Injured in an Accident?
Let us help you recover from your injuries and financial hardships, and get back to enjoying life. Learn how a personal injury attorney can help you get started.
Motor vehicle accidents involving autos, trucks and motorcycles happen almost every minute of every day. Many result in severe personal injuries, brain injury and death. Our attorneys know that auto accident victims and their families confront a variety of questions:
Every auto accident attorney at Murphy & Prachthauser has decades of experience handling car accident cases.
Each car accident attorney at Murphy & Prachthauser is happy to take the time to talk to you about your case, explain the process, and answer your questions about your auto accident case.
Our trusted lawyers will explain that car accident cases are similar to other personal injury cases, starting with the question of of liability: Who is at fault, and are they entirely responsible for the car accident? Are there any other people responsible for the vehicle accident? Is the person claiming injury partially responsible for the vehicle accident? Also similar to other personal injury cases, car accident cases involve issues of damages.
The ultimate damage issue in a personal injury case is to determine what is fair and reasonable compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the auto accident?
The liability issues are commonly decided with reference to the “rules of the road,” which are statutory rules enacted by the legislature and contained in Wisconsin Statute Chapter 346. That statute sets forth a driver’s duties in broad terms, and requires drivers to operate at a reasonable and prudent speed, to yield the right of way under certain circumstances, and to maintain their vehicle under control.
There are numerous duties set forth in this statute, and an automobile driver who violates these rules and is in a vehicle accident is considered negligent. In addition to the statutory rules, all drivers have a duty to act with “ordinary care.” Our auto accident attorneys will explain that something called the “common law” requires each person to act with the care which a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances.
A person is negligent when, without intending to do harm, does something or fails to do something that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to another.
Our Milwaukee car accident lawyers understand that in an auto accident case, there is often more than one party who is responsible.
Sometimes the injured person is partially to blame. All drivers have a responsibility to comply with the rules of the road, and must comply with the rule of “ordinary care.” If more than one person is negligent in causing an auto accident, a jury is asked to compare the negligence of everyone responsible for causing the vehicle accident.
The categories of damages include:
A spouse, child or parent of an injured person may have what is called a ”derivative claim,” sometimes known as a loss of consortium claim, or even a claim for their emotional distress if they witnessed the event.
An auto accident lawyer with Murphy & Prachthauser will explain that these claims are highly fact dependent, and you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney for more details.
Our lawyers understand that if aggravating circumstances exist on liability, for example, if the other driver was intoxicated, there may be a punitive damage claim. The law is developing in this area, but texting while driving may be another area for damages which are designed to punish the offender: punitive damages.
However, it would be mistaken to think that they are always easy to resolve. In addition to the “rules of the road,” the auto accident attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser understand the special duties imposed on commercial and public carriers, as well as the complex scientific and engineering principles often necessary to unravel just how an accident occurred and who was at fault. We are Milwaukee’s auto accident lawyers and we have the knowledge and ability to properly evaluate your injuries, as well as the economic and accounting rules needed to evaluate your damages.
In contrast to the 7 things most people screw up after a car accident, here are things you SHOULD do if you are involved in an accident.
1. Follow our car accident checklist: take down insurance and contact information (name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, the make and model of their vehicle, and the license plate) take witness names and contact information, and always call the police if damages exceed $1000 dollars.
2. Take photos of the accident scene. Take photos of your car, the other cars involved and any property damage that was caused by the accident. Document the time of day, the road conditions and anything else that may help provide answer to what happened during the accident. Also, document any injuries that resulted from the accident.
Should you make a recorded statement to another insurance company? No! Here’s an explanation why.
3. Get medical help. Even if your injuries don’t seem too bad, always get medical help. Whiplash and other back and neck related injuries do not always surface immediately. See a doctor and get treatment early. If you start seeing a doctor for your injuries, follow through on all medical appointments and care. If you do not follow the advice of your doctor, it may become difficult to receive full financial compensation for your injuries and expenses.
4. Call a lawyer right away. Even if you don’t think you need legal representation, it is important to call a car accident attorney right away. They can get the police reports, obtain traffic cam footage, that gets deleted every 72 hours, and they can make sure you are prepared to handle medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
If you need a lawyer, consider these tips to find the right one near you.
5. Don’t post about your accident on social media … yet. Wait until you talk to your lawyer before you decide to get social about your accident. Anything you post on social media can be found by insurance companies and used against your insurance claim and settlement.
Learn more about why you should avoid social media with this short video clip
6. Go to your own doctor for medical care. Your employer, your insurance company, even your friends and family, may tell you to see a specific doctor for your medical care. You are not required to see a workers’ compensation doctor, you are not required to visit a specific physician. Go to your primary care doctor who knows you and your history and let them advise your care. They will recommend the right referrals and treatment plan to help you recover from your injuries.
7. Don’t settle. You are not required to settle your case. You are not required to take your case to court. Make sure you are comfortable with the outcome of your claim before you sign on the dotted line. Selecting a lawyer who doesn’t just settle every case quickly, means you have legal representation that is willing and able to take your case to court and win. Preparing every case like it is going to trial means your legal team is behind you 100 percent, not just hoping to settle your case and move on to the next.