Car Accident No Insurance Injury Lawsuits: At Fault vs. Not Under Wisconsin Law
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident involving an uninsured driver, you may be wondering how the entire mess is going to get straightened out. Since every case is different, it’s impossible to explain exactly how your particular accident case might resolve. The best advice we can offer here is to get the opinion of an experienced Milwaukee car accident attorney. We can also share some information which may be helpful.
About the Fault-Based Auto Insurance System in Wisconsin
|Liability is established by determining which driver was at fault--but do NOT treat the police report as the final word. Having a certified accident investigator search for hidden sources of liability could be THE difference between whether you are compensated or not. With Warshafsky Law, you pay no fee until you receive compensation.|
Wisconsin law operates on the premise that fault for the car accident has to be established before anyone can be held financially liable. Our laws require the at-fault party to cover the costs of damage to the other person’s car/property, as well as wages you couldn’t earn as a result of the accident, and even pain and suffering.
Since drivers in the state of Wisconsin are on the hook financially for any accidents they cause, Wisconsin requires all drivers to carry insurance. As part of this insurance, policies must carry Uninsured Motorist coverage of (at minimum) $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for injury. This is coverage for injuries you or your passengers sustain in an accident involving an uninsured motorist.
As you can imagine, $25,000 doesn’t go very far if you’ve been seriously injured and require ongoing care. For this reason, most insurance companies in our state encourage buying coverage levels much higher than this bare minimum.
The penalty for not having insurance ranges from a fine of up to $500 to as much as $5,000 for providing a fraudulent proof of insurance. Oddly, Wisconsin doesn’t require drivers to show proof of insurance when getting a driver’s license or when registering one.
Determining Fault For an Auto Accident in Wisconsin
After an auto accident, fault is usually determined by the police officer(s) investigating the accident scene. For this reason, it’s important to always contact the police after an accident, even if it’s just a small fender bender.
However, the police report isn’t always the final word. Often, having an accident investigator look at the crash scene and the vehicles involved can uncover other potential causes for the accident and parties who can be held liable. This is precisely why Warshafsky Law has a certified accident investigator on staff.
What Are Your Options For Being Compensated for Your Damages?
- You can file a claim with your insurance company (In cases where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or assets, this is likely your only viable option.)
- You can file a third party auto insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and/or:
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, which will likely be defended by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What If You Don’t Have Insurance and You’ve Been Injured in an Auto Accident?
First, fault for the accident has to be determined. If it is shown you were not at fault for the accident, and you have sustained injuries or losses because of the accident, you will likely be compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance company—up to whatever amount of liability coverage he has.
If your damages are higher than the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover, you will need to file a suit against the driver to recover from his assets. Of course, you need to know if the at-fault driver has sufficient assets to cover your claim.
What If Neither You Nor the At Fault Driver Has Insurance?
The fact that neither of you have insurance complicates things. If you were not at fault, your only option is to file suit against the driver. However, if the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance because he couldn’t afford it, there’s little chance he has sufficient assets to cover your damages.
There is, however, the potential for a third party to be found liable (or partially liable) for the accident—and this is where an experienced accident investigator can make all the difference in the world.
For instance, the case of an uninsured motorist who strikes another uninsured motorist on the highway may look straightforward, but when an investigation reveals a construction company improperly set up cones a half mile down the highway and this resulted in the “at fault” driver being in the wrong lane, suddenly there’s another liable party—and their insurance policy may well be more than capable of absorbing the extensive medical costs incurred by both uninsured drivers.
Request a Free Initial Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Warshafsky Law offers a free initial legal consultation with no obligation whatsoever. You’ll meet with an actual attorney, not a paralegal, who will let you know what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we ask for no payment until your case is resolved and you have been compensated and our No Win, No Fee policy ensures you owe us nothing if we don’t come through for you.