Questions + Answers About

Personal Injury

Do I have the right to bring a lawsuit after a Wisconsin car accident?

If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else and you are a legally competent adult, then you have the right to bring a lawsuit. However, it isn’t just injured adults who can bring lawsuits. There are other situations where you may be able to protect your loved one’s rights by filing a lawsuit on their behalf in a Wisconsin court. Specifically, you may be able to protect your loved one’s rights by filing a lawsuit if:
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Do I still have a claim if my health insurance paid my medical bills?

Absolutely. Most injured persons in a car accident do not realize that they are entitled to the full value of their medical treatment—the actual cost of the treatment, not just their co-pay or deductible. Often times, insurance carriers attempt to reduce an injury victim’s damages by offering to just pay their ‘out of pocket’ expenses, which leaves the injured person less than whole. While your health insurance carrier and/or medical payments coverage on your automobile policy have to pay for your medical expenses, they also have the right to be paid back. This is generally referred to as subrogation. That can be a difficult and tricky process which is usually best handled by attorneys like those at GTW.
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What if a person dies from car accident injuries before bringing a lawsuit?

If a person dies as a result of a car accident, it is referred to as wrongful death. Spouses, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents may have a claim for wrongful death against the responsible parties. The relationship with the decedent will dictate the priority of the claim. The types of damages that can be sought depending on that relationship are: Financial support that the survivor(s) would have received, Value of household services that would have been provided by the decedent, Loss of companionship, affection, love, care, comfort, society, Loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the surviving spouse, Funeral and burial expenses. Because the loss of a loved one can completely alter the life of the surviving family, it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to recover the just compensation you deserve. GTW has handled numerous wrongful death cases involving car accidents in order to take away the burden on the rest of the family.
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What is negligence when it comes to car accidents?

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. A person is negligent if he or she does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation. We have represented thousands of individuals who have been injured in car accidents due to the negligence of other drivers. If you have been injured by another’s negligence, contact our office for a free, no-hassle consultation.
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Will the person who caused my car accident injury be punished?

The person who caused the car accident injuries is typically not punished. Defendants in civil actions for personal car accident injury do not receive jail time or criminal fines as punishment. Those are common criminal sentences, and personal injury cases are civil actions which do not include jail time. However, in some cases, juries and courts can award what are called “punitive damages,” which are designed to punish defendants who have behaved recklessly or intentionally against the public’s interest. The goal in ordering the payment of punitive damages is to discourage such defendants and others from engaging in the same kind of harmful behavior in the future. One of the most common situations where punitive damages may be available is when a person is injured in a car accident by a drunk driver.
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I was involved in a car accident, what should I do?

Get treatment if needed. Open a claim with your auto insurance carrier and the other driver’s insurance carrier. Call Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs for a free, no risk case consultation.
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What should I bring with me to my meeting with personal injury lawyer?

You should bring all documents in your possession that are related to your injury. For example, with respect to auto accidents, you should bring a copy of the police or incident report, a copy of your automobile insurance declaration page, photographs of your automobile, photographs of your injuries, copies of medical records for treatment related to the accident, correspondence from the insurance companies, estimates and repair records and receipts for your automobile, receipts for towing and car rental, wage loss information and your health insurance card. During your meeting, we will make photocopies of all of your documents so that you can retain a copy for your records. We will also provide you with checklists for any other information that we may need from you.
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When do I pay a personal injury lawyer?

Some personal injury law firms, such as GTW, do not charge for an initial consultation whether by email, phone, in-person or both. After the initial consultation, the next step is often an investigation of the claim and, most firms do not charge to investigate a possible claim. After a personal injury law firm has decided to bring your claim, the firm will most often work on a contingency basis. This means that there is only a fee due the law firm if the claim is successful in obtaining compensation. If there is no recovery of compensation, there is no fee. The fee is typically a percentage of the amount of the compensation obtained. The percentage can vary by the type of claim. In addition to fees, prosecution of personal injury claims requires a law firm to spend money for investigation, court fees, transcripts and obtaining records. Most often the law firm pays these costs to be repaid by the client when the claim is resolved whether by a settlement or jury verdict. Wisconsin requires that the fee and repayment of out-of-pocket expenses be agreed upon in a written fee agreement signed both by the client and law firm.
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When should I call a personal injury lawyer?

If you have been injured, it makes sense to call a personal injury lawyer to find out what rights you may have. If you believe that your injury has been caused by another person or company, you may have a right to recover compensation for the injury. Although car accidents account for many personal injury claims, many other types of preventable accidents produce injuries that deserve compensation. Examples are: falls caused by snow, ice or a defect in a walkway or stair, work-place injuries caused by defective equipment or unsafe work practices, household injuries caused by defective consumer products, fires and electrical injuries, medical errors and defective medical products such as hip replacements and mesh implants, and sexual assaults. If you have any question about your potential rights following an injury, a call to a personal injury lawyer is essential.
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