If you were injured as a passenger in a Wisconsin traffic crash, you have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other related damages.
In this post, the Madison personal injury attorneys at Boller & Vaughan discuss the rights of passengers who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents and how an attorney can help recover the financial security injury victims need to move forward with their lives.
Passenger Injuries and Personal Injury Claims
Unlike drivers who suffer injuries in a crash, injured passengers don’t have to face the potential burden of liability. Liability for damages stemming from the crash will rest with the responsible driver or drivers, and their respective insurance companies.
When it comes to motor vehicle collisions, Wisconsin follows a so-called “modified comparative negligence” system in which liability is assigned based on a percentage of fault. In order to recover damages, an injury victim may not be more than 50 percent at fault for the crash.
If a passenger was injured in an accident caused by multiple drivers, the injury victim’s damages will be paid in amounts that correspond to the drivers’ percentages of liability. For example, if a passenger suffers $100,000 in damages in a crash caused by two drivers and Driver 1 was 60 percent at fault while Driver 2 was 40 percent at fault, the injury victim would receive $60,000 from Driver 1’s insurance provider and $40,000 from Driver 2’s insurance company.
If a passenger is hurt in a single-car accident, the claim for damages is filed against the driver and his or her insurance provider. This can be a tough decision for injured passengers to make, as the at-fault driver in these cases may be a friend or family member. However, it’s important to remember that the financial liability for damages is with the insurance company and not the individual.
Unfortunately, insurance providers often attempt to deny or limit what they pay to injury victims, even passengers who shared no fault in the crashes that left them hurt and facing overwhelming medical expenses. This is why it can pay to have an experienced attorney on your side.
How an Injury Attorney can Help
A skilled lawyer understands the immediate and long-term costs associated with a wide variety of injuries and can negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
Damages for motor vehicle accident victims may include money for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost earnings if you have to take time away from work
- Pain and suffering
If a loved one died as a passenger in a traffic crash, our attorneys may be able to help surviving family members pursue compensation through a wrongful death case.
At Boller & Vaughan, our accomplished attorneys strive to negotiate a just settlement out of court. But our lawyers also have the resources and courtroom expertise necessary to take your case to trial if settlement offers are too low for your needs.
Regardless of whether you ultimately decide to work with an attorney, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer before accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. The Madison attorneys at Boller & Vaughan offer free consultations to help you understand your options, and we don’t charge for our services unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a Wisconsin motor vehicle crash caused by a negligent driver, please call us today at 608-268-0268 to arrange your complimentary consultation or contact us online to tell us your story now.
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