When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

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Screeching tires, breaking glass, the crunch of metal – you were in a car accident. After a serious crash, you’ll probably deal with a damaged vehicle, medical bills, lost income, and a lot of trauma and stress.

How do you know when to get an attorney for a car accident? If you or someone else involved in the crash suffered serious injuries, you may not know who bears liability. If you’re having trouble navigating the insurance claims process, you need an experienced car accident lawyer.

An attorney experienced in handling car accident claims will take the right steps to determine liability and secure fair compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages related to the injury. You should not navigate this process alone.

The team of Madison car accident attorneys at Pemberton Personal Injury Law Firm has years of experience representing clients injured in car accidents. With offices in Madison and Baraboo, we help people throughout Wisconsin.

Let’s look at a few of the circumstances that indicate when you should get a lawyer for a car accident.

Liability Is Disputed and Fault Is Unclear

In situations with disputed liability, having a skilled attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your personal injury case. An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation, collecting evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and any available surveillance footage to establish liability. They can consult with accident reconstruction experts or other specialists who can provide professional opinions on fault.

Attorneys can develop a strong legal strategy to support your claim and counter any arguments made by the other party. If the other party’s insurance company disputes liability, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf or take the case to court if necessary to protect your rights.

Wisconsin follows an at-fault or tort system for car accidents, which means that the at-fault driver must cover the damages of the other parties involved.

Wisconsin also follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you partially caused the accident, you can still recover damages, but your award may decrease by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are 51 percent or more at fault, you may not recover any compensation.

Consult an attorney if you are in a car accident in Wisconsin, especially if your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage or disputes arise about fault. An attorney can protect your rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your losses.

You’re Having Difficulty Navigating the Insurance Claims Process

After a car accident, most people will contact their insurance company, and the insurance agencies for the other drivers in the crash. All too often, the insurance company will try to get you to agree to a quick settlement. Sometimes, their offer doesn’t even cover your expenses.

If the insurance company offers a settlement that doesn’t fully cover your damages after a car accident, consult a car accident attorney. Lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can engage with the insurance company to seek a more equitable settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

Insurance claims often involve complex paperwork and deadlines. An attorney is used to dealing with insurance companies, understands the intricacies of the claims process, and can help you avoid common mistakes that might jeopardize your claim. Your lawyer will provide clear guidance and explain your rights and obligations.

Your attorney can advocate on your behalf, ensuring that the insurance company evaluates your claim fairly and doesn’t undervalue your damages. Also, in case of any disputes or delays in the claims process, having an attorney can provide you with legal protection and support.

Having an attorney handle the negotiations provides peace of mind. Knowing an experienced legal team has your back will relieve stress and allow you to focus on your recovery.

You or Someone Else in the Car Accident Suffered Serious Injuries

Two victims seated on road with recue agent after a dangerous car accident in Madison, WI

Serious injuries often result in substantial medical bills, significant physical and emotional pain, and time lost from work. Some injuries may have long-term or permanent consequences requiring ongoing medical care and expenses.

An attorney can recover compensation to cover your current and future medical expenses, lost earnings, future income losses, and pain and suffering.

The insurance company settlement offer may sound good if it takes care of your immediate needs. But an experienced car accident attorney knows what challenges you might face as you make your way down the road to recovery. We’ll help you assess not just what you need now but also ensure your compensation covers potential future needs.

In severe injury cases, life care planners may be involved in creating a comprehensive plan outlining the anticipated medical, rehabilitative, and support needs of the injured person throughout their lifetime. Attorneys often rely on these and other expert witnesses like medical professionals, economists, and vocational experts to provide opinions and testimony regarding future damages.

To account for inflation and the time value of money, future damages are often adjusted to their present value using financial calculations. Future damages estimations may also consider potential contingencies, such as the likelihood of complications, the need for future surgeries, and the person’s age and life expectancy.

Estimating future damages requires a combination of legal experience, medical knowledge, and financial analysis.

The Accident Involves a Government Vehicle or Commercial Truck

Accidents involving government vehicles or commercial trucks often entail complex liability issues. In these types of car accidents, you definitely need a lawyer to determine responsibility and navigate the unique legal aspects of these cases.

Commercial trucks are subject to extensive regulations. Your lawyer will investigate whether the trucking company and driver followed these regulations, which can be crucial in establishing liability.

Government entities may have immunity from certain claims, but exceptions may apply. An attorney can assess whether your case falls within these exceptions and guide you accordingly.

Cases involving government entities or commercial trucking companies often have higher stakes due to potential extensive damages. An attorney can pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer can negotiate with the responsible party’s insurer or take legal action if needed to protect your rights.

Okay, I Need a Lawyer. Is There Still Time to File a Car Accident Claim?

In Wisconsin, plaintiffs must file personal injury claims within three years of the injury. The clear and defined timeframe for bringing legal claims is called the statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations expires, you cannot pursue the claim in court.

An experienced car accident attorney in Wisconsin can advise you about the statute of limitations for your specific case. Exceptions or factors could affect the time limit for filing a car accident claim. Also, gathering evidence and building a strong case can take time, so don’t wait to find legal counsel to help you with your claim.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Pemberton Personal Injury Law Firm Today

Madison Car Accident Lawyer
William Pemberton, Car Accident Lawyer

Did you suffer injuries after a car accident in Wisconsin? You don’t have to navigate the legal complexities alone. The experienced personal injury attorneys from Pemberton Personal Injury Law Firm are here to assess your case and advocate for your rights.

Our firm has the experience and knowledge to help you get the compensation you deserve. We make it our priority to get to know our clients and their cases so we can best represent you. We have offices in Baraboo and Madison and represent clients throughout Wisconsin.

Arrange for a consultation with one of our car accident lawyers by calling (608) 448-6242 or filling out our online contact form. There is no cost or obligation when you meet with us. Let us help you get back on the road to recovery.

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