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Who Pays for a Car Accident Settlement?

When pursuing compensation after a serious crash, knowing who pays for a car accident settlement is crucial. However, the settlement process can be extremely complex. Without the help of an experienced attorney, you may settle for far less than you need and deserve.

The Madison car accident lawyers at Boller & Vaughan have helped the wrongfully injured in  Wisconsin for more than 20 years. Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients recover maximum compensation for their physical, financial, and emotional losses. If you were hurt in a car wreck due to someone else’s negligence, we want to hear your story.

Potentially Liable Parties After a Car Accident

Most car accident cases settle before going to court, so understanding who pays for a car accident settlement is important. The at-fault party holds financial responsibility—although, practically speaking, any settlement will most likely come from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Depending on the details of the crash, multiple parties could be liable for your losses, such as:

  • The Driver Who Hit You: In most cases, negotiating a car accident settlement involves dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you got hit by a negligent driver, his or her insurance company may be fully liable for your accident-related losses.   
  • Another Driver Who Caused the Crash: It is possible that another driver not directly involved in the collision caused your car accident. For example, if you got run off the road or were forced to swerve to avoid hitting a reckless driver, then this driver’s insurance company may be liable. 
  • The At-Fault Driver’s Employer: In Wisconsin, employers can be held liable for car accidents caused by their employees in certain circumstances. If the driver who caused your accident was working at the time of the collision, you may have a claim under his or her employer’s liability insurance policy. 
  • A Rideshare Company Like Uber or Lyft: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft can be held liable for their drivers’ car accidents in many cases. While Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees, these companies can often be held liable for rideshare accidents that occur while their drivers are providing rides. 
  • A Government Agency or Contractor: Government agencies and contractors can be liable for car accident settlements when issues with the road lead to unnecessary accidents. This includes issues with the road’s construction, maintenance, and repair. 
  • A Vehicle Manufacturer: Along with driver negligence and issues with the road, vehicle defects are also common causes of car accidents. If an issue with your car (or another driver’s car) triggered your accident, the car’s manufacturer may owe you compensation. 
  • An Automotive Dealer or Repair Shop – Negligent repairs and maintenance work can also leave drivers unable to maintain control on the road. When faulty service leads to an accident, the dealership or shop that performed the work can be held liable under Wisconsin law.

As noted above, while one or more of these parties may be responsible for causing your car accident, negotiating a settlement will most likely involve dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Wisconsin law requires all drivers to to be financially responsible for the damage they cause. Companies like Uber, Lyft, vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, and repair shops carry liability insurance to protect them in the event that they get sued for a collision.

Insurance Companies Are Not On Your Side

Even if you are rightfully entitled to compensation for the crash, obtaining a fair car accident settlement is not easy. Insurance companies vigorously dispute liability for car crashes and work aggressively to pay accident victims as little as possible. 

With this in mind, if you believe that you are entitled to a car accident settlement, you will need to work closely with an experienced lawyer to obtain the full value of your losses. This includes proving both who is liable for your car accident and how much you are entitled to recover.

One of the most significant benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer is reaching a fair settlement that accounts for every area of your life that was impacted by the accident. Experienced attorneys are seasoned negotiators. Your lawyer will calculate the total of your economic and non-economic losses and deal directly with insurers on your behalf. When lawyers are involved, insurance adjusters tend to ultimately offer settlements that cover an accident victim’s financial needs and pain and suffering. Without an attorney, you may be left paying future medical expenses out of pocket.

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a lawyer is to understand whether the insurance company’s offer is reasonable.  Without a lawyer, injury victims have no way to evaluate a settlement offer to know if it’s fair. That means the insurance company holds all the cards.

If a fair settlement cannot be negotiated, an attorney may advise you to take your case to trial. Your lawyer will ensure that your lawsuit is filed correctly and on time with the appropriate court. Your attorney will then meticulously gather evidence and prepare your case for presentation before a judge or jury.

Contact a Madison Car Accident Lawyer for FREE Today

It’s difficult to know where to turn after a serious collision. If you were injured in a crash, the experienced car accident attorneys at Boller & Vaughan can help. We will fight diligently on your behalf for every penny you deserve.

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Contact us today online or at (608) 268-0268 for a FREE case review. Boller & Vaughan proudly serves clients in Madison and throughout Wisconsin.