No one plans or expects to be involved in a car accident. They happen very quickly, are surprising, and can be extremely traumatizing for both those involved and for witnesses. After a car accident, you may experience a range of emotions from shock and confusion to anger or despair. It's very easy during this time to make poor decisions as a result of not thinking clearly due to the stress of the situation.
You should know, however, that Wisconsin has strict laws regarding what to do after a car accident. Failure to follow the law can make the situation worse and lead to charges and fines. A car accident attorney will always advise you to be aware of the law and follow it to the letter to avoid putting yourself in a worse situation.
Wisconsin law is very clear about what is expected of anyone involved in a car accident. The most important thing to remember is to stay at the scene. You and anyone involved in the accident should remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives. Leaving before the police arrive to take a report can be considered a hit-and-run, which can lead to hit-and-run charges, fines, and even jail time.
While waiting for officers to arrive, you can help anyone who needs it, call 911, and share contact and insurance information with other drivers. Be sure to write down car makes and models and VINs as well. This is also a good time to take pictures of the scene and the damages sustained to the cars or property involved in the accident.
Witnesses are not immune from these requirements. If you witness an accident you should remain on the scene as well, offer help as best you can, call 911, and help those who were involved in the accident.
Wisconsin is not a "No-Fault" state. That means that someone will have to be determined to be at fault for the accident. Whoever is at fault is the one who will pay for the damages and expenses related to the accident. This payment is handled through the at-fault driver's auto insurer.
To determine fault, officers and insurance companies will look at the evidence and talk to the witnesses. You can help support your case by taking pictures, collecting witness statements, and going to see your doctor. Many people skip seeing their doctor because they "feel fine" after the accident. This is a mistake. Many auto accident injuries are soft tissue injuries or even musculoskeletal injuries that aren’t readily apparent. That, plus the adrenaline that spikes after an accident, can make you feel okay, even if you really do have an injury.
Seeing a doctor shortly after the accident serves two purposes:
Pictures, statements, and medical records all play a crucial role in personal injury car accident cases because they help prove the extent of the damages and injuries, which helps insurance adjusters and juries, if it gets to that point, determine fair payouts.
The Rideshare Question
The increase in the number of rideshare programs raises some complications if they are involved in an accident. Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors and must carry two different types of insurance. This can affect passenger claims if the rideshare vehicle is involved in an accident. If you are involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, either as a passenger or as another driver, follow the same general recommendations as above and contact a car accident attorney right away to establish solid footing for the claim.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney At Eisenberg Law After An Accident
If you have been injured or your vehicle or property has sustained damages in a car accident, contact the team at Eisenberg Law Offices In Madison, Wisconsin. We can help you navigate the claims process, prove your case to establish fault or avoid fault, or advise you on your right to pursue compensation.
Call us at 608-256-8356 or email Info@eisenberglaw.org to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
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The Information Contained In This Site Is Not Intended To Provide Legal Advice. Please Consult An Attorney To Discuss The Facts Of Your Individual Situation. Eisenberg Law Office, S.C. 308 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703 USA (608) 256-8356