Car accidents can be traumatic experiences that leave lasting impacts on individuals and their families. In Milwaukee, car accidents are unfortunately not uncommon, and understanding the necessary steps to take after an accident is crucial.
Below, our experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer at Hupy and Abraham helps you determine whether or not you are at fault, and if not, how you can navigate the complex legal process so your rights stay protected and you get the settlement you deserve.
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What to Do After a Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident in Milwaukee, it's important to prioritize safety and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others involved. First and foremost, check for injuries and call emergency services if needed. If the accident is minor and all parties are safe, move the vehicles out of the way of traffic to prevent further collisions. However, if there are injuries or the accident is severe, it is crucial to leave the vehicles in place until the authorities arrive.
In addition, you will want to do the following once you ensure everyone's safety:
- Seek medical attention. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial, regardless of how minor your injuries may appear. Some injuries may not be apparent initially and could worsen if left untreated. It is essential to obtain copies of your medical reports for future use when filing a claim.
- Gather relevant evidence. Exchange contact details, insurance information, and driver's license numbers with the other parties involved. Additionally, gather information from any witnesses present, as their testimonies can be valuable during insurance claims or legal proceedings.
- Document the accident scene. Document the accident scene by taking pictures of the vehicles, damages, and any relevant road conditions. This evidence can help support your insurance claim and provide a clear picture of the incident.
- Contact a Milwaukee auto accident lawyer. Consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and compensation.
After a car crash, it is crucial to be mindful of certain actions that should be avoided, such as:
- Refrain from admitting fault, as it can have legal implications and impact potential liability.
- Avoid apologizing for the accident, as it may be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
- Resist the temptation to share details about the accident on social media platforms, as such posts can be used against you in legal proceedings.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company?
In Milwaukee, it is essential to report a car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. While the specific time frame may vary between insurers, it is generally recommended to notify them within 24 to 48 hours of the accident. Reporting the accident promptly allows the insurance company to start the claims process and investigate the incident while the details are fresh in everyone's minds. Failure to report the accident within the specified time limit may result in delays or even denial of your claim.
When reporting the accident, provide your insurance company with accurate and detailed information. Explain the sequence of events, describe damages to your vehicle, and provide any relevant photographs or documents that support your claim. Having an experienced and trusted Milwaukee car accident lawyer on your side during this process can ensure your rights stay protected and that your claim is filed correctly.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
The timeline for a car accident settlement can vary depending on several factors, such as:
- The complexity of the case
- The severity of the damages and injuries
- The willingness of the insurance company involved to settle your claim
In general, settlements can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Simple cases with clear liability and minimal damages may be resolved relatively quickly. However, more complex cases involving extensive injuries, disputed liability, or multiple parties may take longer to reach a settlement.
It's crucial to understand that accepting a settlement too quickly can harm your car accident claim. Following the incident, insurance adjusters might approach you and pressure you to settle your case promptly. However, if you agree to a settlement without fully comprehending the severity of your injuries and the future expenses they entail, you might not receive the rightful amount of compensation you deserve.
How Long After an Accident Can You Claim Injury?
The timeline for claiming injury after a car accident in Milwaukee typically depends on the statute of limitations set by the state where the accident occurred. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from car accidents is generally three years from the date of the accident. It's important to note that the statute of limitations can vary depending on the case’s specific circumstances. For example:
- If the accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of death.
- If the accident involved a government entity, there may be specific notice requirements and shorter time limits for filing a claim.
- If the accident involved a minor under the age of 18, the statute of limitations is three years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
It is vital to contact a car accident attorney in Milwaukee, WI, immediately following the accident to help ensure you file the lawsuit within the necessary timeframe. If you wait too long and miss the deadline, your claim will be dismissed, and you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
How is Fault Determined in a Milwaukee Car Accident?
Determining fault in a car accident is crucial in understanding who is responsible for the damages and injuries. In general, fault is determined based on negligence or the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving. Negligent drivers may cause a car accident due to various factors, such as:
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Failure to obey traffic laws, such as running a red light
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Adverse weather or road conditions
Multiple parties can be held liable in a car accident. The most obvious is the driver who caused the accident through their negligent actions. However, liability can also extend to vehicle owners, employers of at-fault drivers, government entities responsible for road maintenance, or even manufacturers if a defective part contributed to the accident.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is highly recommended in cases where fault needs to be proven. A car accident lawyer has the expertise to build a strong case on behalf of their clients, aiming to establish the other party's fault and maximize the compensation deserved.
A car accident lawyer will thoroughly examine applicable traffic laws and regulations to determine if the other party violated any rules, which can support the argument of negligence. They may employ various strategies to prove fault, such as:
- Gathering evidence. A car accident lawyer will gather evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs, videos, and physical evidence. They also collect police reports, medical records, and witness statements to support their case.
- Accident reconstruction. In complex cases, a lawyer may work with accident reconstruction experts who use scientific analysis and data to recreate the accident. This helps establish the sequence of events and determine fault.
- Eyewitness testimony. A lawyer will interview witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident to obtain their accounts and perspectives. Eyewitness testimony can effectively establish fault and support the injured party's version of events.
- Expert testimony. A car accident lawyer may engage expert witnesses to provide professional opinions and analysis of the accident. Their expertise adds credibility to the case and helps prove fault.
Using the information they gathered, an experienced car accident lawyer will present a compelling argument that convincingly demonstrates the other party's negligence and secures a favorable outcome for their clients.
Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a crash, contact our experienced lawyers at our personal injury office in Milwaukee, WI, for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will go above and beyond to win your case and offer a Win or It’s Free Guarantee. To schedule a confidential appointment, contact us online or call us at 1-800-800-5678.