Car Accidents FAQs

456014081The lawyers of Techmeier Law Firm work hard to pursue compensation for car accident victims and their families in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin.

Every case starts with a free consultation with one of our attorneys. This consultation allows us to learn about the facts of your case and explain the options you have as you move forward.

Our consultation will also allow you to get to know more about our legal team, including our experience and our approach to serving clients. You can use the consultation to ask questions such as the following:

Car Accident FAQs

How will a Milwaukee lawyer know if I have a viable auto accident claim?

Unfortunately, not all auto accidents lead to viable legal claims. An attorney who reviews your case will look at several factors to determine whether your case is worth pursuing.

First, the attorney will assess who is at fault for the accident. Did another driver do something careless or reckless to cause your accident such as failing to brake, running a red light or crossing into your lane without putting on a turn signal? In some instances, multiple parties could be at fault.

Second, the lawyer will examine whether your own negligence contributed to the crash. In Wisconsin, your recovery of damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. If you are 51 percent or more at fault, you can be barred from recovering anything.

Third, the attorney will look at the amount of damages involved in your case. If it involves only a minor fender bender and minimal harm, pursuing a personal injury claim may honestly not be in your best interests. The costs and expenses may outweigh the potential recovery. On the other hand, a case involving extensive property damage and bodily injury or death generally should be pursued.

Finally, the lawyer will focus on available insurance coverage. Typically, you will turn to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance for recovering damages. If the driver lacks insurance or has insurance that won’t pay for all of your losses, your own uninsured / underinsured (UM / UIM) insurance may cover it. The lawyer will also look at the limits placed on these policies. (Please see our page on Car Insurance Issues for more information.)

The decision on whether to pursue a claim ultimately will be made by you and your family. However, you should strongly consider the insight that an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer can provide.

How much could I recover in Wisconsin car accident lawsuit?

Each case is different. How much you can recover in a legal claim arising from an auto accident will depend on the unique facts and issues in your case. However, there are several types of damages that are generally sought.

These types are:

  • Vehicle repair / replacement
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost past income and diminished future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress.

In some cases, damages are sought to punish and deter wrongful conduct in addition to compensating you for actual losses. These are called punitive damages.

If a loved one has died in a crash, qualifying family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. These cases involve different types of damages, including compensation for the loss of a loved one’s care, companionship and services. Please see our page on Wrongful Death to learn more.

What should I do after a car crash before I talk with a Milwaukee lawyer?

You can take several steps after an auto accident that will protect your rights and prepare you for your initial consultation with an attorney.

These steps include:

  • Reporting your accident – If the police are called to the scene, they will prepare an accident report that contains vital information about the crash, including contributing factors. Make sure to get a copy of this report.
  • Collecting information at the scene – If possible, take photos of the crash scene. These photos can help experts to determine how the wreck occurred and to determine fault. You should also get contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • Getting medical care and treatment – If you are not transported by EMS to a hospital, you should go to the emergency room on your own. You should also see your doctor within a few days after the crash to get checked for injuries that may not be readily apparent. Compile all records and receipts involved with your treatment.
  • Contacting your insurance company – You must report your accident to your auto insurer. You only need to provide basic information. Do not admit fault or pin the blame on anyone else. Once you have hired a lawyer, you can refer any questions to that attorney. If another driver’s insurance company contacts you, then you should immediately refer the insurer to your lawyer. Never sign anything until after the attorney has reviewed it.
  • Keeping a journal – You should keep track of all medical care you have received, time you have missed from work and all expenses you have incurred due to your accident.  You should also record the physical pain, emotional distress and disruption of your life that is related to the accident.

For more information, please see our page on Car Accident Do’s and Don’ts or our Wisconsin Car Accidents Checklist.

What are the most common causes of car accidents in Wisconsin?

Generally, car crashes are not really “accidents.” They are the results of careless or reckless driving or other factors that could have been avoided. For instance, common causes of auto accidents in Milwaukee and other areas of Wisconsin are: 

  • Drunk driving – Even if a driver isn’t legally impaired (a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above), consumption of alcohol can hinder the driver’s ability to drive safely.
  • Distracted driving – Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving can be extremely dangerous, taking the driver’s eyes, hands and mind off the road.
  • Drowsy driving – Fatigue can impact a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle almost as much as consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Speeding or aggressive driving – Drivers can lose control or be unable to avoid a crash when they go beyond the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions. In some instances, a driver in a hurry can make reckless maneuvers such as refusing to yield, making a dangerous pass or racing through an intersection.

In some cases, an accident may be unrelated to driver misconduct. Instead, it can be traced to a defectively designed or manufactured vehicle or auto part or a poorly maintained road. For more information, please see our page on Types of Car Accidents.

Will my car accident case have to go to trial in a Wisconsin court?

Not all car accident cases need to go to court. In fact, many cases are resolved outside of court through a settlement.

It’s important to work with a car accident lawyer who has the skill, experience and resources to establish a solid case on your behalf. The attorney should know how to collect all relevant evidence and work closely with experts to determine how the crash occurred and the extent of harm you have suffered.

With this information, the lawyer can negotiate from a position of strength with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and seek a timely, full and fair settlement. However, if the insurer refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, the attorney will be prepared to stand up for you in court.

The Will Techmeier of The Cochran Firm Wisconsin has extensive experience in resolving auto accident cases in Milwaukee and across the state through settlements and verdicts. Please see Our Successes page for examples of cases we have handled.

How can a Milwaukee lawyer help me seek compensation after an auto accident?

While you focus on your recovery after a car crash, your attorney can work hard to seek any compensation you are entitled to receive.

Your attorney can:

  • Collect evidence from the crash scene
  • Interview witnesses
  • Consult with accident reconstruction experts to determine how the wreck occurred
  • Review insurance policies to learn what coverage is available
  • File all required paperwork with insurance companies and courts
  • Negotiate a settlement or argue your case in court
  • Resolve all liens that may be attached to your recovery, including those involving healthcare or workers’ compensation.

To learn more about the role a lawyer can play in resolving your case through a settlement or verdict, please see our page on Why You Need A Car Accident Lawyer.

To schedule your consultation, please contact us today by phone or through our online form.

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