Even if nobody suffers major injuries, a car accident is still an emotional experience. But, if anyone is seriously injured, the entire ordeal is that much worse. When the driver who caused the accident is a friend or a close family member, it can be even more difficult to know what steps to take.
Understanding Your Priorities
Your first priority after a car accident, no matter who was at fault, is to make sure you get the medical care you need. Even if your injuries do not require immediate medical attention, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible. It is not uncommon to have injuries that you do not feel until a day or two after the accident.
If the driver who caused the accident is someone you know, it is best to refrain from discussing the accident with him or her. You do not have to stop talking to them altogether, but it is not in your best interest to say anything about the car accident. This includes giving them detailed information about how you are recovering.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been injured, filing a personal injury claim may be the only way for you to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries. One of the reasons people have car insurance is to make sure that when they accidentally hurt someone, that person can be compensated without it ruining the driver financially.
In fact, Wisconsin is known as a “direct-action” state in regard to seeking compensation after an act of negligence. Under Wisconsin’s direct action statute, an insurance company that offers coverage for acts of negligence, e.g. an auto insurer that provides liability coverage, is liable for negligent acts by the insured. In practice, this means that you can file a claim against, or even sue, your loved one’s insurance company without going after your loved one at all. By law, the insurance company has a duty to your loved one to pay for your damages.
It may be helpful to remember that most personal injury claims are settled out of court. However, even if you need to file a lawsuit, you are not attacking your friend or family member. You are protecting your rights and doing what you need to do to make sure their insurance company pays you fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact an Appleton Personal Injury Attorney
It is important that you protect your rights. You may only have a short window of time to make a claim before you lose your rights to compensation forever. If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an experienced Green Bay car crash lawyer. Call the law firm of Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. at 920-739-7366 today to schedule a free consultation so that you can fully understand your available options.