Of more than 4 million licensed drivers in our state, thousands are injured or killed in car accidents each year.
In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 119,736 car accidents on Wisconsin roads. These accidents resulted in 90,484 instances of property damage, 28,802 injuries, and 451 fatalities.
While these numbers are much lower than some states, they’re still shockingly high. We think driving is safe, but in reality it’s fairly dangerous. In fact, the odds of someone dying in a car accident are 1 in 113.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a collision, it’s important to have a good car accident attorney on your side who can help you and your family get the compensation you’re entitled to. Whether you were t-boned, rear-ended, or hit head-on, the Madison car accident lawyers at Boller & Vaughan are here to help.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries that happens in a car accident. That’s because 32 percent of all car accidents are rear-end collisions, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The sudden impact causes the head to accelerate forward. This bends the neck at an extreme angle, resulting in severe pain and muscle cramps.
Another common injury from car accidents are spinal cord injuries (SCIs). The jerking motion that occurs when someone is struck by another vehicle can seriously damage the spinal column.
SCIs can result in herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, and temporary or permanent paralysis. These injuries can be life-altering, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills, medication, and therapy.
Additional physical injuries may include:
- Scrapes, cuts, or abrasions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck, back, and disc injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Permanent disfigurement
- Wrongful death
After an accident, many people realize they they’ve not only suffered physical injuries, but emotional ones as well. You may be able to receive additional financial compensation for emotional injuries like:
- Fear of driving
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Trouble concentrating
Causes of Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 93 percent of all car accidents are caused, at least in part, by human error. Improper lookout, distracted driving, and speeding are the top three reasons accidents occur.
Car accidents may also be caused by another negligent driver or manufacturer, or things like:
- Dangerous roadways
- Debris on roads
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to brake or stop at red lights, intersections, or stop signs
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal lane changes or turns
- Defective car parts or products
If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you can bring a personal injury case against them to seek compensation for your damages.
Automobile manufacturers have a responsibility to address known safety concerns and ensure their products are crashworthy and safe. Neglecting to do this makes them liable for any injuries or deaths their products cause.
If your accident was caused by a vehicle or car part manufacturer, you can bring a lawsuit against that entity to seek compensation.
How to Handle Insurance Adjusters
Despite what you may think, insurance companies aren’t always going to help you. If you were hit by a negligent driver, you are entitled to compensation from their insurance company. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster will do their best to get you to settle as quickly as possible for as little money as possible.
Even if your insurance company negotiates with the at-fault party’s insurer, they are not obligated to fight for the money you deserve. The best way to be sure you’re getting the most compensation you can is by hiring a car accident attorney. Only an experienced lawyer can evaluate the settlements you’re offered and negotiate for the money you deserve.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
An accident can leave you in shock; unsure of what to do next. When your car has been damaged and you’ve been injured, it can be difficult to think about anything but the present moment. If this happens to you, remember: the sooner you speak to a car accident attorney, the better.
Within days of your accident, you’ll receive calls from insurance adjusters asking what happened. Despite knowing that you’re overwhelmed, insurance companies use this opportunity to get you to say something that hurts your case or allows them to offer less money.
You should never speak to insurance companies, yours or the other party’s, without speaking to an attorney first. If you are asked to give a recorded statement, decline until you have a lawyer present. This protects your rights and your potential settlement amount.
The financial, physical, and emotional aftermath of a car accident can last for months or years. If you were in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you don’t have to go it alone. The attorneys at Boller & Vaughan have over 50 years of combined experience representing car accident victims. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation or call us at 608-268-0268.