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Car accidents are traumatic experiences that often result in severe injuries or death. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Madison, WI, you should take legal action.

The car accident lawyers at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP, are dedicated to bringing car accident victims the justice they deserve. Our Madison car accident lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim, negotiate with insurance companies, gather evidence to strengthen your case, and pursue fair compensation.

Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation and let our compassionate attorneys examine your case and present your legal options. Here is what you should know about car accident laws in Madison and how a car accident attorney can help you.

Car Accident Laws in Madison, Wisconsin

When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Madison, there are certain laws that you must adhere to to pursue a claim and recover damages. Some of the most important car accident laws in the state include:

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the legal timeframe for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Car accident victims have only three years from the date of the accident to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

If the car crash resulted only in property damage, then the statute of limitations is six years. However, if a family member wishes to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Madison, the statute of limitation is two years from the date of death.

Wisconsin’s Modified Comparative Negligence System

When you are dealing with an auto accident, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault party if the accident resulted in death, injuries, or extensive property damage. However, victims should be aware that Wisconsin follows the modified comparative negligence system.

In this system, if you are more than 50% responsible for the car crash, you might be barred from recovering compensation. Although cases involving reckless, distracted, aggressive, or drunk driving are much easier to prove negligence, victims may face liability challenges in other scenarios.

In these situations, an insurance adjuster may assign a certain percentage of fault to you, which will be deducted from your compensation amount. For example, if you are 20% responsible for an auto accident, and your compensation is $100,000, then you will only receive $80,000. However, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you reduce your liability.

Insurance Requirements

Under Wisconsin law, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage for automobile accidents, such as:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person

If you operate a motor vehicle without insurance, you can be fined.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

An insurance company can offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to policyholders.Wisconsin law requires uninsured motorist coverage with a minimum limit of $25,000 and $50,000 per accident. Underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory. However, it can provide vital protection during a car accident with a driver with insufficient coverage.

Reporting Accidents

Car accidents must be reported to law enforcement authorities if the incident resulted in injuries, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. You should immediately report the car accident to the local police department, regardless of the circumstances. It can be difficult for you to know the value of the damage at that moment.

Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

Serious injuries are unfortunately common in car accidents, especially in head-on collisions or truck accidents. How much compensation you can receive in motor vehicle accidents is usually related to the severity of your injuries. Here are some common car accident injuries:

Soft Tissue Injuries

Among the most common motor vehicle accident injuries are soft tissue injuries, which occur when ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other tissues suffer damage. Some of these injuries can include bruises, strains, or sprains. Although they aren’t as severe as other types of motor vehicle accident injuries, they can limit a person’s mobility and create discomfort.

Internal Injuries

Car crashes involving forceful impacts can easily lead to internal injuries. These injuries can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening. Sometimes, they aren’t accompanied by pain, so you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Internal injuries can affect organs such as the lungs, kidneys, spleen, or liver.


When an auto accident victim has their neck forcefully whipped back and forth, they may suffer whiplash. This injury is most common in rear-end collisions. These injuries can come with symptoms such as neck stiffness, pain, headaches, and reduced range of motion.

Spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe car accident injuries and require various medical treatments, procedures, and physical therapy. These physical injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, depending on the extent of the damage.

The medical expenses for these injuries are extensive as they may require long-term care, not to mention that victims may also lose their ability to work. Because of this, victims usually can pursue non-economic damages in their car accident case to compensate for loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more.

Broken bones

Among the most common injuries in various car accidents are broken bones and fractures. High-impact collisions, especially head-on collisions, usually result in broken bones. These injuries can range from mild to severe and may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation procedures.

In some instances, if you were not wearing a seatbelt during an auto accident, the other party can use the seatbelt defense to shift some of the blame onto you and reduce their liability. However, a seat belt defense can only devalue your claim by up to 15%. A car accident lawyer can help you avoid this deduction if you were legally entitled not to wear a seatbelt when the car accident occurred.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are always dangerous. In car accidents, they can be fatal or life-changing. These injuries can range from simple concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are usually the most damaging as they can lead to long-term physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments, affecting a victim’s overall quality of life and interpersonal relationships.

Emotional and Psychological Injuries

Serious injuries in car accidents are related to emotional and psychological injuries, as car crashes can lead to all kinds of mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or even the development of phobias.

For example, a driver may avoid the fastest route to work if the accident occurred there because driving through that road will remind them of the event. Some drivers may give up on driving completely after a car accident. Working with therapists and mental health practitioners is required in such instances, and a car accident attorney can help you pursue compensation for these intangible damages.

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What You Should Do After a Car Accident

What you do or don’t do after an auto accident in Madison can strongly affect your claim. For example, you should never admit fault, even if it appears you’re responsible. You might be dealing with vehicle defects you may not be aware of, which may mean you weren’t negligent. To ensure you pursue a successful car accident claim, here is how you should proceed:

Request Medical Help

Contact 911 for emergency assistance if you or someone else has been injured. Seeking immediate medical attention will help you assess and treat your injuries. Do not avoid medical attention even if you feel fine. The adrenaline rush from the accident may mask your injury symptoms.

When you accept medical assistance, you will gain the necessary medical records later to pursue a claim and establish a link between the event and your injuries.

Report the Accident

If the accident resulted in property damage exceeding $1,000, injuries, or death, contact law enforcement agencies and report the incident. The police will investigate and issue a police report, which you will use later in your personal injury claim.

Gather Evidence

While at the accident scene, gather evidence. Take videos or photos of your injuries, road conditions, and vehicle damage. If witnesses are present, write down their contact information and exchange information with the drivers involved in the car crash.


Notify Your Insurance Company

Your insurance policy likely requires you to inform them of any accident within a specific time frame. Notify your insurance company and follow their instructions regarding the claims process.

Preserve Evidence

You should preserve the evidence available as best you can. Collect medical bills, receipts, and evidence of out-of-pocket expenses. Also, preserve the photos you took, medical records, repair estimates, and communications with insurance companies or the other parties involved.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance claims and lawsuits can be complex and challenging. Contact the personal injury attorneys in Madison who focus on car accident claims. At Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP, our Madison car accident lawyers can guide you on your legal rights, help you navigate the claims process, and represent your interests in negotiations or legal proceedings.

Pursuing a Car Accident Claim in Madison

If you’re pursuing a car accident claim against negligent drivers, a Madison car accident attorney can provide you with invaluable legal counsel and representation. They’ll fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

At Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP, we have been helping accident victims in Madison, WI, deal with negligent drivers and pursue fair compensation for over 35 years. Our dedicated car accident attorneys have recovered millions for victims who have suffered injuries because of intoxicated drivers or inattentive driving practices.

Our legal team in Madison, WI, can help you gather evidence and provide legal assistance if an insurance company undervalues or denies your claim. We can assist with negotiations, help you navigate the legal system, build a strong case, and advocate for your rights.

How Madison Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

A personal injury attorney can assess which damages you can pursue following a motor vehicle accident and help with any challenges that may appear during your claim. Our law firm fights to get our clients the maximum compensation for their losses.

For example, we helped a woman who lost her husband and suffered brain injuries when struck by a drunk driver receive $5.25 million in compensation. In another case, our car accident attorneys helped three individual victims receive $1 million in compensation after a car accident with a drunk driver.

Our law firm has dealt with personal injury claims related to car accidents for decades, and we have received numerous honors and accolades. Some of our attorneys have received awards and placements in prestigious publications, such as Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in Wisconsin, Best Lawyer of the Year, Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, and The American Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

Our auto accident attorneys are ready and have the necessary resources to take on any case, regardless of its complexity. Our car accident attorneys working on motor vehicle accident cases can work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay unless we win your case.

Contact Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP, today for a free consultation on your case. We can help you understand your legal options and build a solid strategy to help you recover compensation for your damages. Motor vehicle accidents extend beyond simple physical injuries, and with the proper car accident lawyer by your side, you can pursue just compensation for all your injuries and other losses.

Nationally Recognized Law Firm