Compensation for out-of-state passenger?

by Danielle

My husband was a passenger in the front seat when an oncoming motorist hit him and his boss at 55 mph head on. The other driver was killed on impact. His boss and my husband both had loss of consciousness upon arrival of EMT's.

Airbags deployed in their chest and the dashboard was just inches away. My husband had some soft tissue injuries on his legs and of course the chest injury and lower back pain. He also received a concussion.

We live in Wisconsin and the accident happened in North Carolina. The hospital bills came to $20,100. It has been 2 months and my husband is still on light duty as he lost the strength in his arms to lift due to chest injuries from the airbag going off.

Also, the other day he was unable to walk as his back went out. I yelled at him for not going to the doctor that day. He said he couldn't because he could not walk. I told him to call an ambulance then. I have a stubborn man.

Is he going to be able to get some sort of compensation for pain and suffering?

I don't know the laws in North Carolina but want him to be treated fairly. We have turned everything over to the insurance company 3 weeks ago and asked to be reimbursed for medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. We haven't heard anything back as of yet. Any recommendations? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Compensation for out-of-state passenger?":

Danielle (Wisconsin):

Stop! Don’t go any further until you and your husband have spoken with a personal injury attorney. Serious injury claims should never be handled without the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney. Most attorneys give a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay a cent unless they win your case.

The facts you present don’t indicate whether or not the deceased driver was at fault. If so, your husband should be entitled to reimbursement for his medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, bandages, etc., lost wages, and for his pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, even if the other driver was negligent, the amount of compensation your husband can expect to receive will be limited to the deceased driver’s insurance policy limits.

In the State of Wisconsin the law requires private non-commercial drivers to carry auto insurance liability limits in the minimum of amount of personal liability 25,000/50,000. That’s $25,000 for one injured person and $50,000 for two. In your husband's case, he and his boss will have to divide the $50,000. The amount they receive will be directly related to the extent of their injuries.

More importantly, the amount your husband should expect to receive will depend upon his attorney's ability to persuade the insurance company to pay more.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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