How Is a Car Accident Settlement Calculated in Milwaukee?

When you have been in a car accident, it is common to wonder how a Milwaukee car accident settlement is determined. The first thing to remember is that no two accidents are the same and that each car accident settlement is unique. However, all settlements do share some common components.

Typical Car Accident Settlement Compensation

While the amount a victim may claim following a car accident in Milwaukee will vary, when an accident injury firm prepares a settlement demand, there are certain categories of losses that are always included. They are:

  • Accident injury medical costs: Nearly every accident means there is a victim who suffered an injury. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), approximately 30,000 drivers suffered an injury in a roadway accident per year in recent years. As an accident injury victim, you should not be responsible for out-of-pocket medical costs.
  • Damage to property: The number of crashes involving property damage averaged greater than 105,000 in recent years according to the Wisconsin DOT. Those damages should be paid by the responsible party and may be included as part of your car accident settlement calculation.
  • Wages lost due to recovery: Whether your injuries mean you will be back to work in a month or you are unable to return to work due to the severity of your injuries, your financial losses should be included in the final settlement claim.

In order to determine the final calculation for the financial losses suffered following a collision, a car accident claims attorney will wait until your doctor determines your physical condition has improved as much as possible. This is to ensure all your medical care costs will be included in a final car accident settlement demand.

For those who experience continued suffering from their injuries, there may also be other forms of compensation for things such as your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of everyday activities, and more. These non-economic damages can be calculated as follows:

  • Multiplier method: Because it is difficult to assign a numerical value to concepts such as pain and suffering, this method takes all of your financial losses and multiplies them by a number that typically ranges between 1.5 and 5. For those with minor injuries, you can expect a multiplier on the lower end of this range.
  • Per diem method: This is usually based on your typical daily income. Ideally, this method seeks to replace the income you are losing during your recovery, so you will earn a set amount per day while healing from your injuries.

Your economic damages and non-economic damages will be added together to establish your final car accident settlement.

Other Losses That May Be Included in Car Accident Settlements

Unfortunately, not every car accident victim recovers from their injuries. More than 500 people lose their lives in Wisconsin car accidents every year. When you have lost a loved one, you may be able to include the costs associated with funeral and burial costs, wages lost over your loved one’s lifetime, and other wrongful death compensation.

Punitive damages may be available in rare cases for both injury and wrongful death car accident cases. In order to secure punitive damages, you must be able to prove in court that the driver who caused the accident acted with gross negligence or malice.

It is always a good idea to discuss all potential compensation with a personal injury lawyer before filing an insurance claim.

Dealing With an Insurance Company After a Milwaukee Car Accident

Many who have been involved in an auto accident believe their best option is to simply file an insurance claim immediately after an accident. However, if you suffer a serious injury, this could be a costly mistake. Insurance companies are in business to make money.

When an insurer makes an offer for a car accident settlement, the amount they offer could be substantially less than what a victim may have suffered in losses. These offers are often made initially to provide the company with protection. The sooner a claim is paid, the faster they no longer have to worry about liability.

Once you have accepted a car accident settlement offer, the insurance company no longer has an obligation to reimburse you for any additional costs. This is why many adjusters will attempt to convince you that hiring an accident injury attorney is a bad move on your part.

Identifying Liability for Injuries and Other Challenges

Getting the best settlement takes time. Car crashes take time to investigate and learn who was at fault for the accident. Once that has been established, a claim is filed with the at-fault party’s insurer. However, in nearly all cases, the insurer will make an initial offer, which will certainly be lower than your anticipated financial losses.

When you have hired an experienced car accident settlement attorney, your chances of getting the maximum possible compensation for your injuries may improve significantly. Insurers know that when you hire a lawyer, you are serious about your case. An attorney can also help make sure the right parties are held accountable by obtaining the necessary evidence to prove your claim.

Wisconsin’s statute of limitations allows car accident victims up to three years to file a personal injury claim. While this may seem like a long time, depending on how serious your injuries are, this time will go by quickly. Remember, until your doctor determines the long-term impact of your injuries, it is not a good idea to rush to file a claim.

How a Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Most personal injury claims are settled outside of court. However, before you file a claim, you should have a good idea of the amount you are willing to accept for a car accident settlement. Whether you are a victim of a careless driver, or you are one of the many families who has lost a loved one in a wreck on Milwaukee roads, a skilled attorney can help advise you and help you with negotiations. Let’s get started on your case with a free consultation.

Author Bio

Robert J. Welcenbach Robert Welcenbach is an Owner and Partner at Welcenbach Injury Law, a family-owned personal injury law firm in Milwaukee, WI. With more than 24 years of experience practicing law, he seeks justice for clients in a wide range of legal areas, including car accidents, class actions, dog bites, nursing home abuse, and other personal injury matters.

Robert received his Juris Doctor from the Marquette University Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being nominated and selected as a Milwaukee Personal Injury and Class Action Super Lawyer every year since 2008.

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