How do I know if my Personal Injury lawyer is honest and ethical?
When you hire a Milwaukee car accident lawyer to represent you, you expect that your attorney will be honest, ethical and trustworthy. If you’ve never hired a car accident lawyer, then you may be wondering how to ensure you have hired the best possible lawyer to advocate for your recovery.
Five Ways to Learn About Your Lawyer
- Schedule a meeting – Most lawyers offer free initial consultations, so schedule a face-to-face meeting where you can get more information about your lawyer and how he or she can help you help you.
- Solicit recommendations – Car accidents are common occurrences. The chances are high that your friends, relatives and colleagues will have recommendations about reputable lawyers in the area.
- Contact the local bar association – See if there are complaints against your potential lawyer by reaching out to your local bar association. If a grievance has been filed against your lawyer at any time, the bar association will have a record of it on file.
- Read review sites – Check out websites like Yelp or Angie’s List to see what people are saying about your lawyer. You can also read testimonials on the lawyer’s website.
- Search the internet – A simple Google search can yield a wealth of information on your lawyer.
Taking at least one of the steps above goes a long way in helping you find an honest, trustworthy and ethical lawyer.
Can a car accident cause a brain injury?
Simply put: yes. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the United States, accounting for over 14.3% of incidents annually. It is critical to understand the risks and symptoms of TBI if you or someone you love is hurt in a car accident.
The Link Between Car Accidents and Brain Injuries
How do car accidents lead to brain injuries? Generally speaking, car crashes often result in traumatic brain injuries because:
- The collision causes the driver or passenger to hit their head on either the dashboard or other object.
- The force of the collision, coupled with violent shaking from the impact of the crash, causes the brain to collide with the skull and the brain to swell. The brain may experience trauma without penetrating the skull, resulting in what is commonly referred to as a “closed head brain injury”.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, see a doctor immediately and report any pain, headaches, loss of consciousness, cognitive problems or sensory changes. All of these could be symptomatic of traumatic brain injury and may result in long recuperation times, lost income and lifelong disabilities. See how we can help you recoup financial losses and regain your life after a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Call us today at 414-873-6550.
How can I help my teen become a safer driver?
As a parent, you can do a lot to help your teen become a safe driver. For example, you can:
- Enroll your teen in driver’s education classes
- Set safe driving rules for your teen and enforce the rules
- Model safe driving behaviors
- Reward safe driving
But others, like teachers, coaches, siblings, grandparents, relatives and employers, can also help your teen make smart driving decisions. Each of these adults offers a new and unique perspective on driving that can help your teen make safe driving decisions.
If I have been hurt in a car crash, how will I be compensated?
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as submitting a bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. However, it is possible to assign a dollar amount to your pain and suffering. But how?
Valuing Pain and Suffering After a Car Crash
In order to maximize profits, insurance companies typically pay out the minimum reimbursement. Unless you fight for the damages you feel you deserve, this could have a devastating impact on your recovery. Fight for fair damages by first proving the value of your pain and suffering. Factor in things that are unique to you and that depend on your specific physical injuries such as:
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Next, ask family members, doctors and other trusted members of your circle to help your insurance company understand the extent of your pain and suffering. Hiring a reputable lawyer to advocate for you is the final piece of the puzzle. A good lawyer your lawyer will you receive fair compensation after you’ve been hurt in a car crash.
I am spending a lot of money as a result of my car crash injuries. Who will pay for my out-of-pocket costs?
Though your out-of-pocket costs may not seem as substantial as your medical expenses or lost income, they are still significant losses. Depending on your injuries and lifestyle, you may need help with:
- Housekeeping services
- Support for tasks such as bathing or grooming
The good news is that you may be able to recover for these out-of-pocket costs by requesting damages in your settlement. Damages are the sum of money awarded in compensation for an injury or loss. Insurance companies do not automatically include damages in a settlement unless you specifically request them, nor are they included in a court verdict unless you can prove your loss.
More on Damages
You can protect your right to damages by:
- Keeping concise records (including receipts) of all your expenses
- Hiring an expert witness who can vouch for the connection between your injury and your expenses.
Most importantly, hire an experienced car accident lawyer. Car accident lawyers know what you may entitled to in damages and how to advocate for you. Contact us today at 414-873-6550. to speak with a lawyer who may be able to help you.
After a car accident, how much lost income can I recover?
Whether full or part time, your injury may prevent you from working in any capacity. This greatly impacts your ability to earn income. Combined with out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your car accident injuries, this could be financially devastating.
In order to recover lost income, you will need supporting documentation to support your claim. Documentation could include:
- A letter from your employer indicating your reduced or nonexistent hours, along with reasons why your injuries prevent you from performing your role.
- A letter from an expert in your field who can provide credible testimony about how your injuries impact your job.
- Copies of your tax returns that will help to prove the amount of income you earned prior to the accident.
Put simply, you have the right to recover for all lost wages, benefits and income if someone else was legally responsible for your car accident.
If I have been hurt in a car accident, how can I pay for my medical expenses?
By law in Wisconsin, your medical payment coverage is included in your auto insurance policy. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, you can use this coverage to pay for your medical expenses. While substantial, the coverage may not be sufficient to pay for all of your medical expenses.
Private health insurance or government health insurance such as Badgercare may also be used to pay for your medical expenses. Unfortunately, this coverage can also only stretch so far; you will still be responsible for co-pays and deductibles and medical care not covered by your insurance.
Holding Others Accountable
If another driver’s negligence led to your car accident, you may be entitled to hold them liable for current and future medical expenses such as:
- Ambulance rides
- Hospital stays
- Emergency room visits and doctor’s office visits
- Prescriptions and other medications
- Physical therapies
- Assistive medical devices (e.g. wheelchairs or walkers)
These are all good examples of medical expenses that you may be able to recoup if you have been injured in a car accident. You can also submit a bill for medical expenses you have already incurred if submitted with a doctor’s testimony.
Bottom line: the process of recovering damages for medical expenses following a car accident can be complicated. Make sure you have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side when submitting bills and asking for reimbursement. Schedule a free meeting with one of our highly-skilled lawyers by calling us at 414-873-6550.
I would like to buy a car for my teen driver. What safety features should I look for in a car?
With so many different safety options out there, it may be confusing to know which features in a car are critical to protecting your child and which are simply luxuries.
In 2015, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published a list of cars that were top-ranked for safety and reliability. These cars included the Subaru Forester and Toyota Highlander, among others. Additionally, the IIHS identified several features in cars that may prove critical in keeping teen drivers and passengers safe. These include:
- Cars without high-horsepower engines
- Bigger, heavier cars
- Electronic stability
Side airbags and backup cameras are also important safety features that were not included on the list.
How do car accident insurance settlements start?
Soon after your car accident, you may get a call from an insurance adjuster. Many believe that this is when the car accident insurance settlements starts. But the process actually begins with a demand letter.
The Demand Letter
Remember that an insurance company does not have to give you money unless it is specifically requested. So your attorney must send a formal demand letter to the insurance company requesting a settlement. A good demand letter is persuasive and well-written. Additionally, the demand letter should include:
- Details about the specific injuries you have suffered or suffer from.
- Specific damages you seek as a result of your injuries.
- Concise details about your accident, including the reason why the other driver is liable for your accident and for your injuries.
- Supporting documentation substantiating any claims laid out in the demand letter.
After the insurance company receives and considers your demand letter, you will receive a formal written response. Then, your attorney and the insurance company will negotiate until a settlement is reached or your case goes to court.
Still, you should never underestimate the importance of events that occur prior to the formal demand letter. Be cautious about talking to insurance adjusters, posting about your car accident to social media or foregoing medical treatment for your injuries. Doing any of these things before a demand letter could prolong and complicate your settlement.
If you have more questions about when the insurance settlement process begins, contact us today at 414-873-6550.
After a car accident, do I have the right to bring a lawsuit?
In Wisconsin, you have the right to bring a lawsuit if you were hurt in a car accident that was solely caused by someone else. Generally speaking, only legally competent adults can bring lawsuits. However, there are situations where you may be able to file suit on behalf of your loved one. For example, you can bring a lawsuit if:
- You are the parent or legal guardian of a child.
- You are the legal executor of the estate of a loved one who died in a car accident. Damages would belong to the state and distributed.
Remember: if you do not have standing, or the legal right to bring a lawsuit, then the defense will argue that your case should be dismissed. Therefore, it is important to know if you have appropriate legal standing prior to bringing a lawsuit. To find out whether you have legal standing to bring a lawsuit, please contact us directly at 414-873-6550.