Questions about car accidents and injury claims are normal after you’ve been in an accident. If you have questions about car accidents, injury claims and personal injury lawsuits, these answers could help you.
What is the first thing that I should do after an auto accident?
First, call 911. This will get medical personnel to the scene of the accident to help you and anyone else involved in the car crash. 911 operators may also dispatch the police. If they do not, be sure to call the police next. While you are waiting for help to arrive, exchange information with the other driver (like name ame, contact information, automobile information, insurance information) as well as that of any eyewitnesses.
How soon after a car accident should I file a personal injury lawsuit?
How long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident depends on the state in which your accident occurs. In Wisconsin, accident injury victims generally have three years in which to file their claims (although this can differ based on the particulars of a claim). To avoid the statute of limitations and mistakenly miss your chance to file a claim, it is best to get legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney.
What if my air bags did not deploy during my car accident? Can I sue?
Whether or not you can sue the automobile manufacturer for an air bag defect depends on the circumstances of the accident and the terms of the manufacturer’s air bag warranty. If your air bags did not deploy under a warranted situation, then a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a case against a manufacturer. If not, then your only case is with the other driver.
How much should I pay to speak to a lawyer about my case?
Nothing. You should find a lawyer who offers free first-time consultations. That way you will not be charged just to find out whether or not you have a case.
I think I mistakenly said some things at the scene of the accident that weren’t true. Will this hurt my case?
It is actually quite common for inaccurate things to be said or assumed at the site of a car accident. After an auto accident, people go home and replay and re-imagine the car crash in their minds, seeing details and interactions that they weren’t aware of in the chaos of the moment. Hiring a good personal injury attorney can help you find the best way to find and explain any potential story discrepancies.
I think my car accident may have been my fault. What should I do?
Just because you may feel partially at fault for an auto accident doesn’t mean that the legal system does. Many factors can contribute to a car crash, including alcohol, road conditions, manufacturer defects, and the like. Before you decide to accept blame, it’s best to get legal advice and let qualified investigators evaluate the facts of the auto accident.
I feel fine and don’t think I am injured. Should I just settle with the insurance company?
Before you even think of settling an automobile accident claim with an insurance adjuster, we recommend that you see a doctor. Car accident injuries do not always manifest immediately, so they can take days or even weeks to show up. If you settle right away, any eventual fees that you have for medical costs and loss of work may not be covered by an early settlement.
Will my personal injury claim go to trial or be settled out of court?
That depends on the circumstances of your case. Many cases can and are settled out of court. If, however, the insurance company offers a settlement that we feel is unacceptable, we may take the case to trial so that you get the compensation you deserve.
The other driver’s insurance company wants my medical records. Should I release them?
No, absolutely not. Never release your medical records during a personal injury lawsuit without speaking to your lawyer first.
I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. Can that be held against me?
In Wisconsin, there is something called the “seat belt defense” which can potentially reduce a plaintiff’s damages for failure to wear a seat belt. While this doesn’t mean that car accident victims shouldn’t pursue their cases (because it doesn’t assign negligence for not wearing a seat belt), it does mean that you should wear your seat belt at all times when operating your vehicle and that failure to do so could negatively affect the amount of monetary damages you could receive from a personal injury claim.
How soon after a car accident should I contact an attorney?
If you are injured or there is the possibility of injuries, immediately. Hiring a lawyer right away can help you preserve vital evidence and start building your case.
Should I contact the other driver’s insurance company?
No, absolutely not. It is better to hire a car accident lawyer and have him or her do that on your behalf. Contacting the other driver’s insurance company yourself can seriously jeopardize your case.
How soon after an auto accident should I contact my insurance company?
Immediately. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may want to immediately contact a lawyer as well.
What information should I get to support my claim?
There is a lot you can do to gather evidence and information right at the scene of an accident to support your personal injury lawsuit. This includes getting pictures of vehicles, damage and immediate injuries, as well as follow up images of secondary injuries as they develop (such as bruises).
Should I talk to the police?
Yes, absolutely. When police arrive at the scene of a car accident, it is important that you talk to them but that you also avoid taking blame for the accident or making accusations against anyone else. Stick to the facts.
Can I remain in my car after a car accident?
Yes, if you do not feel okay or able to get out of your car after an automobile accident, you can stay in it until help arrives. If, however, you smell smoke or see fire, your car may not be a safe place to stay and you should try to get as far away from it as possible.