Automobile Accident Support Network
A non-profit resource to provide information to people involved in accidents
We wanted to create an independent site with honest answers. We do NOT accept money from anyone. Any company listed on this site was the result of numerous referrals from the feedback of thousands of injured people, doctors or other attorneys. Our team has an average of over 20 years of experience dealing with attorneys, doctors, patients and insurance companies. We wanted to create a place where people can get real answers without all the hype or sales pitches.
Selecting a body shop It is important that whoever works on your car uses authentic factory parts. There are cheaper parts that may actually be more dangerous in a new accident that could lead to more severe injuries or death. (example: body panels are designed to...
Finding an the right Attorney Do I need an attorney? Sometimes you do, sometimes you do not. If you are at fault, have insurance and the damage is minimal, then you probably do not. However, if you have injuries (especially any broken bones, facial scars or pain...
Important Things to know about Concussions Concussions can be very serious, these injuries are often missed. A concussion may occur from a blow to the head directly (from hitting the windshield, dash, steering wheel, headrest, etc.). This is called “coup” and may...
How to select a Chiropractor? Below, we have compiled an impressive list of highly skilled Chiropractors in the state of Wisconsin who also perform physical therapy. We feel it is important to do both for a full recovery. We also know it is easiest to do them both at...
Selecting a Doctor You should go to the Emergency Room right away if you have any of the following: Broken bones (or suspect a broken bone) Loss of consciousness or blacked out Cuts that need stitches Swelling (especially a swollen or hard stomach, as this may be a...
How To Deal With Insurance Providers Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging and scary. We have compiled some important things for you to know before you start. For your convenience, we are breaking insurance into 2 topics. First and most important are the...
How To Obtain a Traffic Accident Report The traffic accident report is a vital written document which records the facts and circumstances surrounding a traffic accident. The date and time of the incident, property damage, passenger and driver injuries, and the names...
How To Report a Traffic Accident? The first question people ask is “should I file a report” or “do I have to file a report?” The law states that any accident with over $1,000 damage to any one vehicle must be reported. You must also report an accident with $200 or...
HOW TO REPORT A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
- The first question people ask is “should I file a report” or “do I have to file a report?” The law states that any accident with over $1,000 damage to any one vehicle must be reported. You must also report an accident with $200 or more damage to government property, or if there was any injury or death involved.
- Additionally, should you want to file a claim with the insurance company, or if the accident turns into a legal matter, then you will definitely want a report.
- The law enforcement agencies that responded to the accident will usually make and file the accident report for you.
- If the police were not called, you can contact your local police department and they can send you a form to report the accident yourself.
- The accident report is considered to be the official written document which records the facts and circumstances surrounding any traffic accident. It will include the date and time of the accident, description of the vehicles, name and address of the drivers and all the passengers, names of witnesses and names of insurance companies.
- If a report has been filed already, you may contact the local police department that responded to the scene or you can contact:
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Crash Records Unit
P.O. Box 7919
Madison, WI 53707-7919
Crash Records Unit (608) 266-8753
HOW TO OBTAIN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT?
Should the accident become a legal matter, and most will, you need a copy of the Traffic Accident Report for you, your attorney and your insurance agent.
To Get a Traffic Accident Report, here’s what you must do:
Contact the police agency that investigated the auto accident. If you can’t recall the investigating officer’s department, here’s a handy tip:
- For accidents within a town or city, contact the municipal police department;
- For accidents outside of a town or city contact the Sheriff’s Department or the State Police.
- Some Department of Motor Vehicle(DMV) offices may also provide accident reports.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Crash Records Unit
P.O. Box 7919
Madison, WI 53707-7919
Crash Records Unit (608) 266-8753
In most cases you’ll have to complete a Record Request Form.
- Some departments may offer this form online.
- You might have the option to submit by mail or in person.
Be aware, you will be charged a fee for the form.
After ordering the form, most agencies will give you the option of receiving the form by mail or e-mail.
HOW TO DEAL WITH INSURANCE PROVIDERS?
For your convenience, we are breaking insurance into 2 topics. First and most important are the “rules” when dealing with insurance companies. Second, we will discuss the different types of insurance and how they work.
1. NEVER SETTLE YOUR CLAIM WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY IN THE FIRST 3 WEEKS. It will take a while for all your symptoms to show up. If you settle too soon or before you have a chance to get checked by a doctor (and not just the ER), you may end up paying for your bills on your own. Some insurance companies will even come to you within a couple days of the accident to try to get you to settle for $500-1,000. Why, because once you sign off on the claim, you can not go back for more money if you find out you were hurt worse than you thought.
2. Wisconsin has a 3 year statute of limitations. That means that you have up to 3 years to settle your claim. However, be careful. If you go even 1 day past that, the insurance company does not have to pay a penny. If you are close to the deadline, then immediately call an attorney to have him “file suit” on your claim. This will give you more time by bypassing the deadline. Keep in mind, he has to have time to file the claim, so do not wait until the last week before the deadline.
3. Although it is important to have insurance, be careful what you say to them.
A. NEVER lie. It will destroy all your future credibility. Your ability to maximize your recovery relies on your credibility. Once it is gone, they may not believe anything else you try to claim.
B. The adjuster is not your friend. No matter how nice they are, their job is to minimize the claim and blame your injuries on anything else besides the accident. Although most try to be fair, they are still business to make money. Anything they pay out on a claim is less profit for the company. Keep in mind, anything you say may be used against you. Do not be tricked into a recorded statement.
i. If you become a “Chatty Cathy,” and tell them all about all the falls you had as a child or how you have aches and pains from getting old, then, any of your symptoms become related to your old injuries. Just because you broke your arm when you were a child does not mean that the broken arm in the accident is related, unless you start to tell them it is. So, keep your mouth shut.
ii. Don’t try to be “macho” and/or casually say that you are “OK,” because they will try to use that later and say that you reported that you were not hurt. Many people who had real injuries found themselves in a large battle with the insurance company because they said they were “OK” or “Fine” instead of saying that they are “sore, but getting better.”
iii. Only discuss what happened in the accident and leave your injuries out of it. If you have an attorney, just tell them you have an attorney. Give them the name of the attorney and then stop talking to them. They attorney will handle it.
4. Your insurance claim will be broken down into 2 parts. Property damage and personal injury.
A. The property damage will cover repairs to the car, building/property (if you hit something) and things broken in the accident. This part of the claim should settle quickly based on the value of the car and collecting receipts. You might dispute the value of the car if they come back with a really low number. If the accident was your fault, you will have to pay a deductable for the repairs on your car, or they may reduce the dollar amount by the deductible if the vehicle was totaled. One other thing you might want to ask for… depreciation on the car. With the advent of CarFax and other programs, a car that has been in and accident may not be worth as much as one that hasn’t.
B. Personal injury is a payment for any of your medical treatment and other personal losses. (The legal term here is that they have to “Make You Whole.” This will include covering:
i. Medical bills
ii. Future medical bills (if you do not make a full recovery)
iii. Mileage to and from the doctor’s office
iv. Pain and suffering (which can be large depending on your injuries)
v. Pain and suffering of family members (example: Loss of Consortium, which means that if your sex drive or ability to perform was affected, even though it might be embarrassing to talk about, you can get compensated).
vi. Lost wages (past and future if you are not able to work at the same level or do the same things you could before the accident.
vii. In the rare event, your insurance company wants to raise your premiums, you can ask the other driver’s insurance to pay for the difference in premiums for the next 5-10 years. (However, once the claim settles, feel free to shop around for a better company with lower premiums that does not raise your rates for an accident that was not your fault).
vii. There may be other things specific to your case. You may want to consult with an attorney.
5. Do not be afraid to use your insurance. You paid a lot of money for coverage. You are entitled to get compensated. Insurance is basically a legal form of gambling. You bet a certain dollar amount each month that you might get into a car accident and it will cost you more than those premiums to fix you and the car. If you came out ahead, great. The insurance paid off. Some people pay in their whole life and never have a claim. Before you feel bad for the insurance companies, keep in mind that State Farm Insurance is the 3rd largest land holder in the US, second only to the government and the church. The CEOs millions of dollars a year. Here are some examples from as far back as 2006:
Edward M Liddy is the CEO of Allstate = 17.79 Million Dollars per year.
Glenn M Renwick is the CEO of Progressive = 8.14 Million Dollars per year.
Jay S Fishman is the CEO of St Paul Travelers = 5.47 Million Dollars per year.
The insurance company is not broke and if you were hurt, you deserve to get compensated.
Types of Insurance:
Keep in mind that the insurance is on the car, not the driver. Just because you have insurance on your car does not mean you are covered if you are driving a friend’s car.
Insurance is broken down into several categories:
Med-Pay (medical payments): This is the amount that the insurance of the vehicle you are in will pay your medical bills while you get treated, regardless of who was at fault. This will keep your account from going to collections while you wait to settle. This amount is per person, but may have a per accident limit. This will get paid out as you get treated. (THERE IS NO DEDUCTABLE FOR THIS PART OF THE INSURANCE).
Insurance companies are notorious for showing up and offering people $500 to settle their claim right away. Unfortunately, many of these people are shocked and upset when they learn that they still have problems later but their medical bills won’t be covered because they already settled their claim.
Liability insurance: This is the amount that the insurance for the driver at fault will pay. It is not paid until the end of the settlement process. It usually has a dollar limit. It will NOT pay for expenses of the driver at fault, but will cover his/her passengers and anyone else involved.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If the car you were in has this coverage, and the other car that was at fault does not have insurance (or not enough insurance), then this part of the policy will step in and act just like an extra policy on the at fault driver’s car. It will pay medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. Keep in mind, they will not pay until the end of the settlement process. It is always good to have this on your policy in case you are hit by someone without insurance.
Collision: This covers damage to your car. Usually there is a deductible. The insurance company will usually settle vehicle/property damage right away. This is to avoid long rental car fees. It is usually advised to get at least 2, if not 3 estimates. Some repair places may even give you a free rental car; others may try to bill it to the insurance.
If you were the passenger in the accident and the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault, their insurance will pay all your bills including pain and suffering, just as if you were in the other vehicle.
If you were working at the time, you may also be covered under Worker’s Compensation Insurance by your employer, even if you were in your own vehicle and is not limited by the Med-Pay limits.
Disclaimer: Everything on this page is not to be considered legal advice. To protect yourself, you would need to consult with an attorney.
SELECTING A DOCTOR
Broken bones (or suspect a broken bone)
Loss of consciousness or blacked out
Cuts that need stitches
Swelling (especially a swollen or hard stomach, as this may be a sign of internal bleeding).
Keep in mind that the job of the ER is to save your life, not treat or rehab injuries.
Never use heating pads, hot showers or hot tubs for at least 3 days after an accident. This may make your injuries worse. Use ice for 20 minutes every hour or so to reduce swelling or inflammation.
The ER may give pain killers, but remember, that only helps with the pain. It does not treat anything. No-one has ever been diagnosed with a Tylenol or hydrocodone deficiency.
If you have a broken bone, you will need to see an orthopedist. For a list of good orthopedic surgeons, click here.
All your medical doctor can do is prescribe medications or refer you to someone else (usually a chiropractor or physical therapist). Unfortunately, it may take days or weeks to get into your doctor and even longer to get into a physical therapist.
Physical therapists can give exercises or do some therapies like traction, ultrasound, massage, electric muscle stimulation or cold laser. These are all very good and very useful to treat soft tissue injuries. But they are missing a step. You would not put a broken arm into a cast without lining up the broken ends first, would you? Why would you strengthen the muscles without making sure the joints/bones are aligned properly. This is where chiropractic comes in. The chiropractor is the best person to make sure the joints are lined up right. Also, many chiropractors are trained to do the physical therapy too. This makes your life easier because you only have to schedule 1 appointment each time, not too. There is less travel from clinic to clinic, less time wasted and you never have to worry that one doctor doesn’t know what the other is doing. They are the same person.
Not every chiropractor is an expert in soft tissue injuries and whiplash, and not every chiropractor does physical therapy too. To help you out, we have researched to find some of the best. Remember, not a single professional we recommend on our website has paid to be here. We compiled the list by talking to thousands of patients, doctors attorneys and even claims adjusters. This is why we are so confident you will find quality care and a lot of knowledge in the doctors. For a list of experienced, quality chiropractors who do physical therapy also, click here.
Orthopedics/ Spinal Surgery
Clifford Tribus, M.D.
621 Science Dr.
Madison, WI 53711
Amy Franta, M.D
2275 Deming Way #1800
Middleton, WI 53562
HOW TO SELECT A CHIROPRACTOR?
|Dr. James Spennetta, D.C.
Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic
6810 Watts Road
Madison, Wisconsin 53719
|Dr. Salad Vang, D.C.
SV Family Chiropractic
2110 S. Memorial Dr.
Appleton, Wisconsin 54915
|Dr. Amy Endru, D.C.
Sheboygan Chiropractic Plus
1028 B Indiana Ave
Sheboygan, WI 53081
|Dr. Kham Sing Xiong, D.C.
Chiro Life Clinic
1052 Witzel Ave.
Oshkosh, WI. 54902
|Dr. Salad Vang, D.C.
SV Family Chiropractic
2311 University Ave
Green Bay, Wisconsin 54302
|Dr. Richard Hruby Jr, D.C.
Hruby Chiropractic Wellness
3823 S 108th ST
Greenfield, WI 53228
|Dr. Kyle Anderson, D.C.
Stucky Chiropractic Center
2105 E Clairemont Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
|Dr. Kham Sing Xiong
Chiro Life Clinic
6300 N 76th St., Sutie 209
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53218
|Dr. Patrick G Stoiber, D.C.
710 East Grand Ave.
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CONCUSSIONS
Concussions that are so serious, many sports authorities will not let a player that is suspected of suffering from a concussion to return playing without their doctor’s release. There may be a chance for a repeat of that injury (which is called Second Impact Syndrome) which has claimed lives of several athletes each year. That can happen even if the person is feeling ok, and gets hit in the head again way too soon. That’s why many football players have to stay out several games, even though they have been paid millions of dollars to play. If there is a small hemorrhage or swelling on the brain, it potentially could be life threatening. If you think you, or a loved one has sustained a concussion, please seek immediate medical attention. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? The wife of famed actor Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, passed away after what appeared to be a minor fall while skiing. This caused some epidural bleeding which gave her the symptom of a headache. Before anyone realized what was wrong, it was too late and she passed away. If you suspect a concussion, seek immediate medical attention and try to avoid sudden movements.
Some possible symptoms of a concussion to look for:
- Hearing loss/ ringing in ears
- Visual changes (Seeing stars, spots, flashing lights, double vision)
- Feeling “dinged,” foggy, stunned, dazed
- Loss of balance
- Poor concentration
- Irritability or emotional changes
- Loss of consciousness
If any of these symptoms occur, these should be a warning, keeping an eye on the person, and seek medical attention immediately. There are different levels of severity of concussion. Always pay careful attention to symptoms and seek medical attention to avoid a tragic mistake.
FINDING AN THE RIGHT ATTORNEY
If I meet with an attorney, do I have to retain them? No. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. You do not need to retain them on that visit. However, they do not represent you until you sign their documents.
How do I find a good attorney?
- Many firms will send letters claiming to have gotten millions of dollars for their clients. Let’s be real. Unless you are paralyzed or someone is killed, no one is getting millions. They may have had one big case or are just totaling all their settlements into one large number. You should ask how many different attorneys’ collections went into that total? Ask them what their “average” settlement is.
- Most attorneys charge the same percentage to represent you. Therefore, the thing you need is an attorney that will be “hands on” the entire time and take care of your case personally.
- Many large firms will take on everyone who calls and then pass the case to the secretary or legal assistant to work on. Why should you pay the same percentage of your settlement for a claim that the attorney didn’t even look at until it was time to settle?
- Do NOT fall for the TV ads where a famous spokesperson says “You need a powerful attorney.” In those large firms, the senior partners will not take the smaller cases. To have them work on your case, again, there needs to be a death or very severe permanent injuries. YOUR case will likely be passed on to an employee or junior partner with less experience.
- Also, do not hire your family or divorce attorney, they may not have the experience or expertise needed to deal with the insurance company. Get an attorney that specializes in personal injury. You could ask your family, but they probably only dealt with one or two, if any.
- Ask your doctor who he/she recommends. Your doctor probably dealt with many attorneys over the years and can tell you who they felt did the best job or give you feedback from his previous patients.
Vang Law Office
5209 Ninebark Dr
Fitchburg, WI 53711
Wetter Law Office
11 N. Broadway Ste C
Green Bay, WI 54303
SELECTING A BODY SHOP
If the vehicle that needs repairing is your only transportation at the time these body shops offer a loaner at their own expense in case your Insurance coverage has an out of pocket cost ( with a promise of later reimbursement) Which can get very expensive for an extensive restoration
Ball Body Shop
Gates Body Shop