Car accident attorneys come in all shapes and sizes. But before settling on a car accident attorney who promises a quick settlement and huge payout before knowing the facts, be sure to find one who has the experience and history to back up those claims.
A qualified Milwaukee car accident lawyer can be all that stands between you and getting the just compensation you deserve from your car crash. Too many people suffer and labor under huge medical bills due to auto accidents that were not their fault.
At Gebhard Law Office, we know that just one car accident can forever change your life. That’s why we work hard to make sure our personal injury clients get the full compensation that they deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
How Can a Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
Hiring a car accident lawyer who is from your state is the first step in helping you win a personal injury lawsuit that stems from an automobile accident. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, and only by hiring a lawyer licensed in Wisconsin can you be sure that you will get someone who knows Wisconsin’s legal system through and through.
Not only do PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance laws and legal minimums vary by state, laws related to negligence, seeking punitive damages, additional compensation and other legal matters can all depend on the state in which the car accident occurs. To fully understand your rights and any potential limits or problems with your personal injury claim, you need a lawyer who knows your state laws.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents?
Even if you are in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, a good car accident lawyer can help you recover damages through PIP insurance. While the process can be complicated and tricky (because insurance companies never want to pay out if they don’t have to), hiring a car accident lawyer is a good first step in helping you get the fair coverage and compensation you deserve.
In fact, if the insurance company tries to give you less than you think you deserve, an auto accident lawyer can attempt to recover additional compensation for your injuries.
Wisconsin Car Accident Law 101: Types of Car Accident Claims
Most car accident lawyers are hired to pursue personal injury lawsuits on the behalf of people involved in car accidents due to negligence. To be a negligent driver is to fail to exercise a reasonable standard of care while operating a vehicle or using the roads. Many types of dangerous driving behaviors can be considered negligent, including driving while drunk, swerving in and out of traffic, excessive speeding and more.
If a vehicle defect contributes to an accident (such as faulty brakes, bad tires, or a broken accelerator), the injured party may make a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part(s). In some cases, manufacturers can be held liable (regardless of whether a driver was behaving negligently), for injuries resulting from faulty design, manufacturing, or labeling. To be successful, personal injury lawsuits of this sort must show:
- The defective vehicle or vehicle part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- At the time of the car accident, the vehicle was being operated as intended
- The performance of the vehicle had not changed since its initial purchase
Poorly Maintained Roads or Bad Road Design
Car accident lawyers sometimes can bring personal injury lawsuits against the state. In cases where poor construction, design or maintenance of roads cause a car accident, injured parties can pursue compensation from the state for being negligent in its responsibility to provide safe roads. Common road design faults that can cause auto accidents include:
Embankments. If the outer edges of curved roads are not properly designed — for instance, if they are too steep or not properly elevated — they can cause automobile accidents.
Barriers and guard rails. Barriers, speed bumps, guard rails, curbs and medians can all contribute to car accidents if they are not properly designed, placed and maintained.
Surfaces. Poorly maintained road surfaces (like excessive or deep potholes) can cause drivers to lose control of their cars.
Signage. Poorly placed road signs are a common cause of car accidents. Signs should be placed in obvious locations and properly illuminated so that drivers can see them.
Traffic control. Just like road signs, traffic control signs and signals must be properly placed, operating and visible to drivers. When they are not, they can create confusion and cause car accidents.
Wisconsin Car Accident Law 101: Types of Car Accident Injuries
Auto accident lawyers can help injured parties pursue compensation for a wide variety of car accident injuries. Because each car accident case is different, the extent and impact of injuries will vary from case to case. Some injuries that car accident attorneys typically collect compensation for include:
- Loss of limbs (amputation)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee damage
- Head injuries
- Wrongful death
- Muscle, joint, back, bone and neck injuries
Wisconsin Car Accident Law 101: Economic Compensatory Damages
Car accident attorneys help those pursuing personal injury lawsuits receive economic auto accident damages, also known as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages attempt to compensate injured car crash victims for their monetary losses, and when awarded in car accident lawsuits they commonly include:
Medical expenses. Compensatory damages for medical expenses typically includes fees for hospital care, emergency room visits, approved doctor visits, surgery, and assistive devices.
Future medical expenses. If an auto accident victim can prove that they will need ongoing medical care and/or therapy as a result of their car accident, they may be able to recover some or all of the cost of future medical expenses.
Lost wages. If a car crash victim can prove that they lost wages due to an auto accident, they may be able to recover compensation for those wages lost. Even if the injured party was unemployed at the time of the accident, if he or she can demonstrate earning potential during their injury and recovery period, they may still be awarded compensatory damages.
Loss of earning capacity. If a car accident victim’s ability to work and earn a living has been negatively impacted, they may be able to receive compensatory damages for loss of earning capacity. In these situations, juries will typically look at past wages to help determine what a plaintiff could have earned had the auto accident not occurred.
Car Accident Law 101: Non-Economic Compensatory Damages
Car accident lawyers also help victims receive non-economic compensatory damages through their personal injury lawsuits. Non-economic compensatory damages are those that stem from non-financial losses. These types of lawsuit awards can be harder to quantify and prove, and include:
Pain and suffering. Car accidents are traumatic and the injuries they cause can be painful and life-altering. Compensation for pain and suffering attempts to compensate accident victims for the physical pain they suffer, and to determine compensation juries will typically look at the nature of the injury, the extent of the pain and the persistence of the injuries. (For instance, are the injuries temporary or life-long?)
Mental anguish. Auto accident victims can also receive monetary compensation for emotional pain and suffering. Mental anguish damages compensate car crash victims for anxiety, worry, grief, fright, embarrassment and other types of emotional distress caused by the car accident.
Loss of consortium. The aftermath of many car accidents doesn’t just stop at the victim. In many cases, the spouses of auto accident victims are adversely affected as well. Fortunately, if a car accident lawsuit is successful, the uninjured spouse of the victim may be able to recover damages for loss of marital benefits, including sexual relations, companionship, comfort and affection.
To determine compensation for loss of consortium, juries will typically look at marital stability, life expectancy, the extent to which marital relations have suffered, and the amount of care and companionship received by the uninjured spouse.
Punitive damages. In cases where the actions of the at-fault driver are so negligent that they are downright malicious or egregious, juries can award punitive damages. In car accident lawsuits, punitive damages are awarded with the sole purpose of punishing the at-fault driver to discourage similar behavior in the future.
Get a Free Legal Consultation with a Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer
For a Milwaukee car accident lawyer who will fight to get you all of compensation you deserve, call personal injury lawyer Karl Gebhard. Karl Gebhard offers free legal consultations for all types of car accidents, and he has experience pursuing both economic and non-economic compensatory damages for his clients. Because he works on a contingency basis, Karl Gebhard will not accept any fees for his legal services until he successfully wins a case.
For your free consultation, call today at 414-873-6550.