4 Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Laws Affecting Your Injury Claim
Hurt in a Crash? Our Guide to Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Laws and What Victims Need to Know
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable in accidents. What might be a fender bender in a car could be a life-threatening injury for someone on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are also vulnerable when it comes to the settlements offered by insurance companies.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the legal system and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. You need Warshafsky Law.
You Can’t Count on an Insurance Company to Treat You Fairly
Insurance companies are businesses, and they hate doling out money on claims. They’ll try every trick in the book to minimize your claim, or deny it altogether. We know exactly how they work because we have attorneys on staff who used to work for insurance companies.
Keep in mind that when you’re dealing with an insurance company, you’re not just dealing with the claims representative you talk to on the phone. Above the representative is an army of attorneys whose job is to look for any reason to deny a claim or minimize their payment on a claim. Trust us, you don’t want to go up against them without an attorney on your side.
1. Wisconsin Law Requires You to Do These Things After a Motorcycle Accident
Wisconsin law requires any motorist involved in an accident to do the following:
- Stop at the scene of the accident (or as close to it as possible)
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident, including calling 911 to get an ambulance on the scene
- Report the accident to the police or DMV
- Remain at the accident site and provide their name, address, vehicle registration (and driver’s license upon request) to the other driver and passengers involved
Wisconsin is serious about the responsibilities of motorists after an accident. Failure to stop or remain at the scene of an accident, or to comply with other accident procedures, can result in fines or even jail time, as well as a felony conviction on your record. Failing to comply with these responsibilities will also be detrimental to any injury claim or lawsuit you file.
Obviously, in the case of a serious injury, you’re in no shape to render assistance to anyone, to call the police, or to exchange information with the other motorist involved in the accident. Exceptions are made in these cases.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
hen 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 fess up what your case is worth. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.
2. Wisconsin Law Requires a Determination of Liability in Motorcycle Injury Claim Cases
Motorcycle injury claims are premised on the defendant having been negligent in some way, and their negligence being directly responsible for your injuries. Liability hinges on negligence. With a negligence claim, there are four things you must show for the court to determine the other motorist is liable for your injuries/losses:
- The law required the defendant (the person being sued) to be reasonably careful. This is always a given with any motor vehicle accident case.
- The defendant was not careful. Did the defendant’s driving conform with the actions of a “reasonable person.” Accident scene evidence and witness statements play a key role here.
- The defendant’s conduct on the road caused your injuries. It needs to be shown the defendant was at least 50% responsible for the accident.
- You suffered an injury or losses. If you didn’t get hurt, and had no damages to your motorcycle, there is nothing for you to recover.
Determining liability is critical to the success of any motorcycle injury lawsuit. Skid marks on the road, debris from the accident and environmental factors can disappear or change quickly. There may also be security camera video from nearby businesses that should be obtained before it’s taped over or deleted. This is why it’s important to have an experienced accident investigator on the scene as quickly as possible.
Warshafsky Law has a team of professional accident investigators ready to respond quickly to an accident scene to gather evidence and interview any witnesses. The success of a personal injury settlement depends on compelling evidence, and no one digs deeper for it than Warshafsky Law.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Cases Warshafsky Law has Tried and Won
Common Motorcycle 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 like:
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
3. Wisconsin’s Shared Fault Law Can Significantly Impact Your Motorcycle Injury Claim
In Wisconsin, we have what is known as the shared fault law. This law acknowledges that all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident may share some blame, and reduces the amount awarded to the injured party by whatever percent they are found to have also been at fault for the accident.
For instance, if you were found to be 25% to blame for the accident that caused your injury, the damages you are awarded will be reduced by 25%. In order to recover any damages, the other driver has to be shown to be at least 50% at fault for the accident.
In motor vehicle accident cases, it’s not unusual for a nearby property owner or business to have contributed to the accident. The homeowner who leaves grass clippings in the roadway that cause a motorcyclist to slide out, for example, or the landscaping business truck that drops gravel in the road that causes an accident.
It’s also possible a defect or poor design in the motorcycle may have caused or contributed to your accident, in which case the manufacturer can be sued. Warshafsky Law has extensive experience holding manufacturers accountable, including one high profile motorcycle maker that was forced to re-evaluate their product and make leg guards standard safety equipment.
Warshafsky Law always looks for all liable parties to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. This is why it’s so important to have a law firm with experienced accident investigators to determine the full scope of liability.
4. Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations Limits the Time You Have to File Suit for Your Injuries
In Wisconsin, you have three years from the date of your accident (or discovery of your injury) to file a personal injury claim. Let the deadline pass without filing a claim and you will be barred from doing so. Even if you think you’re on track to get a fair settlement from the insurance company you’re dealing with, you should consult an attorney—sooner rather than later.
Insurance companies are notorious for dragging their feet on settling claims, often with the goal of delaying your claim past the statute of limitations. Having the option to file suit against them gives you leverage in settlement negotiations. Once they know there’s no risk of being taken to court and exposed to even greater losses, you’ll be stuck with whatever lowball settlement they toss your way.
About the Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In cases where an accident caused the death of a loved one, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit (measured from the date of death). If your spouse, son or daughter has been killed in a motorcycle accident involving a careless motorist, contact Warshafsky Law to learn how we can help.