The Milwaukee area has a reckless driving and hit-and-run crisis. Reckless drivers have ended the lives of well-over 100 people in the past two years, and they have caused many more injuries, both physical and emotional.
If you’re in a crash, the odds of it being an uninsured driver or criminal aren’t as low as we’d all hope. In fact, estimates indicate that over 13% of drivers in Wisconsin don’t carry insurance, which means if you’re injured in a crash with them, you could be left with the burdensome expenses that follow.
In this blog, we’ll tell you what you need to know in the event that does happen, what to do after the crash, and how you can receive the compensation you deserve.
What Are Wisconsin’s Insurance Requirements?
As mentioned above, motor vehicle liability insurance is legally required to operate a vehicle in Wisconsin. Drivers must possess insurance policies that cover at minimum:
- $10,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to a single person
- $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people
- Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 for a single person and $50,000 for two or more people
As you might have noticed, those amounts may not cover very much depending on the severity of the crash. Medical costs can quickly soar well above the $50,000 mark just for a single person.
This means you could end up being responsible for your medical costs when a negligent driver causes the crash. For crashes injuring multiple people, the funds can run out exceptionally quickly, leaving you and loved ones with burdensome medical costs.
Fortunately, in some cases, uninsured motorist coverage can fill the gap in costs if your expenses are greater than what’s covered by the other driver’s insurance.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Help You
Uninsured motorist coverage can help you by covering the expenses following a crash with an uninsured motorist, or by covering costs beyond what an underinsured motorist’s coverage takes care of.
For example, if you are injured and your medical expenses are $36,000, but the other driver only carries $25,000 in coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage should kick in to cover the remaining expense. We typically recommend to friends that they carry at least $250,000 in coverage for uninsured (and underinsured) motorists.
Additionally, uninsured motorist policies typically cover hit-and-run accidents where the driver flees the scene, or you if you are struck by a motorist as a pedestrian.
Can You Sue An Uninsured Driver?
Losing exorbitant amounts of money to medical bills, lost wages, and repairs for your vehicle can leave you in a dire financial situation. When the other driver is uninsured, you may look for other ways to recoup your losses, such as by suing the uninsured driver.
It is possible to sue an uninsured driver; however, if the negligent driver doesn’t have the assets to provide that coverage, they may be ‘judgment proof,’ meaning it may be impossible to collect the judgment.
In the case they are judgment proof, it can be highly difficult to recover the money you lost at the hands of a negligent, uninsured driver. Always consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to understand the options available to you.
What To Do After A Car Accident In Wisconsin
If you’re in an accident, there are several things you can do straight away to achieve the best possible outcome, even if the other driver is uninsured. After a crash, make sure to do the following:
- Call the police: Even when you think damage is minor, having a police report documenting the accident can be a huge help when it comes to receiving compensation. This holds particularly true when the other driver doesn’t carry insurance.
- Obtain contact information: Names, addresses, and phone numbers will help you contact the other driver after you leave the scene. If there are witnesses who saw the crash, you would do well to get their contact information as well.
- Document the scene: After you’ve acquired their contact information, make sure to document the scene. Take photos and videos of everything present, such as the vehicles and the damage and the scene of the crash.
Pasternak and Zirgibel Will Fight For You
Car-crash injuries can be expensive; every crash-related hospitalization costs almost $60,000 over a person’s lifetime. When you’re hit by an uninsured driver, those burdensome costs could end up being your responsibility.
If the negligent driver has assets, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover damages. Additionally, you may be able to receive more compensation from your own insurer than you think, but it will take the skill and expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney to obtain it.
Understanding your options is the first step toward recovering the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver, don’t wait for your insurance to do the right thing: contact Pasternak and Zirgibel today to schedule a free case evaluation.