6 Wisconsin car accident laws that impact your claim Hurt in a crash? Everything you need to know to maximize your settlement money

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How does Wisconsin law impact my car accident settlement?

Wisconsin law mandates insurance with injury liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person. After an accident, exchange information. Report the crash if either party has bodily harm or $1000+ of property damage (for government vehicles, $200+ of damage). A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within 3 years of discovery of the injury per Wisconsin's Statute of Limitations. 

Your insurance claim depends on:

  • immediate events after the accident
  • the party more at fault
  • government or civilian vehicles
  • insurance status of both parties
  • timeframe of filing the lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, especially one that is fatal, you need a Wisconsin car accident lawyer who will fight for YOU. Warshafsky attorneys build a strong case in court and get you the compensation you deserve. We don’t sign and settle, and there’s no fee unless we win. Warshafsky Law is one of the only Wisconsin personal injury law firms with a nationally certified legal investigator on staff to analyze your car accident scene from all angles. 

Injured? it is about the money®


1. First steps after a crash to protect your case

  1. Never admit fault
  2. Call the police and report the accident
  3. Take pictures of the accident scene
  4. Obtain contact information from the other party
  5. Record the name and badge number of the police officer
  6. Contact your insurance company
  7. Consult a lawyer to discuss your case and rights

Under Wisconsin Law drivers are required to

  • Stop at (or as close as possible to) the scene of the accident
  • Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident, including arrangements for transportation to a hospital if necessary
  • Call the police and report the accident
  • Remain at the scene of the accident and give their name, address, vehicle registration, and upon request show their driver's license to the other driver involved

If a law enforcement officer completes a Wisconsin motor vehicle accident report, you do NOT need to file a driver report of the accident with the Department of Transportation. If the at-fault driver fails to stop after a car accident they can be charged with hit-and-run, and you may be able to pursue punitive damages in your personal injury lawsuit.

Know when to call a lawyer

In the aftermath of a car accident calling a lawyer can mean the difference between walking away unscathed and being left on the side of the road. Call a lawyer right away if you were:

Warshafsky Law employs a full legal investigation team to make sure no detail of your car accident is overlooked. Warshafsky car accident investigators have turned a $750,000 settlement into a $3.9 Mil victory. In cases involving car accident fatalities, our attorneys will fight for the highest possible compensation. Warshafsky Law will review your case for free, and there is never any fee until you receive compensation for your injuries. Don’t delay—the longer you wait, the greater the odds of crucial evidence fading!

2. Statute of Limitations for Wisconsin car accident lawsuits

Under Wisconsin law, you have 3 years to file a personal injury lawsuit for your auto accident. Time is measured from the date of the accident or discovery of the injury. If the car accident results in the death of a loved one, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Time is measured from the date of death. Learn more about Wisconsin car accident death statistics.

Understanding how the statute of limitations applies to your Wisconsin car accident lawsuit is crucial. If the deadline has passed, your case will likely be dismissed. Even if you believe your auto wreck claim will be resolved with an insurance settlement, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. An experienced Warshafsky lawyer will make sure you receive the greatest insurance settlement. Insurance companies know our reputation. We prepare every case to win at trial, resulting in higher payouts for our clients.

Wisconsin car accident personal injury attorney

3. Wisconsin shared fault law

Wisconsin uses modified comparative fault law or shared fault law in auto accident cases. All those involved in a car accident are held responsible for part of the liability. Sharing a portion of the liability reduces your claim value by that percentage. To recover damages, you must prove the other driver is at least 50% at fault. Your claim value is then reduced by the same percentage as your portion of liability. For example, if the injured person is found to be 25% at fault, the damages recovered will be reduced by 25%. To maximize your settlement, our legal team will investigate the accident to determine the full scope of liability.

Your right to compensation depends on proving fault

Wisconsin tort law allows an injured individual to seek financial compensation for injuries. A tort is a wrongful act resulting in injury to another person. All torts involve:

  • Breach of duty: drivers owe a duty to motorists, passengers, and pedestrians to operate their vehicle with care
  • Injury: the victim suffered actual injuries or was killed as a result of the actions of the liable party
  • Cause: the unreasonable or unsafe action of the liable party directly caused injuries or death of another

Injured? it is about the money®

When people choose their personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has never won more money in a courtroom. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages. Hundreds of times we have prepared cases like yours beyond the brink of trial. Facing unlimited liability AND an expensive jury trial, insurance companies increase their settlement amount offered. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.

No win. No fee. Free Case Assessment.

4. Damages available to Wisconsin car accident victims

In Wisconsin, there are 3 main types of damages car accident victims may seek: specific, general and punitive damages.

  • Specific Damages Specific damages are generally straightforward and include medical expenses, damage to property, rental car costs and lost wages
  • General Damages General damages refer to suffering such as emotional and physical pain, loss of enjoyment, and disability. 
  • Punitive Damages Punitive damages seek to punish the conduct of an extremely reckless driver and are rarely awarded in Wisconsin.

Most common car accident injuries

Depending on the severity of the accident, you and any injured passengers could be facing expensive treatments, surgeries, and other recovery costs. Medical expenses can rack up at a frightening pace for injuries. Warshafsky Law understands you’re already dealing with physical and financial hardship after a car accident. Our team of personal injury attorneys fights for victims of complex cases such as those who are injured while pregnant or face significant medical debts.  Every case is no win, no fee, and we fully fund every case until compensation is awarded.

Injured? it is about the money®


5. Different rules for car accident claims against government entities

When filing a claim against the Wisconsin state government, you must:

  1. Send a written notice to the attorney general by certified mail within 120 days
  2. Include the facts, circumstances, injuries, names of the government employee(s) involved, and the damages you seek
  3. Limit total damages to $250,000

Scenarios where government liability is a factor:

  • The accident involved a bus or truck owned and operated by a government agency
  • A government employee acting in an official capacity while driving a government-owned vehicle caused the crash
  • Dangerous highway conditions, roadside hazards, or a poorly marked construction zone had a role in the accident

Sovereign immunity is a legal concept that protects government agencies and employees from much liability, but federal and state governments have laws in place to waive such immunity. Due to the conditions of this waiver, government bodies have strict procedural rules for personal injury lawsuits filed against them. Failure to follow them precisely means you can lose your right to claim damages. Punitive damages are not an option.

Claims against municipal governments, such as the City of Milwaukee, have similar rules and a cap of $50,000 on total damages. The government will investigate your claim and decide to pay or deny it. If denied, you may file a lawsuit in court within three years of the date of denial. Filing a suit against any government agency is no small feat. Warshafsky Law has the experience, resources and determination to fight for your case, even against a government agency.

6. Wisconsin’s car insurance laws affect that impact your claim

In Wisconsin, the safety responsibility (SR) law states drivers must have the means to cover costs resulting from a car wreck they cause. The minimum insurance liability coverage for a car crash in Wisconsin is:

  1. $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  2. $50,000 total for injury or death per accident
  3. $10,000 in property damage

Types of liability coverage

Wisconsin’s auto insurance laws require three specific types of coverage: liability, underinsured motorist, and uninsured motorist. For the at-fault driver in a traffic accident, liability car insurance covers costs from injuries and property damage. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for damages when you’re injured in a car accident caused by someone who does not have enough car insurance or none at all. Minimum underinsured/uninsured driver coverage for Wisconsin car insurance policies is $25,000 for injuries per person, and $50,000 for the total injuries suffered in the accident.

Penalties for uninsured motorists in Wisconsin

Drivers must be able to show proof of car insurance if they are involved in an accident or pulled over. If you are caught without any insurance you can be fined up to $500, and if you have insurance but can’t provide proof when requested by a law officer you can be fined up to $10. If an uninsured driver is at fault in a crash, their driving and registration privileges will be suspended until they obtain an SR22 certificate (proving insurance coverage) and pay reinstatement fees.

Claims against uninsured drivers

If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your own uninsured motorist insurance kicks in. You can collect damages for injuries up to the limit of your policy. This coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents where you are not at fault. Getting the maximum compensation you deserve after a car accident can be challenging. It’s not in the insurance company’s best interest to make it easy for policyholders to collect the full amount of damages they are entitled to.

Car insurance companies we've battled

  • State Farm insurance settlement
  • GEICO insurance settlement
  • Allstate insurance settlement
  • American Family Insurance settlement
  • Progressive insurance settlement
  • Acuity Insurance settlement
  • West Bend insurance settlement
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance settlement
  • MetLife insurance settlement
  • Nationwide Insurance settlement
  • Partners Mutual Insurance settlement
  • The Hartford insurance settlement
  • Travelers insurance settlement
  • Erie Insurance settlement
  • USAA insurance settlement
  • CSAA insurance settlement
  • National Gerneral insurance settlement
  • Mercury Insurance settlement
  • Auto-Owners Insurance settlement
  • MAPFRE insurance settlement
  • Kemper insurance settlement
  • Farmers Insurance settlement
  • Auto Club insurance settlement
  • Artisan & Truckers Casualty Company insurance settlement
  • American Standard Insurance settlement
  • Amica Mutual insurance settlement
  • Infinity Auto Insurance settlement

Wisconsin's toughest car accident lawyers protect victims’ rights

Insurance companies may offer what they tell you is a fair settlement, but never doubt their main concern is saving money for their business. Don’t trust your case to just any personal injury attorney—many work for settlement mills content to negotiate with insurers in order to settle quickly and collect a fee with minimum delay. Warshafsky’s aggressive lawyers won’t stop fighting for your case until a fair settlement amount is reached.

What should I do immediately after a car accident?

1) Stop at (or as close to as possible) the scene of the accident. 2) Give reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident, including arrangements for transportation to a hospital if necessary. 3) Do NOT apologize for the accident as that may be seen as an admission of guilt. 4) Call the police and report the accident. 5) Remain at the accident scene and give your name, address, vehicle registration (and upon request, show driver’s license) to the other driver and passengers involved. These are your legal requirements following an accident in Wisconsin.

How do I know if I need a lawyer after a car accident?

You need a lawyer after a car accident if: 1) Someone was seriously injured or killed. 2) Your injuries require surgery. 3) You were injured by a drunk driver. 4) You were struck by a distracted driver. 5) You are the victim of a hit and run. 6) You were struck by a car while on your bike. 7) You were in a car accident while pregnant. 8) You were involved in a motorcycle accident

How is pain and suffering calculated in Wisconsin?

There are two methods for calculating pain and suffering: per diem and multiple methods. Per diem assigns a monetary amount to be paid each day from the time of the accident until the patient reaches maximum medical improvement. Multiple methods is more commonly used. The injured person’s economic damages are totaled and multiplied by a number from 1 to 5 depending on the severity of your injuries. More serious injuries will merit a multiplier closer to 5.

How much money will I get from my auto accident settlement?

The average car accident settlement falls between $14,000 and $28,000. Settlements are typically higher for more severe or permanent injuries. You’ll also be paid more if the driver was found to be under the influence.

Wisconsin car accident settlement amounts

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