How a Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been in a car accident in the Milwaukee metro, you need more than just medical help. Statistics show the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family after you’ve been injured in a car accident is hire a good personal injury lawyer.
Getting fair compensation for your injuries means having someone on your side who is familiar with the entire process–the claims procedure, how to help you get your medical bills paid, and how to recover for time off work. Someone who will see to it that you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering. In short, you need the best car accident attorney you can find.
Here’s how a good lawyer can help you win your case:
Most insurance companies will not provide full lawful compensation unless and until your case is presented in a professional manner by a law firm with a proven track record of winning. Without the threat of a lawsuit by a car crash law firm with a track record of success, the insurance company has nothing to fear.
One of the top reasons accident victims lose compensation claims or get less than they deserve is lack of sufficient evidence.
A car accident lawyer can help you with this. They will often rush to the accident scene (whether it’s in Downtown Milwaukee or not!), take photographs of vehicle damage, road conditions, and even road signage. They can also get witness or bystander accounts of what transpired. When the time comes to file a compensation claim or press charges, this evidence can make a difference between winning and losing the case.
Car Accident Investigation
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine who exactly was at fault in an accident. When you have car accident lawyers on your team, you shouldn’t worry about this. They have the resources and connections to get a Milwaukee-area accident reconstruction expert to investigate the accident and bring the truth to light.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
The insurance industry likes to attack trial lawyers because they know the only place accident victims can make the insurance companies honor their policies is in court. If insurance were working for everyone, there would not be more than 60,000 insurance company complaints in Wisconsin over the past decade, far more than any other business.
Understanding State & Local Car Accident Laws
If you’ve never been in an accident, you certainly know little to nothing about your state’s car accident laws. But when you have Wisconsin car accident lawyers on your side, they’ll inform you of the relevant car accident laws, as well as your rights.
If you’re in Milwaukee, for instance, you’ll need to know that Wisconsin is a shared fault state. This means if you and the other driver share liability for the accident, your claim could be cut down by the extent of your liability. If you were 15 percent at fault, for instance, your compensation would decrease by the same value.
Understanding Who Can Be Held Liable and Why
Knowing who can be held liable for a car accident can get tricky, especially when there are extenuating circumstances. An experienced car accident lawyer won’t only know what laws apply to your case, they’ll also know who can be held liable for your accident and why.
Have a Team on Your Side
A team of investigators who can help build a case is especially helpful. Whether it’s gathering evidence, investigating the scene of the car accident, filing legal documentation, or just tracking down accident information that’s been redacted from accident reports, the more people you have on your side, the better.
Case Evaluation and Compensation Negotiation
On your own, it’s difficult to know how much compensation you deserve. Maybe you’ve spent $60,000 treating your injuries, so you think getting $100,000 in compensation isn’t too bad. You could be right with your assessment, but you also risk setting yourself up for a raw deal.
Car accident lawyers have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine the compensation amount you truly deserve. Insurance companies, by default or practice, love to play hardball with compensation claimants. Their only interest is to pay out as little as possible. Your lawyers know this, and since they will lead the negotiations, Domnitz & Domnitz won’t balk until they reach a fair settlement.
Get Proper Advocacy in Court
Even though the vast majority of claims are settled out of court, some go to trial in Wisconsin. If your case goes to trial, your car accident lawyers will advocate and fight for your interests.
Going it on your own is almost always a sure way to lose the case, as you can count on the insurance company to show up with lawyers who don’t care about your traumatic experience and injuries.
Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases
Seeking damages after a wreck is often one of the lowest priorities on a victim’s list. In fact, for many crash victims, dealing with day-to-day hardships like coping with injuries and getting medical care or transportation to work are often higher priorities than seeking damages.
Unfortunately, launching a lawsuit is often the only way that someone injured in a crash can adequately recoup what is lost and should be prioritized as such.
Unless the court has reason to believe that punitive damages should be awarded, the most common types of compensation awarded for car crashes are compensatory in nature and include those for:
- Past and future medical expenses, such as emergency medical care, ongoing medical treatment, therapy, and medication.
- Property damages, such as damage to the vehicle involved in the crash.
- Pain and suffering, which can be for both short-term and long-term pain and discomfort resulting from a wreck.
- Emotional distress, such as anxiety, fear, and depression.
- Burial costs, in the case of wrongful death.
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as car rental fees, child care expenses, and costs related to housekeeping help.
- Lost wages, such as wages lost following the crash and for lost earning potential due to permanent injuries.
- Loss of consortium, when the nature of the victim’s injuries damage the person’s ability to maintain a relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
I was injured in an auto accident. What do I do?
First, make sure you receive medical care for your serious injuries. Next, call our firm at 414-289-0909. Our lawyers have built a strong record of success negotiating settlements, as well as winning at trial.
When your future is in the balance, you need a lawyer with a proven track record. An auto accident resulting in injury or death can involve many insurance companies. We will look at your health and auto insurance policies, as well as the policies held by the responsible party, and work to ensure they provide you with the compensation you deserve.
When should I seek medical help after a car accident?
To recover full and fair compensation for your car accident injuries, you should seek medical help immediately. This is true even if you think you have a minor injury or that “the pain will go away.”
Insurance companies gain an important strategic advantage when people wait to seek medical care because it allows them to argue against medical claims. For instance, insurance companies often state that a car accident victim’s pain could not have been “that bad” because he or she did not seek medical help right away. Or they’ll argue that the medical condition is not related to the accident because immediate medical attention was not sought.
It is vital that you document your injuries following a car crash by seeking medical treatment and thus, creating a record of your injuries.
Should I give a recorded statement?
Not before speaking to a lawyer. Statements given to insurance companies soon after an accident, whether to your own company or to the wrongdoer’s, can only work against you in the claims process.
While you may well have a contractual obligation to provide a statement to your own company, you have no such obligation to someone else’s company. Your obligation to your own company can be fulfilled after you consult with an attorney, and doing so may offer vital protection for your rights.
How do I deal with my car insurance company or the other person’s insurer?
For your own automobile liability insurer, you have a contractual obligation to cooperate, but not necessarily immediately. In addition, you do not have any such obligation to the other person’s insurance company.
Protect your right to compensation: Do not speak with any insurance company or complete paperwork without speaking with a lawyer.
What do I do with my bills if I cannot work?
Depending on your own insurance coverage and that of the person who caused your injury, medical bills may be submitted to your own healthcare insurer, your automobile insurer (under the medical payments provision of your policy), or a combination of insurers.
If you were hurt on the job, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. The coordination of rights and benefits where worker’s compensation is involved is a matter that requires experienced personal injury practitioners.
How do I receive medical compensation after a wreck?
Every insurer has a different procedure and there are vast differences between companies and policies. In addition, many health insurers will claim a right of reimbursement for medical bills paid on behalf of an injured person.
The respective rights of these insurers and the injured person is a complicated web of rules and regulations. It is best to work with a lawyer experienced in dealing with the paperwork and negotiations with insurance companies.
Our lawyers work with a large network of experts in fields ranging from health to engineering to vocational issues to ensure that we gather the facts necessary to successfully move forward with your case.
How much does it cost to file a auto injury lawsuit?
At our firm, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation. We also work on a contingency basis. That means there are no fees due until your case is won.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
In our experience, insurance companies will not offer a settlement that fully compensates an injured individual for the expenses relating to past and future medical care, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, future loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering simply out of kindness.
In almost every car accident case, the insurance company will make a very low offer shortly after the crash. They try to tempt you into taking a little bit of money even though no one knows the extent of your injuries and other losses related to the car accident. In our opinion, victims should not accept these early, “low-ball” offers without discussing them with a lawyer.
What car insurance coverage should I purchase? How much is enough?
One of the largest concerns we have at Domnitz & Domnitz, S.C., is the insurance industry’s push to sell policies that shortchange our clients in the event of a car crash. What you decide to skip in insurance now will come back to haunt you when you are injured in a car accident.
It is absolutely crucial that you purchase the maximum amount of coverage for your family that you can afford. We know it can “hurt” to write a premium check to an insurance company because you don’t think you’ll ever need that much coverage. However, the “hurt” you will feel when your or a loved one’s recovery is greatly limited because you chose to buy a small amount of coverage is far worse.
Sadly, we have had the experience of recovering the maximum amount of money available for our clients and yet that sum is not nearly enough to fully compensate them for their injuries. Don’t let this happen to you and your loved ones. Plan ahead and protect your family as best as you can.
Handling Your Own Car Accident Claim FAQs
To whom should you make the claim?
You must first determine whether the at-fault driver has insurance. If so, you need to contact that insurance carrier and give them access to your vehicle so they can send an appraiser to inspect the damage.
Remember, the other driver’s insurer has no fiduciary duty to respond efficiently to your inquiries because they are not your insurance carrier. As such, they may fail to return your phone calls, delay the process, or become uncooperative.
If presented with any of these circumstances, the better option is to go through your own insurance company—that is, assuming that you purchased “collision” coverage. While your insurance company will reduce any property damage payoff by your deductible, they will subsequently seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier through a process called inter-insurance arbitration.
If and when they obtain reimbursement, your insurance company will reimburse your deductible. Therefore, while going through your own insurance company may sound counter-intuitive because the damage was someone else’s fault, you should get better service from your own insurance company because they have a contractual duty to respond efficiently and treat you fairly throughout the process.
Is the car repairable?
After inspection, the insurance company will determine whether your car is repairable or whether it is a total loss. (A vehicle is usually considered a total loss if the repair cost plus salvage value exceeds the fair market value of the vehicle or if the damages exceed a specific threshold of the vehicle’s value, e.g. 70%.)
If it is repairable, the insurance company will pay for all reasonable and necessary repairs. While you can choose the auto body shop, do not begin any repairs until the insurance company has inspected the vehicle.
If the vehicle is considered a total loss, you will then have two options:
- Sign over title of the vehicle to the insurance company in exchange for payment, which will include tax, title and license; or
- Retain ownership of the vehicle in exchange for payment of the agreed upon FMV minus the salvage value.
While the vast majority of individuals choose option one, if you are mechanically inclined and want to repair the vehicle yourself, you may want to consider option two. Usually the initial offer is not a “take it or leave it” offer. The question is whether the offer is reasonable.
What should and shouldn’t you sign?
Remember, if you have even the slightest injury, make sure that any Release the insurance company asks you to sign pertains to property damage claims ONLY. You do not want to sign a document that releases your personal injury claim when it is your intention to resolve only the property damage claim.
How Domnitz & Domnitz
Can Help with Milwaukee-Area Car Accidents
The truth is, there are a number of quality personal injury law firms in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. Not many, however, can offer you a team of experienced, successful car accident lawyers who have been recognized by the law community for the their excellence in service.
Here are just a few of the reasons Wisconsin car accident victims choose Domnitz & Domnitz for their personal injury claims:
With over $100 million in damages awarded and decades of experience, Domnitz & Domnitz has a proven record of success. We have helped thousands of families throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois recover after serious car crashes and personal injuries.
Just as importantly, we only represent people who have been injured due to the negligence of others. We never represent the insurance company—so you never have to worry about whose side we’re on.
When you choose Domnitz & Domnitz, you can rest assured that we will be working on your case. We are not just faceless names for our law firm—we are the actual attorneys who will personally be handling your case. Furthermore:
- Our personal injury law firm has an A+ BBB rating.
- We both have been awarded Super Lawyer listings, which includes only 5% of the lawyers practicing in Wisconsin.
- Our clients have been awarded over $100 million in verdicts and settlements.
We Win for You
Your case is just as important to us and is is to you, so we’ll fight to help you get the fair compensation you deserve.
Here are just two of our success stories:
1. Ric Domnitz represented Lisa, a young female passenger injured when a van crossed the centerline and struck her vehicle. Lisa’s injuries left her right arm totally dysfunctional. After a weeklong trial, a verdict of $1,300,000 was awarded.
2. The firm represented Catherine and Robert, two elderly residents whose vehicle was struck by another vehicle that ran through a stop light. Each received serious orthopedic injuries and, sadly, both died during the pendency of their lawsuit. Despite this fact, their cases were resolved for $460,000.
We Know How to Deal with
Car Insurance Companies
We know the games insurance companies play, and when we represent you, you can count on us to stop their games from hurting your case.
For instance, we once successfully prosecuted an incident wherein our client was at a stop sign when another motorist crossed the center line and struck her vehicle. In our incident, Progressive Insurance, the insurance carrier for the offending motorist, denied the claim contending that their insured had no responsibility for our client’s injuries because he suffered from an “unforeseen medical condition.
After putting the case into suit, however, it was abundantly clear to us that this individual was well aware of his condition and should not have been behind the wheel of the car on the day in question. After offering only $25,000 to settle this claim before suit, Progressive Insurance agreed to pay $325,000 after closing arguments.
We won’t let the insurance companies play games like this with your case.
Your Search for Competent
Car Accident Lawyers Ends Here
If you live in Milwaukee and have been injured in an accident, it’s time to do the smart thing and hire experienced lawyers Domnitz & Domnitz, S.C. We have the resources to provide quality representation for your car accident claim.
Contact our Milwaukee car accident attorneys online or call 414-289-0909 today for a free consultation and review of your legal rights. We’ve secured millions in settlements and verdicts, so you can count on us to fight hard for you.