When to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident
January 20, 2021

When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Being in a car crash is a stressful experience. Unfortunately, most people will be in at least one accident in the course of their lives.

If you have never been in a car accident before, it may be tempting to believe that your insurance will cover the costs and you can get on with your life. In reality, though, a number of factors can make it difficult for you to recover the compensation you need and deserve.

You should consider contacting a car accident lawyer if you are facing any of the following situations. The attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC serve clients injured in crashes throughout Wisconsin.

1. You Are Seriously Injured

Despite improvements in automobile safety, car accidents continue to be a leading cause of serious and catastrophic injuries. If you suffer any of the following injuries in an accident, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible:

These injuries can result in permanent impairments that significantly alter your life in many different ways. You deserve to be compensated for the financial and non-financial impacts of your injuries, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company is unlikely to pay what your claim is worth without a fight.

A car accident lawyer can fight for compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will review your medical records and enlist experts to provide testimony on the issues you face as a result of the crash.

2. Complex and Disputed Liability

Some car accident claims are not as straightforward as those involving a collision between two vehicles where one or both drivers may be at fault. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate complex liability issues such as:

  • Commercial vehicle accidents: From semi-trucks to taxis, rideshare vehicles to delivery vans, multiple types of vehicles are used for commercial purposes in Wisconsin. The driver, his or her employer, and additional third parties may be liable in accident claims involving commercial vehicles.
  • Vehicle defects: If your car accident occurred due to a defect in your vehicle or another vehicle, you may need to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
  • Road hazards: Government entities are responsible for repairing potholes and performing other maintenance to keep roads in safe driving order. If your accident occurred due to a dangerous road condition, you may be able to recover compensation through a claim against the state or local government.

In addition to claims where more than one party may be at fault (and, by extension, where multiple insurance companies may be involved), it is important to seek legal representation if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident or an accident where the at-fault driver has no insurance or too little insurance. Your primary option for recovery in these cases is going through your own insurance carrier (provided you have uninsured motorist coverage or another applicable policy).

Unfortunately, filing an uninsured motorist claim effectively makes your insurance company the responding party. As a result, you may receive a low-ball settlement offer or face other challenges that are difficult to navigate without legal guidance.

You should also contact a car accident lawyer if the negligent driver and/or the insurance company claims that you are at fault. Wisconsin law allows claimants to recover compensation as long as they are less than 51 percent at fault. However, you should not have to settle for less if you are falsely accused of contributing to the crash. An attorney can protect your rights and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

3. Handling the Insurance Company (or Companies)

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, one or more insurance companies may be involved in your car accident claim. Insurance companies (even yours) are not in the business of paying claims fairly. In fact, it is in the best interest for their bottom line to get you to settle for as little as possible.

Accident victims who don’t have an attorney are unlikely to know how much their case is truly worth. They might also fall prey to common tactics insurance adjusters use to devalue and deny valid claims, including:

  • Requesting a statement on the accident: If the claims adjuster asks you to provide a statement where you describe the accident, don’t do it. You may think that you are just telling your side of the story, but the insurer will scrutinize every word and use any allegedly unclear or contradictory information against you.
  • Asking questions: Even seemingly innocent questions like “How are you feeling?” are designed to elicit responses the insurance company can use as a pretext to limit what the insurer has to pay.
  • Asking you to sign a medical release: This gives the insurance company access to all of your medical records. Adjusters will look at previous injuries and preexisting conditions in an effort to find evidence they can use to dispute your injury claim.

It is in your best interest for a lawyer to handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. The same is true for settlement negotiations, as a car accident attorney will know how to collect evidence in support of a claim for full damages.

Most car accident claims are settled out of court. However, if a settlement is not forthcoming, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. If your claim goes to court, it is important to hire an experienced trial attorney to make your case.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

Studinski Law, LLC has extensive experience serving clients in car accident cases. Our attorneys prepare every case as though it will go to trial. This comprehensive approach enables us to achieve favorable results and give our clients peace of mind.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please call (715) 343-2850 today for a free case review. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Plover, Marshfield, Wausau, and all of Wisconsin.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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