- You have an obligation to remain at the scene
- Laws governing public roads don't always apply
- The insurance company may use the complexities of the situation to use up the 3-year statute of limitations
2. Liability is more complicated with accidents on private property
Since most parking lots and driveways are private property, the laws governing vehicles on public roads aren’t always relevant. Per Chapter 346 of the Wisconsin Statutes, drivers on public roads have a duty to keep their vehicle under control and be vigilant of other drivers and road hazards. Those same duties are not specified for drivers on private roads or parking lots, unless the driver is aware there is another car or person in the area.
The question of whether a driver was aware of another driver/pedestrian/cyclist in the area leads to all manner of disputes and finger-pointing in personal injury lawsuits—which is why you need an experienced personal injury attorney if you’ve been seriously injured in a parking lot, parking garage, driveway or on other private property. As a rule of thumb, drivers are expected to follow the right-of-way rules outlined in the Wisconsin motorist’s handbook when driving in parking garages or other private property. There is also an implicit moral obligation to exercise due care when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Accidents that occur on private property also differ from those occurring on public roads in that the owner of the property can be held partly (or even entirely) responsible for the accident. It is also possible for the construction company that built the parking structure to be held accountable, as would be the case if a parking garage collapses and causes injury.
Warshafsky Law can often uncover hidden sources of liability in cases involving accidents on private property. This is why we have an investigative team visit the scene of every accident to look for evidence that can bolster your case. Every case is unique, so it’s important to have a good attorney look into every nook and cranny of liability.
3. Wisconsin has a 3-year statute of limitations - don't let it slip by
Insurance companies are notorious for delaying and denying payment on claims. If you try to handle a claim on your own (not advisable in serious injury cases), you’ll face endless delays and runarounds—all because the insurance company wants to run out the clock on the statute of limitations.
In Wisconsin, there is a 3-year statute of limitations on filing a personal injury or slip and fall lawsuit. If you do not file suit within this time frame, you lose the option of doing so. A personal injury lawsuit is usually the one chance you have to get the compensation you deserve, so don’t wait until the last minute to finally realize you need an attorney to file a personal injury suit.
Why you need a personal injury attorney to represent you
Insurance companies spend ungodly sums on advertising intended to portray themselves as caring people who will be there for you when you need them. Unfortunately, the reality is all too often far from this. Instead of quick and fair compensation, what many policyholders get is an endless runaround or, worse yet, a flat-out denial of their claim.
Retaining a good personal injury attorney instantly puts insurance companies on notice that your claim isn’t one they can just blow off with a lowball settlement offer. You have a right to be fully compensated for all of your losses, including:
- Medical expenses incurred to date, as well as any ongoing treatment you may need
- Lost wages from being unable to work due to the accident
- Pain and suffering the accident has caused you
- Disability caused by your accident
- Disfigurement caused by your accident
- Loss of society and companionship (in cases where a loved one has been killed)
- Damage to your property
If the driver who caused your injury was driving in a particularly reckless manner, you can also seek punitive damages. (For instance, an irate driver who intentionally hits someone with his car.) Punitive damage claims are intended not only to punish the at-fault driver, but to also serve as a warning to anyone else who may be inclined to act in a similar way.
The worth of your case depends on your lawyer
There are plenty of personal injury, car accident, and dog bite attorneys in Wisconsin, but who you choose to represent you has a greater impact on the compensation you receive than the facts in your case. Most are quick to make a deal with insurance companies so they can collect their cut from the settlement and move on to the next case. Not Warshafsky Law.
From the moment we take a case, we prepare as though it will go to trial in front of a judge and jury. Insurance companies know our reputation for being willing to take cases to trial—and for winning. They hate trial cases because they risk even greater losses if the verdict goes against them. Often, they’ll suddenly become more generous in their settlement offer upon hearing Warshafsky Law will be representing the injured party.
Free initial consultation and a no-win-no-fee policy
Warshafsky Law offers a free initial legal consultation for prospective clients. If you are not able to meet at our Milwaukee or Madison office, we can arrange a phone conference. Either way, you’ll speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who will assess your case and give you an idea of what sort of compensation you should receive.
Should you hire us, you’ll pay no upfront retainer or monthly bills. Only when your case is resolved and you’ve been compensated do we ask for payment. Further, our No Win, No Fee policy ensures you won’t owe us a thing if we don’t win your case.