Understanding Fault and Liability in Wisconsin Car Accidents

March 27 , 2024 | Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are often traumatic events that leave individuals injured, vehicles damaged, and lives disrupted. Determining fault and liability is crucial for all parties involved in the aftermath of a collision. In Wisconsin, like in many other states, fault, and liability are key factors in determining who is responsible for covering the costs associated with the accident. Understanding how fault and liability are assessed can help individuals protect their rights and seek fair compensation for their losses.

In Wisconsin, fault in car accidents is determined based on negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. To establish negligence in a car accident case, four elements must typically be proven:

  1. Duty of Care – The at-fault party owed a duty of care to others on the road, including the duty to drive their vehicle safely and follow traffic laws.
  2. Breach of Duty – The at-fault party breached this duty of care by engaging in reckless behavior, such as distracted driving, speeding, or running a red light.
  3. Causation – The at-fault party’s breach of duty directly caused or contributed to the crash and resulting injuries or damages.
  4. Damages – The other party suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Once fault is established, liability for the accident follows. Liability refers to legal responsibility for the damages caused by the accident. In Wisconsin, the state follows a modified comparative negligence rule when determining liability in car accidents. Under this rule, each party involved in the accident can be assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the collision. However, to recover damages in Wisconsin, the injured party must be less than 51% at fault for the accident. If the injured party is 51% or more at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages.

For example, if Driver A is found to be 70% at fault for an accident, and Driver B is found to be 30% at fault, Driver B may still be able to recover damages from Driver A’s insurance company. However, if Driver B is found to be 51% or more at fault, they would not be eligible to recover damages.

It’s essential to note that Wisconsin is also a “shared fault” or “comparative negligence” state. This means that even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. However, your percentage of fault will reduce the amount you can recover.

Navigating fault and liability in Wisconsin car accidents can be complicated, particularly when dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings. In many cases, insurance companies may try to minimize their liability by shifting blame onto the injured party or offering low settlement amounts. Therefore, individuals involved in car accidents should seek legal representation from experienced personal injury attorneys who can advocate for their rights and negotiate fair settlements on their behalf.

Why You Need A Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney When Injured In A Crash

Car accidents are devastating events, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. In the aftermath of a crash, dealing with insurance companies, navigating legal procedures, and seeking fair compensation can be overwhelming, especially for those who are already grappling with the aftermath of the accident. This is where the expertise of a Wisconsin car accident attorney becomes invaluable.

One of the primary reasons why you need a car accident attorney in Wisconsin after being injured in a crash is to protect your legal rights. Insurance companies are known for employing strategies to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether. Without proper legal representation, you may inadvertently say or do things that could jeopardize your case or result in a lower settlement than you deserve. An experienced attorney will advocate for your rights, handle all communications with insurance adjusters, and ensure that you receive fair treatment throughout the claims process.

Another crucial aspect of hiring an accident attorney is their ability to thoroughly investigate the crash’s circumstances. This includes gathering evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and accident reconstructions to establish liability and prove the extent of your damages. By building a strong case on your behalf, your car wreck attorney can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome and maximize your compensation.

Furthermore, a car accident lawyer can assist you in navigating the complexities of Wisconsin’s legal system. From filing the necessary paperwork to meeting deadlines and adhering to procedural requirements, many pitfalls can arise during the legal process. An attorney who is familiar with Wisconsin’s laws and court procedures can guide you through each step of your case, ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements and deadlines.

One of the most significant benefits of hiring an accident attorney is their ability to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators who may try to pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer soon after the accident. However, an attorney who is experienced in handling car accident claims knows how to counter these tactics and negotiate for a fair and just settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries and losses.

In addition to negotiating with insurance companies, a car accident attorney can also represent you in court if your case goes to trial. While many car accident claims are settled out of court, having a skilled litigator on your side can provide peace of mind, knowing that your interests are being fiercely defended in the courtroom. Your attorney will present your accident case persuasively, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.

Ultimately, hiring a Wisconsin car accident attorney when injured in a crash is essential for protecting your legal rights, navigating the complexities of the legal system, and maximizing your compensation. From conducting investigations to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court, an experienced attorney will be your strongest advocate every step of the way. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Wisconsin, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation to ensure that your valuable legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Call Our Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyers for Legal Help

In the event of a car accident in Wisconsin, don’t tackle the legal hurdles on your own. Martin Law Office, S.C. is here to lend a helping hand with our seasoned team, ready to guide you through the complexities of your case and fight relentlessly for the monetary compensation you’re entitled to. Whether you’re contending with injuries, property damage, or insurance wrangles, count on us to deliver tailored attention and assertive advocacy at every turn.

Don’t delay in seeking the legal assistance you require. Contact our Wisconsin car accident lawyers at Martin Law Office, S.C., today by dialing 414-856-4010 for your free consultation. Our legal professionals will meticulously examine your case, elucidate your rights, and explore the avenues for your path forward. Call us to safeguard your valuable legal rights and attain the compensation rightfully yours.