Dealing with formalities

To begin with, even a "simple" case is rarely as simple as you think. Failing to comply with paperwork requirements and deadlines alone can suffice to demolish even a promising case. Wisconsin's statute of limitations typically allows you to file suit within three years of your accident; in some cases, this period may be shorter. Missing this particular deadline generally means giving up any chance of recovering your damages.

Negotiating a fair settlement

After an accident, the other driver's insurance company may contact you to offer a settlement. While you may feel tempted to spare yourself the hassle of a lawsuit and just accept what may sound like a large sum of money, keep in mind that this insurance company's agenda differs from your own. Insurance companies look to save money on payouts and litigation, so they try to make potential plaintiffs go away. The settlements they present rarely, if ever, offer enough to cover your damages even minimally.

Remember, you now face medical bills, lost earnings and a diminished quality of life. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may continue to need treatment and assistance for as long as you live. When you have a qualified attorney at your side, you know that your lawyer represents your interests alone, whether in a litigation setting or when negotiating settlements.

Calculating damages

Most plaintiffs have limited awareness of the extent of potential damages. You probably know about your medical expenses. However, you will also need to project an amount for damages such as future treatments, current and future pain and suffering, future lost earnings and impact on quality of life.

Proving your case

In addition to proving damages, you must also show that the other driver behaved negligently. Even if witnesses and the police report support your version of events, you may need additional proof and legal arguments. This means getting information from the other side via a complex process of document discovery and depositions, as well as performing legal research to locate relevant law.

Car accident victims who start out on their own and later decide to hire an attorney when matters become complicated can face problems with their case. Courts may not always allow you to retract earlier statements or demands. Avoid getting stuck with a less-than-stellar case and get on track to obtain the maximum recovery by speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

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We handle most cases on a contingency basis. We will not ask you to pay any fees unless we are successful in getting you compensation. If you have questions or would like to learn more about how we can help you, call us at 608-406-2282, or toll free at 866-821-1345. You can also reach us by completing our online contact form to discuss your case with an experienced La Crosse personal injury attorney.

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Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
123 7th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Toll Free: 866-821-1345
Phone: 608-406-2282
Fax: 608-784-4908
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