4 Things To Know About Wisconsin’s Car Accident Laws
Car accidents happen every day. Sometimes they are minor, and the damage is minimal but an injury due to a car accident can range from minor to devastating. Injuries from a car accident are considered personal injuries and a personal injury lawyer can guide you after an accident. Here are four important things for every driver and passenger to understand about auto accidents.
1. Wisconsin is a “Tort” or “Fault State”.
Every vehicle accident in Wisconsin has a driver who is at fault or partially at fault. Unlike a “no-fault” jurisdiction, drivers who are at fault in a vehicle accident can be sued to cover damage to vehicles, and injuries to other parties, including all passangers. In fatal car accidents, the driver can be sued by families for wrongful death.
2. Comparative Negligence
While every car accident has a driver who is at fault, they may not always be 100 percent at fault. What that means is that a percentage of the fault for causing the accident may lie with each driver. Comparative Negligence means that the total fault and compensation amount of an accident as it is applied to the at-fault driver can be reduced depending on how much fault the other driver had in causing the accident. For example, if one driver is 75 percent at fault and the other driver is 25 percent at fault, the amount of liability for damage and injuries can only reach 75 percent for the driver who is most at fault. In this example, the driver with 75 percent fault can be sued for up to 75 percent of the total damages awarded by the court.
3. Statute of Limitations
For most car accident claims, the parties have a maximum of 3-years to file in court. That does not mean that the case must be resolved in three years, just that the claim to the court must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. However, not all statutes of limitations are the same. For example, if you are driving along and a vehicle hits your car, and they are at fault, and they are driving a state vehicle, you have only 120 days to file your claim or the statute of limitations will expire.
4. Police Reports Are Important After Car Accidents
It is important to know your rights as soon as a vehicle accident occurs. A police report will help you to prove your case because the officer who writes the report is considered an unbiased party and their report will help prove who is “at fault” or not and the degree by which each driver shares the fault of the accident.
Contact NGSW&B For Your Personal Injury Questions
NGSW&B provides personal injury legal services to the greater Wisconsin community. We help you understand your rights and legal options following a personal injury such as those sustained in a car accident. Contact our experienced attorneys to learn more about your options following an injury.