If you look at the Wisconsin car accident statistics from a recent five-year span, you will see that, on average, 559 people die each year in traffic crashes in our state, while another 40,373 people suffer injuries. Not all of these victims are drivers. Many are passengers. They have legal rights that deserve protection.
If you have been injured in an auto accident as a passenger, you can protect your legal rights by contacting an attorney from Techmeier Law Firm. We can provide a free review of your case and assess the many options that may be available to you for seeking a recovery for your losses.
Our law firm has more than 30 years of experience with helping car accident victims and their families in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin, including those who were harmed as passengers. Let us start fighting for your rights today.
Legal Options for Passengers in Wisconsin Auto Accidents
As a passenger who has been hurt in a car accident in Wisconsin, you have the right to seek compensation from any party who contributed to the physical, mental and financial harm you have suffered. Your options typically include:
Seeking a recovery from the driver of another car.
You may have been riding in a vehicle that was struck by a negligent driver. For instance, the driver may have been driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, texting while driving or driving while falling asleep at the wheel and, in turn, caused the collision.
You have the right to seek a recovery for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and any other damages from that other driver – specifically, through the driver’s liability insurance coverage. In Wisconsin, all drivers must carry such a policy. The required minimum amounts for bodily injury or death are:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident (one or more persons injured or killed).
An attorney from our firm can help you to take all necessary actions to bring a claim against the other driver, including seeking a timely settlement or going to court to pursue a verdict.
Turning to uninsured / underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage.
As a passenger, it is likely that you were not the only person injured in the crash. The driver of your car and other passengers, perhaps, suffered injuries as well. So, it is possible that the at-fault driver’s liability policy may become quickly exhausted and won’t cover all of your losses.
However, if the driver of your vehicle has UIM coverage, you should be able to file a claim through that policy. This policy should cover the difference between the amount covered through the at-fault driver’s insurance and the limits of the UIM policy.
Not all drivers carry UIM. However, if they do have it, the minimum limits are:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident (one or more persons injured or killed).
Another scenario is that the at-fault driver may have no insurance, or you may have been injured in a hit-and-run crash. If so, you can seek a recovery through the UM coverage of the driver of the car you were riding in. All drivers must carry this coverage in Wisconsin. The required minimum amounts are the same as liability coverage ($25,000 / $50,000).
Seeking a recovery from the driver of the car you were riding in.
Another option available to you may be to seek compensation through the liability coverage of the driver of the car you were riding in. For instance, the driver’s own negligence may have caused a collision with another vehicle, a single-car crash into an object like a tree or a rollover or road-departure accident.
The driver may have another policy that would protect you such as medical payments coverage.
While this option may not be available to you if the driver was a family member, it could be available if the driver was a friend or acquaintance.
You should not be hesitant about taking legal action. Keep in mind that your friend won’t personally pay for your losses, but rather, his or her insurance policy will cover it. Your friend has paid premiums so he or she would be covered for this exact type of situation.
In some cases, both the driver of another car and the driver of your car may share fault for your injuries in a crash. In which case, you could pursue claims against both parties.
Our Wisconsin Passenger Accident Attorneys Want to Help You
Evaluating all of the options that may be available to you for a recovery requires experience. The auto accident attorneys of Techmeier Law Firm can provide the background, skills and resources you need during this difficult time.
To learn more, please contact us today. We can provide a free initial consultation, and we will charge no attorney’s fees unless you receive money for your claim.
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