Traffic mishaps in Wisconsin are not unheard of, but when you are the injured party in an accident, you have reasons to take critical steps. Rear-end collisions often happen because of distracted driving or tailgating. At times, the at-fault party could be way over the speeding limit. If you are dealing with a rear end crash, here are seven things to know.
- Wisconsin is a fault state. This essentially means that the driver who caused the car accident is directly liable for the injuries and damages endured by other parties. You are required to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- You have to file a lawsuit within three years. The statute of limitations in Wisconsin allows you to file a civil lawsuit against the driver liable for your injuries within three years of the rear-end collision. You may not need to do this if the matter is settled through insurance, but consider the deadline.
- You can only sue if you are not at fault. If you and the other driver share the blame for the crash, you can only sue them when your fault share doesn’t exceed theirs. This is called the modified comparative fault rule. The final compensation will be lower, as the settlement will be adjusted for your fault percentage.
- You should inform the police. No matter what the other party tells you, you need to notify local law enforcement. Make sure to wait at the scene and always be calm around the officer. They will investigate further and file a report, which will help your claim.
- Get an attorney soon. Don’t assume you can deal with insurance negotiations alone. Claims adjusters are infamous for their ways and means, and it is critical that you have the expertise to fight the legal battle. Your attorney will investigate and gather evidence, ensuring there is enough information to validate the claim.
- Hiring a lawyer doesn’t cost upfront. Most law firms charge a contingency percentage of the final settlement, which is only payable when you win. You don’t have to pay the lawyer if you don’t recover money through insurance or a lawsuit.
- Stay away from social media. Apart from your lawyer, no one should know about the details of your car crash. Remember that posting on social media sites can go against your claim.
Finally, ensure you keep up with the medical treatment plan suggested by your lawyer.