For thirty years at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we have handled many types of auto accident in southeastern Wisconsin and helped car accident victims with nearly every type of injury. This includes neck, back, head, and brain injuries.
We are proud to serve the Kenosha community. With so much revitalization, including the Stella Hotel right down the street, and the many festivals and lakefront events, residents and travelers have begun to enjoy our thriving community. But with many people coming into and out of our community, accidents are bound to happen.
Were you recently injured in a car crash? Many people have often wondered when or if they need to hire an attorney to represent them. If you or someone you love has been a victim of an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
With an office next to the legendary Frank’s Diner in downtown Kenosha, our attorneys can answer all of your questions about your recent car crash. By working with an experienced Kenosha car accident lawyer, you could rest assured that you have a dedicated legal professional helping you with each step of the ensuing legal process.
What are the First Steps a Person Should Take After a Collision?
After experiencing a car crash, it may be difficult to know what your next step should be. However, you do not have to decide what your available options are on your own.
Sometimes in a car accident, a person may not take the appropriate first steps because they are in shock and their adrenaline is running. However, the first thing a victim should do after they get into a wreck is to call the police. The victim should not agree if the other driver claims that the police are not necessary because the damage is not too bad. It is crucial to make sure the accident is on record, and it is already suspicious if the other driver has not taken any steps to call the police.
Secondly, if there are any concerns of injury, calling for medical attention should be the next step. Whether they go by ambulance or they have somebody take them there, getting the treatment an injured person needs, is imperative. Injuries can appear a few days after the accident, and if left untreated, they can progress into something more serious. Furthermore, not only are both these steps important to the safety of the victim, a police report and a medical record can prove to be invaluable evidence for a car accident claim.
Recovering Adequate Compensation After a Crash
After being involved in a car crash, an injured individual may be facing severe trauma, property damage, and a pile of medical bills—all while potentially being unable to return to work. The attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. have over thirty years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and in fighting them, in order to recover adequate compensation for our clients.
We could work tirelessly to seek compensation for you and your family for damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life
- Property damages
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
Although vehicles become safer every year with better safety features, too many people still die each year in car wrecks. With distracted drivers and an increase of trucks on Kenosha roads with large loads, unfortunately, the trends continue to increase. When such a loss occurs, a tenacious car crash attorney in Kenosha can assist you in filing an injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
If you want to win your claim for damages, it is crucial you understand the state laws of comparative negligence in Kenosha car accident cases. Even if the liability of your crash is complex, you could still be entitled to compensation for damages from one of the defendant drivers if you can prove fault under state law. For Wisconsin, the comparative negligence rule states that as long as the plaintiff is not proven more negligent than any of the other defendants, they can recover damages.
This approach works well if a person brings a lawsuit against multiple parties for damages. For instance, a plaintiff that is found 10 percent negligent in an accident can still make a recovery against the defendant who was found 50 percent negligent. However, if there was another party who is found only 5 percent negligent, the plaintiff would not be able recover against that defendant.
Contributory negligence laws can be different from state-to-state. For example, this rule is different than the contributory negligence law in Illinois. In Illinois, if a plaintiff is less than 50 percent negligent, the plaintiff can recover against any defendant who is found to have any fault. However, if they are found to be 51 percent or more negligent, they will not be able recover any damages at all.
Moving Liability onto the Defendant
There are a few ways that an attorney could help move liability onto the defendant and prove what actually happened in the car accident case. They can help start by immediately employing investigators to get witness statements. Identifying witnesses and contacting them before the insurance company gets to them can be very beneficial. Insurance adjustors often pressure witnesses to answer questions a certain way to move liability to the plaintiff, so getting the statement early on is crucial.
The fresher the case is, the more opportunity the plaintiff has to preserve evidence as well. For example, there are cases where there may have been a defect in the vehicle. The vehicle would need to be preserved exactly as it was when the accident occurred, so that the lawyer can have the vehicle inspected by an accident reconstruction expert. Most late model vehicles have black boxes in them that can provide information such as the speed of vehicle and if the driver tried to break beforehand. This can be helpful to contradict statements by the other driver in court.
The Insurance Company Will Take Advantage Without a Legal Opponent
After receiving a police report, seeking medical attention, and cataloguing the scene of the crash, a driver who has been involved in an accident should reach out to a personal injury attorney who is familiar with car collisions. A person should contact legal help immediately because it is likely that after a car accident, the driver is also going to be contacted by the adverse insurance company’s claims representatives.
The insurance adjustor may try to make the person feel very comfortable and convince them that they do not need to hire a lawyer. This is called controlling the claimant. The insurance company will try to keep this person from going to a lawyer so that they do not have to pay for the claimant’s injuries. When the claims rep is friendly to the client, it gives them a false sense of security that this person is looking out for the client’s interest when they are actually looking out for the company.
It is important that claimants do not give a recorded statement to the adverse insurance company representative. An individual is not under any legal obligation to give a recorded statement or a written statement. They are asking the client questions and anything they say can be used against them. That is their sole aim in getting the client to give a recorded or a written statement.
This is where the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could assist you. We focus directly on personal injury lawsuits and have experience with both Wisconsin law and standing up to the giant insurance companies. They can use the laws of comparative negligence in Kenosha to win a favorable result in a car accident case.
When to Contact a Skilled Kenosha Car Accident Attorney
In auto wrecks where you or someone you love may have suffered a serious or permanent injury, you should consider consulting a Kenosha car accident lawyer to even the playing field with a claims representative or defense attorney. When you are talking to an insurance company, remember that claim representatives have specialized training and experience. They are closely supervised to operate within strict insurance company guidelines. In fact, some insurance adjusters will go to great lengths to keep an injured car accident victim from hiring an attorney to represent him or her.
Attorney Greg La Cost has represented clients in Kenosha for over 25 years. Greg’s sincere and compassionate approach to handling personal injury matters is a breath of fresh air for clients tired of dealing with the bullying nature of these car insurance adjusters. Handling claims in both Illinois and Wisconsin, Greg is one of the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.’s strongest assets – in and out of the courtroom.
The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could meet with you for a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today to discuss your case and provide you with the legal advice on how to best proceed.