Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases

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It can be overwhelming to be hurt in an accident. Many people have similar questions and we’ve created a section of our website that answers the most frequently asked questions we hear. We invite you to browse the questions and answers to learn more about your own claim.

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  • How can I recover for all of my medical expenses after a personal injury?

    Recover Medical Expenses After Personal Injury

    If someone else caused your injuries, then that person or his insurance company should pay for all of your personal injury damages, including your medical expenses.

    Medical expenses include anything that is related to managing your pain or improving your health from your injury, such as:

    • Hospital stays.
    • Surgeries.
    • Doctors’ appointments.
    • Medications.
    • Rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy.
    • Assistive devices, such as crutches or prosthetic limbs.

    As with all of your damages, you will need to prove the specific value of your medical expenses in order to make a fair recovery.

    What About Your Own Health Insurance?

    It takes time to get a personal injury recovery. You could not—and should not—wait to get medical care until your personal injury damages are recovered. Instead, you should get the medical care that you need as soon as possible after your injury.

    This may include using your own health insurance policy to pay your hospital bills, your doctor bills, and your medication costs. If this is what you did, then your health insurance may have a claim against your recovery. In other words, the health insurance company may be reimbursed for the medical expenses it paid on your behalf that were directly related to the injury. However, anything that you paid for directly—including deductibles and co-pays—should be included in the damages that you receive from a personal settlement or lawsuit.

    Protect the Recovery That You Deserve

    Recovering for the medical costs and other damages that resulted from your personal injury can be complicated. The defendant, or the defendant’s insurance adjuster, is going to try to pay you as little as possible by denying liability or by contesting the value of your damages.

    However, you deserve to recover fair damages and our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you do just that. Please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 for more information. We would be pleased to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with you to discuss your recovery of medical expenses and other damages after a personal injury accident.

  • I was hurt in a personal injury accident. Can I recover for the out-of-pocket expenses I’ve had to pay because of the accident?

    Recover Medical Expenses From Personal Injury Accidents

    Yes, if the accident was someone else’s fault—or primarily someone else’s fault—then you should be compensated for all of your damages. This includes your property damage and any expenses that occurred because of the accident that you had to pay out of your own pocket.

    What’s Included

    Generally, any expense that you can prove was caused by the accident should be included in your recovery. While each case is unique, some common types of out-of-pocket damages that occur include:

    • Transportation costs that you incurred because of the accident. This may include public transportation costs, parking costs for medical appointments, or a rental car if one is not covered by an applicable insurance policy, for example.
    • Household help that you incurred because of the accident. If your injuries prevent you from doing housework or taking care of your children or pets and you had to hire others to do it for you because of your injuries then these expenses may be included in your recovery.

    Any other miscellaneous expenses that you have to pay as a result of your injuries can also be included in your recovery of out-of-pocket damages.

    Be Prepared to Prove the Value of Your Out-of-Pocket Damages

    As with every type of damage that you claim in a personal injury case, you will need to prove the value of your loss to the insurance company or to the court in order to make a fair recovery. You may pay for your out-of-pocket damages in different ways depending on the particular expense. However, it is important to keep copies of:

    • Receipts.
    • Invoices.
    • Cancelled checks.

    This type of documentation can prove the value of the damages that you incurred. For more information about how to recover your out-of-pocket costs and all of the personal injury accident damages that you deserve, please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 for a free consultation about your rights.

  • What’s included in lost income damages in a Wisconsin personal injury case?

    It isn’t your fault that you can’t work. Instead, you are out of work because someone else was negligent and caused you to get hurt. As you struggle to get back to the way that you were before your personal injury accident, it is important to know that the person who caused your accident may be responsible for compensating you for any income that you lose because of your injuries.

    As with any type of recovery, however, you will have to prove your damages to the insurance company or to the court and fight for your fair and just recovery.

    Make Sure You Are Compensated for All Your Lost Income

    Your lost income may include compensation for any kind of income that you are unable to earn because of your injuries from the time of your accident until your reasonably anticipated retirement date. This includes:

    • Wages.
    • Benefits.
    • Bonuses, stock options, and any compensation incentives.
    • Income from being self-employed.

    Whether you are claiming partial lost income because you are unable to work or a complete loss of income for the rest of your life, you are going to have to present evidence as the value of your lost income. That evidence may include:

    • Your personal tax returns.
    • Your business tax returns if you own a business and file a business return.
    • Your pay stubs.
    • Testimony from an expert witness about what you would likely earn in the future based on your education, past employment, and age.

    Additionally, you will need to prove that the defendant was negligent and, therefore, that the defendant owes you damages pursuant to state law.

    Protect Your Lost Income Recovery With the Help of an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

    Your lost income may be among the most significant damages that you suffer in a personal injury accident. If you don’t recover your lost income, then your standard of living may change and your family’s financial future may be in jeopardy. Accordingly, we encourage you to protect your recovery today by contacting our experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation about protecting your lost income and other damages after a personal injury accident.

  • How will I be compensated for my physical pain and emotional suffering if I’m hurt in an accident?

    The answer to your question depends on the actions that you take and the pain and suffering that you’ve endured. Even if you’ve suffered intense physical pain and significant emotional suffering, you will only be able to recover damages for these injuries if you pursue a legal recovery.

    This means negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company and going to court, but you don’t have to do it alone. Instead, you have the right to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can make sure that your right to all potential damages is protected and who can save you the stress of having to handle the case on your own.

    What’s Included in Pain and Suffering Damages?

    You can’t submit a bill or a pay stub to prove the value of your physical pain or emotional damages. For this reason, pain and suffering damages are sometimes referred to as non-economic damages. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, can be valued by looking at:

    • The extent of the injury.
    • How the injury impacts the person’s ability to go about his daily activities. This includes everything from getting out of bed in the morning, to spending quality time with family, to working, to enjoying hobbies, and more.
    • Any disfigurement or disabling condition caused by the injury.

    It may be difficult to attach a dollar figure to these things, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the right evidence to prove the full value of your pain and suffering damages.

    Pain and Suffering Damages Are an Important Part of Your Recovery

    Without compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering, your recovery will be incomplete. If someone else’s negligence has caused your injury then you deserve a full and fair recovery. Protect your rights today by contacting our experienced lawyers to discuss your personal injury damages. We welcome your call or online chat any time, day or night, every day of the year.

  • Can I recover punitive damages after a Wisconsin accident?

    Punitive damages are possible in some Wisconsin personal injury cases. However, not everyone who is able to recover compensatory damages for things such as medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering is able to recover punitive damages after a Wisconsin accident. Instead, Wisconsin law limits when a plaintiff may recover punitive damages.

    If you’ve been injured in a Wisconsin accident, then it is important to understand what the law says about punitive damages and protect all of your rights by talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

    What Wisconsin Law Says About Punitive Damages

    Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and to discourage others from behaving in a similar way in the future. They are not meant to compensate the injury victim even though that will happen if punitive damages are awarded by the court. According to Wisconsin Statutes, Section 895.043:

    • A plaintiff may receive punitive damages if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant acted “maliciously toward the plaintiff” or with “intentional disregard of the rights of the plaintiff.”
    • The plaintiff must prove the case for punitive damages to the court with evidence. The plaintiff may also provide evidence about the defendant’s wealth or ability to pay an award of punitive damages.
    • The decision about punitive damages will be made by the jury or the judge independently of the case for liability and compensatory damages.
    • If punitive damages are awarded by the court, the amount of the punitive damages may not exceed twice the amount of compensatory damages awarded by the court or $200,000—whichever is greater. However, this limit on punitive damages may not apply in some drunk driving cases.

    If you’ve been hurt and you believe that you may have a case for punitive damages, then it is important to talk to an experienced lawyer who has brought punitive damages cases before Wisconsin courts in previous cases and who knows how to protect all of your rights. Please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today and to learn more about all of the damages that you can recover in a Wisconsin personal injury accident.

  • Was my injury caused by a random accident, or could I have a personal injury lawsuit?

    This may be your most pressing question after your immediate medical needs have been addressed. Is someone else to blame for the injury that you are suffering? Could that person or business be made to compensate you for your injuries?

    Here’s How to Tell for Sure

    You may have the right to bring a legal case and to pursue compensation if the person or business that hurt you violated a statute or was negligent. Commonly, personal injury cases arise when someone was negligent as that term is defined by law. Therefore, you may have a lawsuit that is worth pursuing if you can prove that:

    • The person who hurt you owed you a duty of care. A duty of care may be created because of the specific relationship between you and the defendant. For example, a doctor owes you a duty of care if you are a patient. Likewise, a duty of care may be created because of what you and the defendant were doing at the time that you were hurt. For example, all drivers have a duty of care to other motorists.
    • The person who hurt you breached that duty of care by failing to act like a reasonably prudent person would given the circumstances. Determining what a “reasonably prudent person” might do is often contested in personal injury cases.
    • The breach of the duty of care caused your injuries. Those injuries would not have happened but for the breach of the duty of care. You can only recover damages if the defendant’s actions or inactions caused your injuries.

    You have a legal right to recover damages pursuant to the law because you were hurt. You will be required to explain what those damages are and how you should be compensated.

    While this definition of negligence applies to many personal injury cases, it can be difficult to know how it applies to the situation that caused your injury.

    Still Have Questions? Get a Free Personal Consultation

    Our experienced personal injury lawyers will be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation. We can talk about how a personal injury case works and about whether you may have a claim worth pursuing. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678.

  • Do I need a personal injury attorney?

    The decision about whether to hire a personal injury lawyer should be made after considering all of the facts unique to your situation. You may be surprised to hear us say this, but a personal injury lawyer is not necessary for every personal injury lawsuit.

    You can find out whether you could benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer for free and with no obligation by scheduling a free consultation with us. We will explain how a personal injury lawsuit works and, if we believe that you can get a fair recovery without hiring a lawyer, we will tell you so.

    When You May Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

    You may benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer if:

    • Your injuries are complex, expensive, or will take a long time to heal. If you suffer significant injuries, then your medical bills may be extensive, you may be unable to work or to earn the same income that you did prior to the injury, and your future may be uncertain. In these cases, your damages may be difficult to value and the insurance company may be unwilling to provide you with fair compensation unless you are represented by a lawyer.
    • The accident was complicated. If the facts of your case are complicated then the defendants and their insurance companies may try to blame each other—or you—for the injury. In this type of situation you want to make sure you have an attorney representing your interests.
    • You are having trouble determining the defendant’s insurance coverage. In order to get a fair recovery you need to know what you may be able to recover from the insurance companies that have legal obligations to compensate you after the accident or incident that left you injured.

    You may not need a lawyer, however, if your injuries are minor or if you are confident that you are receiving the maximum amount of coverage that you deserve from the insurance company.

    Remember, You Have Nothing to Lose

    We provide free consultations and our experienced personal injury lawyers will provide you with their honest recommendations about your need for legal counsel. In some cases, hiring a lawyer can maximize your recovery if you’ve been seriously injured. Therefore, we encourage you to contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free consultation today.

  • What is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Wisconsin?

    The Wisconsin statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit. There are different deadlines for different kinds of cases. The Wisconsin statute of limitations is typically three years for personal injuries. This means you have three years from the date your injuries occurred to settle your injury claim or to file a lawsuit.

    If you miss the Wisconsin statute of limitations, then you will miss out on receiving compensation for your injuries. Don’t jeopardize your recovery in this way. Instead, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured so that you can make sure that your rights are protected.

    Exceptions to the Wisconsin Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

    If your Wisconsin personal injury claim is against a municipal entity such as a city or county, then you will be required to notify the government of your injury in writing within 120 days of your accident. You will also have to provide the city or county with a notice of your Wisconsin personal injury claim before you begin to file a lawsuit.

    The statute of limitations is also shorter in wrongful death cases resulting from motor vehicle accidents. In these cases, you have two years to file a case.

    In some situations, however, the statute of limitations may be extended. For example, the Wisconsin statute of limitations may be longer for minors and for people who are deemed mentally incompetent. According to state law, those who are minors or mentally incompetent can begin Wisconsin personal injury claim proceedings up to five years after they sustain injuries in some situations.

    A Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Protect You From Missing the Statute of Limitations

    After any serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you should consult with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney. You can risk losing all the compensation you are entitled to if you miss the Wisconsin statute of limitations by even one day.

    Your Milwaukee personal injury attorney handles personal injury cases on a day-to-day basis and will make sure all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed to meet the Wisconsin statute of limitations and help preserve your legal rights. To learn more about how a personal injury case works in Wisconsin or about your own recovery please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your own free consultation.

  • What is subrogation and what does it mean for my personal injury recovery?

    The potential value of your case depends on many different factors. There is no minimum or maximum settlement amount or amount that you can recover in a court verdict.

    Instead, the value of your personal injury case depends on many factors, including the nature and extent of the injury, the amount of economic damages (such as lost wages and medical bills), and the amount of time the injury is expected to last.

    Additionally, the amount of your settlement or verdict that you take home is dependent on whether there are any insurers, assistance programs, or others who have paid some of your accident-related bills and who have a legal right to compensation.

    Paying Back Your Medical Bills

    Sometimes the medical bills that you incur as a result of your personal injury accident are paid through your health insurance, auto insurance, or a medical assistance program such as Medicare. It makes sense for these insurance companies or assistance programs to cover your costs so that you can get medical care as soon as possible.

    However, when you receive a settlement or a court verdict in your personal injury case then the insurance company or the assistance program is going to want to be repaid.

    This Is Known as Subrogation

    Subrogation simply means substitution of one person for another. For example, after a personal injury accident a health insurer is thought to stand in the shoes of an injured person and may, therefore, demand repayment of the money that it spent on medical bills on your behalf.

    The insurer or assistance program that paid the medical bills is often referred to as a collateral source, and a collateral source is typically entitled to reimbursement for what it paid.

    Worried About Paying a Subrogated Claim?

    If an insurance company notifies your attorney of a subrogated claim then your attorney is obligated to repay them out of your settlement money. However, your attorney still represents you and not the party seeking reimbursement.

    There are situations where an experienced personal injury attorney can help you either get subrogated amounts reduced, or eliminated altogether through skilled negotiations. Hiring a lawyer who has experience dealing with the complexity of subrogation is very important and can maximize your recovery at the time of settlement. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to learn more about how a personal injury case works and about how to protect your recovery.

    Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678.

  • What is the process for filing a personal injury case in Wisconsin?

    Your personal injury case officially begins when you file a complaint in state court. While you or your lawyer may engage in settlement negotiations prior to filing a complaint in court, those negotiations have no bearing on the statute of limitations and do not mean that you have officially begun a personal injury case.

    How to File Your Case Correctly

    It is important to file your case correctly so that you do not waste time or money with an incorrect filing. Accordingly, it is important to follow all of the court rules, which include filing the following items with the clerk of the Wisconsin Circuit Court in the correct county:

    • A summons. The summons should contain basic information such as the title of the case, the court in which the action is being brought, the description of the case classification type, addresses of the plaintiff and defendant, and a direction to the defendant to file an answer. A standard form can be found in the Wisconsin State Statutes Section 801.095.
    • A complaint. This document explains why you are suing the defendant and what you would like the court to do. In other words, in a personal injury action this pleading would explain the legal reason(s) why the defendant is liable for your injuries and what damages you are seeking.
    • Filing fees. The current fees are available on the state court website, but are subject to change.

    The summons and complaint must comply with all rules of the court and the defendant must be served with authenticated copies of these documents within 90 days of the filing.

    Your complaint explains your cause of action—or the legal reason why the court should allow you to recover damages—and it explains the damages that you are seeking.

    Therefore, it is important to get it right.

    Our personal injury lawyers have a lot of experience filing complaints and can make sure that all of your rights are protecting when you begin your case, throughout your lawsuit, and when you make your recovery. To find out more about how a personal injury lawsuit works, please contact us via this website or by phone at any time.