According to recent figures, more than 4.7 million passenger vehicles were involved in road traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2020. Specifically, there were over 202,000 collisions in Milwaukee, which caused significant property damage, and injured or killed passengers. Therefore, despite being a great driver, the chances of being a victim of car accidents are rife.
Knowing some state laws that might apply to your case will help you understand the litigation or insurance claim process if you live in Wisconsin and are involved in an injury-related lawsuit or claim. There is legislation known as “statutes of limitations” in every state that specifies the time frames for initiating a lawsuit after suffering harm. The Wisconsin personal injury statute of limitations is three years.
For instance, if you live in Milwaukee, WI, and are an accident victim, Milwaukee car accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim and negotiate fair compensation before the statute of limitation expires. Below are a few tips for accident victims seeking compensation.
1. Gather and Preserve Key Evidence
The first tip is to try and collect all the evidence at the scene. If you’ve suffered minor injuries, you should:
- Take photos of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and your injuries
- Collect the names and contact information of witnesses
- Take a copy of the accident report from the police
- Note key information, such as the driver’s number plate, the car’s make and model, the driver’s insurance information, and road and weather conditions.
However, don’t struggle to collect these details if you’ve suffered severe injuries. Your attorney will investigate and hire experts to uncover crucial information to support your personal injury claim.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Serious accidents often result in severe and painful injuries, such as broken bones or deep cuts. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding, are not visible but fatal. Therefore, regardless of the nature of the accident, never brave your injuries. While the shock and adrenaline rush of the accident can mask the symptoms of your injuries, you shouldn’t ignore seeking medical treatment.
Explain your symptoms and let emergency responders attend to your injuries, be it a headache, blurry vision, or superficial pain. If medical responders aren’t available onsite, visit the closest emergency department. Refusing medical treatment can undermine your personal injury claim.
3. Notify Your Insurance Companies
You should also inform your insurance company about the accident, even if you are not responsible or didn’t contribute to the accident. You should inform your insurer because of the following reasons:
- Contractual obligation – most auto insurance policies have a clause that requires the insured party to notify the company anytime they are involved in an accident. The policy taker should also willingly collaborate with the insurance company’s investigations.
- The at-fault party can be sued for the accident. In some cases, the party at fault may refuse liability and instead sue you and your insurance company for the accident.
- Depending on the insurance coverage taken, your insurer may help you offset medical bills and repair costs.
- If the driver at fault isn’t actively insured, you should file a claim for uninsured motorist coverage.
- Notifying your insurance company eliminates fraudulent claims. The other driver or passengers in the other vehicle can make false injury claims.
Though not immediately, you should notify the insurance company of the driver at fault. If everything points to the other driver’s negligence, the responsible insurance company may surprise you with a settlement offer. However, you shouldn’t accept the offer until you’ve consulted your personal injury attorney.
4. Organize All The Necessary Paperwork
Another important yet often ignored tip is organizing and preserving all records relating to the accident. Having paperwork can make or break your claim. Your paperwork should include a detailed account of what happened before the accident. You should also keep a diary of the recovery process.
Paperwork should also include dated notes of medical care, physical limitations, emotional issues, and pain levels of your injuries. You should also request a copy of the police report, official medical records from the hospital, and receipts of all expenses incurred.
5. Take Note of The Statute of Limitations
Ignoring the statute of limitations is a serious mistake that can undermine your claim. Every state has a specific statute of limitations, which requires accident victims to have filed for claims. If you don’t file a personal injury claim before the given period, you lose all the rights to pursue compensation.
The Bottom Line
The greatest tip that car accident victims shouldn’t ignore is hiring a car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the entire process. You shouldn’t fall for sympathetic adjusters or unofficial settlements.