Legal Question in Personal Injury in Wisconsin

I recently go in a car accident in which I was rear ended. I did not require a ambulance but I did go to the ER later that day for neck and back pain. I also followed up with my chiropractor. The driver of the other car had State Farm Insurance. I had spoke with a rep from State Farm that asked me if this accident acerbated a previous injury, I said no because I have never had a injury like this before, but I am always working on back care. Last summer I spent my own money going to Evolution Spine therapy to strengthen my back and neck. I saw my chiropractor and got massages regularly while doing this therapy and before. Now I need trigger point therapy and chiropractic care as well. I am feeling like this is quite a set back and am worried that I won't be compensated fairly. My vehicle was a 200 GMC AWD Safari Van that I wanted and love, and it was very hard to find. I just want to know what not to tell them or how to tell them things correctly. As well as what not to say. should I get a Lawyer?

Asked on 4/13/13, 5:34 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael End End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC

I think you should get a lawyer to help you. I doubt State Farm will adequately compensate you if you try to handle things on your own. You should find a lawyer in your area who handles personal injury cases. Most lawyers do cases like yours on a contingent fee, so the attorney fee will be in relation to your recovery.

Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of injury. That means you will have to have your case resolved within three years. If not, you will have to have a lawsuit filed by three years from the date of the accident.

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Answered on 4/13/13, 5:49 pm
Jonathan Safran Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C.

With 30 years of personal injury experience, I would highly recommend that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. State Farm, like most insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of you, if you do not have an attorney, by doing things such as requesting a recorded statement from you and having you sign medical authorization forms to allow them to obtain your medical records, including unrelated records. Given your prior chiropractic care and spine therapy, I suspect that State Farm may attempt to argue that you had a pre-existing condition and then attempt to argue that some of your post-accident medical treatment is not related to or caused by the accident. This is a common tactic used by insurance companies. An experienced personal injury attorney will represent you on a contingency agreement basis, get your pre and post-accident medical records him or herself to review and then decide what to provide the insurance company. Be aware that in Wisconsin, an adult has three years from the date of the accident to either settle the claims or commence a lawsuit, however, if one of those alternatives is not accomplished, your claims may be barred. Do not sign anything, provide any statements, or provide further information until you consult with an attorney.

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Answered on 4/13/13, 8:04 pm

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