Wisconsin Personal Injury Law

When you suffer a personal or economic loss from a personal injury, you have the right to recover compensation from the person or organization that allegedly injured you. However, Wisconsin has personal injury laws that protect both your rights and those of the defendant's. Your unfamiliarity with these laws can prove to be detrimental to your case.

If you've been injured in Milwaukee, Green Bay or Madison, use LawInfo's Wisconsin personal injury articles to learn about the laws surrounding your case and to find a qualified attorney.

Wisconsin Proving Negligence

Proving the defendant's liability for compensating the plaintiff's injury is key to any personal injury lawsuit. For many lawsuits, their liability must be established by proving that the defendant was negligent. However, negligence can be a complex thing to prove.

Wisconsin courts rely on using a variety of theories to prove negligence. Among these theories are the four elements of negligence and the "reasonably prudent person" principle, which complements the four elements:

  1. Duty of Care—Was the defendant responsible for securing the plaintiff's safety against reasonably foreseeable injuries?
  2. Breach of Duty—Did the defendant's actions violate their responsibility to the plaintiff's safety?
    • At this point, the court would compare the defendant's actions to those of a reasonably prudent person. This theoretical person's actions in a similar situation are considered responsible and law-abiding. Any deviation from these appropriate actions may be considered negligent.
  3. Causation—Did the defendant's actions directly or indirectly cause the plaintiff's injury?
  4. Damages—Did the plaintiff's injury result in losses that can be economically compensated?

Wisconsin Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations limits how much time after an injury occurs that a plaintiff has to pursue legal action against a defendant. Once the statute "runs out," a lawsuit cannot be pursued. Wisconsin's civil statute of limitations includes:

  • Six years for injury (or damage) to property. Three years if the injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident.
  • Three years for wrongful death.
  • Six years for written and oral contracts.
  • Three years for personal
  • Six years for fraud.
  • Three years from the date of initial injury for medical malpractice. One year from reasonable discovery, but limited to five years from the date of initial injury.

Wisconsin Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice case is one in which a healthcare provider or a medical professional (such as a doctor) is allegedly liable for causing a patient injury. A common example is when a healthcare provider misdiagnoses a patient's condition, resulting in an injury from unnecessary treatment.

Medical malpractice cases carry special restrictions due to the sensitive nature of suing a healthcare provider. In addition to the special statute of limitations listed in the previous section, Wisconsin law caps the recovery of noneconomic damages at $750,000 for medical malpractice lawsuits. Noneconomic damages are recovered for personal losses that don't carry a specific dollar value, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, etc.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.

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