When to Contact a Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyer

Auto Accident Lawyer

The time after a car accident can be very uncertain and overwhelming. There is so much information to sift through and so many unanswered questions about the accident and when to consult a car accident lawyer. We hear questions from clients involved in auto accidents every day, and have compiled a list of general information and tips. It is important to note that this information is not specific to any situation. To get that information, contact an experienced, local car accident attorney.

What to do after a car accident

There are many different types of car accidents and reasons for the accidents. Though the circumstances vary, keep in mind that all actions and words may be brought up later in legal proceedings and could impact any settlement amounts. When an accident happens, follow these steps:

  • Do not move the car unless it needs to happen for safety reasons.
  • Unless it is unsafe to do so, stay in the vehicle until a police officer arrives.
  • Call the police.
  • Take pictures of the scene safely. Try to take pictures of the position of the vehicles, skid marks, damage, and other landmarks or relevant markings (i.e. speed limit signs, stoplights, etc.)
  • Do not say anything to anyone at the car accident scene.
  • Ask eye witnesses for their contact information.
  • Get the name, address, car license plate number, contact information, and insurance company and policy information.
  • Answer questions and give contact information to the police.
  • Be open with emergency responders about aches and pains arising from the accident.
  • Seek medical assistance for all injuries in the days following the accident. (Some injuries, especially soft tissue injuries may take a few days to notice.)
  • Take photos of injuries.
  • Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company until talking to a lawyer.

When to contact a lawyer about a car accident

In general terms, anyone involved in a car accident and suffered injuries should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

In Wisconsin, the driver considered at-fault is responsible for compensating other drivers for property damage, medical bills, physical pain and suffering, loss of wages and future income, and any other expenses stemming from the accident. If the accident involved minor injuries or property damage that were resolved shortly, drivers may decide to deal with the insurance companies on their own. There is some risk to this approach, as many insurance companies may try to settle the case for as low as possible.

Working with an Auto Accident Lawyer

Before the first meeting with an auto accident attorney, clients can prepare by collecting all information about the car accident, including (but not limited to):

  • Police report
  • Medical bills
  • Photographs
  • Citations arising from the accident
  • Insurance documents and contact information (from both drivers)

As a trial attorney who is experienced in handling all types of personal injury accident cases against negligent drivers and their insurance company, I can assist in making sure you are compensated for your injuries and damages.

The immediate aftermath of an accident is a very stressful and emotional time. Even a minor “fender bender” can cause significant and long lasting physical and emotional injuries. After the accident, you will suddenly be asked questions about how the accident happened, your driver’s license, registration, auto insurance, injuries, towing and storage of your vehicle, and all of these will be asked while you have that splitting headache, backache, and/or neck pain. This is why it is important to know what to do if you are ever involved in an accident.

If there is any doubt in your mind that you may be injured, you should request medical assistance. Whether this involves calling for an ambulance or simply transporting yourself to the nearest hospital or urgent care center, you should do so. Follow the advice of medical personnel who arrive on the scene. They will begin the process of documenting your injuries. Do not minimize the physical and emotional trauma you or your loved one has just gone through. All statements, such as “I am alright” which you make immediately after the accident, will and can work against you.

Do not ignore or downplay your potential injuries. Generally, the third or fourth day after an accident you will feel your worst. Most soft tissue injuries (whiplash) are muscle strain and sprain related. They may not become completely symptomatic for the first 48 to 72 hours. You should see a medical practitioner who is familiar with your medical history before making any definitive statement about whether or not you were injured or how you feel. Remember, you were not injured before the accident. You should tell your doctor of any change in your physical or emotional health.

Do not accept offers of “early” settlements. Before making any decision to settle or make a statement to the other party’s insurance company, you should always consult a trial attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury accident cases against negligent drivers and their insurance company.

There is no fee unless we win.

5 Important Documents to Retain after a Car Accident

car accident where woman is being assisted by emergency respondersAfter a car accident, even a minor fender bender, it can seem like there is a mountain of paperwork to get through. It can be tempting to toss all that paperwork and put the whole ordeal behind you. If thinking of contacting a lawyer—-or if there is a slim possibility you might contact a lawyer about the car accident—resist the urge to get rid of all the bills and reports. Keep a file of all documentation, which can be invaluable from the first meeting with your lawyer until the case is settled.

Police Report

If the police were called to the scene of the accident (which should be done as an essential step after a car accident), a police report is usually filed. The police report is filled with important information, such as a diagram of the accident and facts related to each driver.

Medical Bills

All medical bills should be kept from applicable agencies, including the ambulance, chiropractor, emergency room (if applicable), doctor visits, specialist, psychiatrist (if needed) and any other invoices related to the driver’s well-being after the accident. Many injuries do not become obvious for several days after the accident; a visit to a general practitioner should be made shortly after the accident to document and treat any accident-related issues.

Photographs

After an accident, a driver should not move vehicles until the police arrive (or if the situation is not safe). If well enough to move, take the opportunity to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and physical injuries. The insurance company may also take photos of the damage and may provide additional photos upon request.

Insurance Documents

Typically, there are two or more additional insurance companies involved in an accident; each insurance company usually takes statements from each driver involved. A lawyer may advise that no statement be given (consult the lawyer before giving a statement to any party), but will need all statements collected by the companies involved.

Citations

Traffic tickets are not issues in every car accident, but any tickets issued are legally relevant and necessary. Be honest and forthcoming in all communications with the lawyer; once retained, all conversations are confidential. These guidelines, and the documentation, are essential for future legal proceedings.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.