The Basics of Personal Injury Law in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know
In Wisconsin, personal injury law is a legal framework intended to protect individuals who have been injured or harmed because of the negligent or intentional actions of others. This area of law includes various accidents and injuries, such as slip and falls, car accidents, medical malpractice, and worksite injuries.
Three Things to Know When Filing a Civil Claim
Several key elements must be established to pursue a personal injury claim in Wisconsin successfully:
- First, the injured party must establish that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to act in a way that did not cause harm. A driver, for example, has a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely and avoid causing accidents.
- The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. For example, this may occur if someone fails to maintain a safe property or runs a red light. This violation must have directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. Another example would be if a store owner fails to clean up a spill and a customer slips and falls. As a result, the owner’s breach of duty caused the customer’s injuries.
- Third, the plaintiff must show damages and that they were harmed due to the defendant’s breach of duty. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses are all included.
The Nitty-Gritty Rules
Wisconsin adheres to a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that a plaintiff can recover damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident or injury. The number of damages, however, will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s level of fault. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault in a car accident, their damages will reduce by 30%.
Wisconsin also has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, meaning that a plaintiff has limited time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Wisconsin for personal injury cases is generally three years from the date of the injury or accident.
In some cases, personal injury claims in Wisconsin may be subject to a damages cap, which limits the amount of compensation that can be awarded to the plaintiff. In medical malpractice cases, for example, Wisconsin has a cap on non-economic damages, which limits the awarded compensation for pain and suffering.
The Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. Could Help You with Your Case
Wisconsin personal injury law is complex and can be challenging to navigate without the assistance of an experienced attorney. If you or someone you love has been injured in a personal injury case, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses. Call the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. for more information. We have over 30 years of experience, and our attorneys have worked for insurance companies, so we understand their processes. We are here to help you find the justice you deserve.