If you’ve been in an accident, you may end up paying for more than just repairs to your vehicle. There are a lot of hidden costs that may pile up after your car is totaled or severely damaged in an accident.
In this blog, we will explore the true cost of damage to your vehicle, and discuss who is responsible for paying these fees and how to recover compensation after you’ve been in an accident.
The first and most obvious cost is the actual property (or physical) damage to your vehicle. Cars are getting more expensive to repair due to the use of advanced electronics and sensors. Even an accident that seems minor can result in hefty repair bills – including the total loss of your vehicle.
You may need to pay to have your vehicle towed to an auto body shop, collision center or salvage yard, and you may need to pay to have it stored until insurance adjusters can examine it and determine whether or not it’s worth repairing. This isn’t cheap, and can easily cost you hundreds of dollars in daily storage fees.
If you need a car to get to work, take your kids to school, and accomplish other day-to-day tasks, you may need to rent a car. The price of renting a car can fluctuate so it's best to check what coverage options are available first. If your car repairs take a long time, renting a car can be very expensive.
In Wisconsin, it may be possible to recover compensation for “loss of use” meaning the period of time that your vehicle is unusable and out of service. This compensation covers the entire period of time that your vehicle cannot be used, and typically ends when your vehicle is declared a total loss.
A car accident can also cause damage to personal property. For example, if your laptop is in a bag in the front seat of your car and you’re hit, the airbags may explode and damage it or it may be shattered by the impact. Replacing damaged valuables should be considered when calculating the total value of your losses.
If you were not at fault for your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for these costs from the at-fault person’s insurance provider – including repair costs, towing and vehicle storage, rental coverage, loss of use, and personal property damage. However, you can also seek recovery from your own insurance policy under your collision coverage. In fact, it may be in your best interest to do so, depending on the specific circumstances of your accident. Additionally, when a car is totaled and the amount owed on the car exceeds the car’s value, a gap insurance policy may be used to cover the difference. Working with a Milwaukee car accident lawyer will help you determine the best path to recovery and reach an acceptable settlement. Natasha Misra Law assists client with the repair or replacement of their vehicles at no additional cost.
If you are at fault, then your compensation will depend on the specifics of your insurance policy, and you may have to pay some out-of-pocket costs. Your insurance rates will also go up, since your insurance provider will have to cover your costs and the costs of the driver you hit. At times, it may be advisable to utilize your collision coverage.
At Natasha Misra Law, we’re here to help victims of car accidents recover the compensation they deserve for property damage, injuries, medical bills, and more. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, contact us online or give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our Milwaukee car accident lawyers today.
Like many other states, Wisconsin uses a “comparative negligence” law to determine fault during car accidents. But what does this mean?
In this blog, we will discuss what you need to know about comparative negligence, and how it may affect your car accident claim.
First, let’s define comparative negligence. Basically, this is a system of assigning fault in car accidents that determines how much a victim can recover in compensation based on their contribution to the accident.
In other words, both parties involved in an accident can be assigned a portion of the blame. For example, one party may be found to be 30% at fault in the accident, with the other driver being assigned 70% of the fault.
This means two things. First, you can still recover damages if you’re partially at fault for an accident. Even if you contributed to the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury suit and get compensation, as long as you were less than 50% negligent (more about that in the next section).
This is in contrast to states that use a “pure contributory negligence” law, where drivers are unable to recover any damages, even if they were only 1% responsible for the accident.
Second, your damages are limited by the amount of fault assigned to you for the accident. So if you are assigned 30% of the fault and the other driver is assigned 70% of the fault, you can only recover 70% of your damages.
In this situation, if your total damages for medical bills, property damage, renting a car, and other such costs were $20,000, you could only sue the other driver for $14,000 – not the full $20,000 in costs you incurred.
So, comparative negligence means that you can recover some damages after a car accident even if you share fault with the other driver. But what if you’re responsible for the majority of the fault?
Well, Wisconsin follows what’s called the “51 Percent Bar Rule.” This means that you’re “barred” from recovering damages if you are found to be responsible for the majority (51% or more) of fault.
In other words, if you are found to be 50% at fault, you can still recover damages after a car accident in Milwaukee. But if you exceed 50% fault, you will not be able to work with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
Working with an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney can help you get a fair and just outcome when you’ve been in a car accident.
Natasha Misra Law can help you protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and more. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule a free consultation.
My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.