Personal Injury Law in Wisconsin

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Wisconsin? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Wisconsin can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Wisconsin relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in  Wisconsin

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Wisconsin 

Each year in Wisconsin, injury accounts for about 50,000 hospitalizations and 450,000 emergency room visits according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. From 2016-2019, unintentional falls caused nearly 130,000 visits to the emergency room, while motor vehicle injuries accounted for over 35,000. Poisonings sent an additional 9,500 individuals to critical care – Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health. 

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Wisconsin

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Wisconsin

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

In Wisconsin, a small claims court handles actions where the amount claimed is $5,000 or less. Actions with larger claims will go through a circuit court. After filing pleadings, a court may hold a scheduling conference with the involved parties and issue a scheduling order to manage case progress. Some judges may use the conference to advise parties to attempt to settle the case instead of going to trial.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

Personal injury settlements in Wisconsin vary based on the severity of your injury. Wisconsin Hospital Association figures put average state-wide emergency/urgent care trauma injury (fractures, other external injuries) service costs at $1000-2000. However, the total cost of medical treatment will be considerably higher once you add professional services, rehab, and/or medications. When you’re able to prove negligence on the part of the other party total settlement amounts can range from just a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars in extreme cases.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in WI, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Wisconsin

If your Wisconsin personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage they inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

Punitive damages for all injury cases in Wisconsin are generally capped at $200,000. In medical malpractice cases, Wisconsin law limits non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) to $750,000. However, a state appeals court recently ruled that the limit is unconstitutional. A definitive ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court may alter or eliminate this limit, so be on the lookout.

Statute of Limitations in Wisconsin Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

The time limit to file a lawsuit in Wisconsin is 3 years, save for limited exceptions which allow an extension on this action period. For claims against a government entity, however, you must file a notice that you intend to take action within 120 days.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Wisconsin Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Wisconsin against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim.  We can even help you connect with an attorney across Wisconsin state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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