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Handling Car Accident Claims Across Wisconsin
Car accidents leave victims with many questions and painful injuries. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information online about your rights to compensation following a car accident. You might wrongly assume that you have an unlimited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit, or you might think you can negotiate a settlement by following a few simple tips. Call Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC. Our Wisconsin car accident lawyers can go into detail about your rights following a car accident, in a free consultation
Wisconsin Auto Accident Statistics
According to Wisconsin State Patrol, our state saw the following accidents in 2020:
- 540 fatal accidents, killing 593 people.
- 23,747 injury accidents, which injured 32,373 people and seriously injured 3,186.
- 90,410 property damage collisions
- 115,694 total accidents
- State Patrol has also published statistics on the following causes of accidents:
- 6,050 alcohol-related accidents, injuring 3,120 people.
- 2,250 drug-related crashes, injuring 1,412 people.
- 19,681 speed-related accidents, injuring 8,056 people.
Types of Auto Accidents in Wisconsin
Car accidents are some of the most common accidents in the Badger State and can happen anywhere.
Some of the most common crashes include:
- Rear-end collisions. A car slams into the car in front of it. Rear-end collisions are common at intersections or wherever one driver is tailgating the other.
- Head-on collisions. When two cars collide head-first, the results are often tragic. These should be rare accidents, but we see them most often because one car is passing illegally or the driver drifts over the center line and hits an oncoming vehicle.
- Side-impact crashes. These collisions happen commonly at intersections. One car slams into the side of another. These are also called T-bones.
- Sideswipe accidents. Two cars traveling parallel to each other can collide, often when one is attempting to merge onto the highway and there is not enough room.
- Rollovers. A car can flip onto its side or hood when something triggers it. Common triggers include gravel or potholes.
- Single-vehicle accidents. One car can flip or get forced off the road without being struck by another car. Many single-vehicle accidents are caused by another driver who flees the scene.
What is Negligence?
Most car accidents are caused by negligent drivers. These are people who do not follow the rules of the road and are careless. We see many common examples of negligence:
- Failure to use mirrors
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
- Eating and driving
- Texting and driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Impaired driving
Often, there is a dispute about who is to blame for the collision. Hiring an attorney to represent you is critical. We can carefully review all the facts to piece together what happened.
Wisconsin recognizes that both drivers in a crash could be negligent, so our state’s comparative fault law can come into play.
Required Car Insurance in Wisconsin
Most settlements are paid by insurance policies. Wisconsin requires that drivers carry minimum insurance when registering a vehicle:
- Property damage liability: $10,000. This covers damage to another person’s car when you are responsible for the crash.
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person, up to $50,000 when two or more people are injured or killed. This liability coverage pays for medical care, lost income, and other losses when you cause an accident.
- Uninsured motorist (UM)coverage: $25,000 per injured person, up to $50,000 when two or more people are injured or killed. Uninsured motorist coverage, is called UM, is insurance you can use if you are hurt, or hit in a hit-and-run, by a driver who does not have automobile insurance.
This required insurance is liability coverage. That means if you are struck by a vehicle driven by someone else, you can make a claim on that driver’s policy. You cannot make a claim on your own liability coverage.
Optional Car Insurance
You might also purchase certain optional car insurance, which could help you in the event of a crash:
- Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). Underinsured motorist coverage, is called UIM, This is like UM coverage. However, you use it when you have expenses that exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. For example, the driver who struck you might only have the minimum insurance, $25,000. But your losses total $50,000. So, you have $25,000 that is uncompensated, which your UIM insurance can cover.
- Medical payments coverage. You can use this insurance to pay for medical bills to treat accident injuries. Insurers must offer medical payments coverage, although you can reject it. This is no-fault insurance, which means you can use it even if you are at fault.
- Collision coverage. This insurance will pay for car damage, regardless of fault. Many car lenders require collision coverage, so you likely have collision coverage if you have a car loan.
These optional insurance policies can help cover the costs of an accident. As your attorney, we always review all applicable insurance policies, then help our clients maximize their compensation.
Receiving Compensation for a Car Accident
Car accidents are expensive and can cost you and your family in many ways. According to a study published in Forbes, the average bodily injury claim was $24,000. The average property damage claim was $5,000.
Our legal team will seek full compensation for economic losses like:
- Ambulance transportation
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription drugs
- Doctor’s appointments
- Specialist visits
- Hospital overnights
- Physical therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Future medical expenses
Other economic losses include past and future lost income. Many car accident injuries prevent people from working during their recovery. We can also seek compensation to fix your damaged car or, if it is totaled, replace it.
Our firm also negotiates compensation for pain and suffering, which includes emotional distress, depression, physical pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the loss of enjoyment of life. Car accidents can truly turn someone’s life upside down, and the at-fault driver compensates the victim.
What to Do at the Accident Scene
You should call the police to report the accident. An officer can create an accident report, which will prove helpful when it comes time to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver and their insurance company The officer can also collect evidence, gather insurance and license information and talk to witnesses.
5 Mistakes to Avoid after a Wisconsin Car Crash
With over 100 years of collective experience, our Wisconsin auto accident lawyers advise their clients to avoid. these errors that cost them compensation.
- Do not flee the scene. It is against the law to leave after an accident, and you could face prosecution.
- Don’t admit fault for the accident. Ask them if they need an ambulance. Avoid apologizing for the crash.
- Do not fail to report the accident to your insurer. Call them soon after the crash and provide them with basic information about the accident. However, do not give any recorded statement about what happened.
- Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate your injuries. Instead, go to the hospital immediately to have a doctor identify your injuries, and remember to follow the doctor’s treatment plan.
- Do not negotiate a settlement on your own. Insurance companies like nothing better than to see someone without a lawyer.
- Do not delay contacting an attorney! Contacting an attorney often ensures your case will settle for the maximum value
Call Our Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney Today
Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC has negotiated with every large insurance company in Wisconsin. We are not afraid to speak up on your behalf. Call our law firm to speak with an attorney about your car accident. We never charge a fee unless we win your case, so there is no risk of reaching out to our experienced legal team.
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."