If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident, the wreck was most likely not your fault. Unless you did something reckless like grab the wheel, not only did you not cause the crash, but there was also nothing you could do to prevent it.
With this in mind, you have clear legal rights under Wisconsin law. You can hold the at-fault driver (or drivers) as well as any other at-fault party accountable for your accident-related losses, and if you have auto insurance, you may also be able to file a claim under your auto insurance policy. To protect your legal rights, you should take the following steps as soon as possible.
Here is what to do if you are injured as a passenger in a car accident:
The first thing you should do after being injured as a passenger in a car accident is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. If you have health insurance, provide your health insurance information to your healthcare provider. You can use this insurance for now; and, if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, your health insurance company will eventually receive reimbursement (or subrogation) for bills it pays on your behalf.
Wisconsin law requires reporting of all car accidents resulting in injuries. If you aren’t sure whether anyone has reported the accident, you should file a report—which you can do online. Not only will this help you avoid any issues with the state, but it will help with documenting your right to just compensation as well.
If you took any photos or videos at the crash site, be sure to keep these on your phone. If you have any other evidence (i.e., damaged clothing or personal items), be sure to keep these as well. The more evidence you have, the better, and the easier it will be for your lawyer to provide a preliminary assessment of your legal rights.
Along with keeping any evidence you may have, you will also want to take detailed notes. Write down everything you can remember about the accident and the crash site. How did the accident happen? How was the weather? How was traffic? Did any driver appear to be intoxicated or admit to being distracted behind the wheel? At this point, anything you can remember is worth writing down and sharing with your lawyer.
After being injured as a passenger in a car accident, you should generally try to avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than your lawyer. You should also avoid posting about the accident online. Insurance companies will try to use your own words (or social media posts) against you, so it is best to avoid saying or posting anything for the time being.
While you have clear legal rights as a passenger injured in a car accident in Wisconsin, asserting your legal rights isn’t easy. To seek the financial compensation you deserve, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, you will want to work closely with your lawyer to seek just compensation. Your lawyer can help you understand the long-term costs of your injuries, and your lawyer can also determine which claim (or claims) you should file. Depending on the circumstances at hand, asserting your legal rights may involve:
Were you injured as a passenger in a car accident? If so, we can help you assert your legal rights. Call a Wisconsin car accident lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC for a free initial consultation.
Contact our office today online or at (715) 343-2850 for a free case review. We serve clients in Marshfield, Plover, and all areas of Wisconsin.