How to file a personal injury claim in Wisconsin Over $5000 in damages? Probably want a lawyer.

How do I sue for a personal injury?

A personal injury case officially begins when you file a complaint in state court. The 3 parts needed are the summons, complaint and filing fees. The case must be filed within 3 years of discovery of the injury per Wisconsin's Statute of Limitations. Contact a personal injury lawyer with real trial experience to discuss your case and options. To win a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove 3 items: 1) The at-fault party was negligent. 2) The party's negligence caused your injury. 3) Your injuries caused physical or mental harm.

Who can file a personal injury lawsuit?

Anyone can file a personal injury lawsuit against another person, business or government body. A personal injury claim is a demand for financial compensation after you’ve been wrongly injured in an accident. By definition, a person, business or government body must be at fault or partially at fault for your injuries. 

When does a personal injury claim become a lawsuit?

The personal injury claims process could involve a series of negotiations with an insurance company claims adjuster. The goal is to reach a settlement amount both parties are satisfied with. A personal injury claim becomes a personal injury lawsuit when the insurance company does not want to pay the desired amount and negotiation comes to a halt.

How to file a personal injury lawsuit in Wisconsin

Wisconsin small claims court can handle personal injury lawsuits seeking $5,000 or less. Claims over the limit must be filed in civil court. The Wisconsin court system and WI State Law Library provide resources including guides on how to file. Pursuing a lawsuit on your own will require investing time and money. Hire an experienced trial attorney to research and build your case for you. In cases involving fatalities caused by negligence, our wrongful death attorneys will compel those responsible to make restitution.

Personal injury lawsuit procedures include:

  • Summons & Complaint filed and served 
  • Pre-trial litigation (could take months or even years)
  • Settlement conferences
  • Jury selection
  • Trial and verdict
  • Appeals

Warshafsky personal injury attorneys find the real culprits

Often, finding the real culprit(s) who caused your injury requires a bit of diggingprecisely why Warshafsky Law has certified investigators on staff. We’ve been able to identify liable parties even when it seems as though no one can be held accountable. People, companies and governments have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of others. From the initial consultation to the final judgment award, no other Milwaukee personal injury firm and asbestos lawyers have a deep grasp of every aspect of how the law will affect your personal injury claim as Warshafsky. Our attorneys literally wrote the book on how to prosecute a personal injury case in Wisconsin, the Trial Handbook for Wisconsin Lawyers.

Requirements for a personal injury claim in Wisconsin

If you were injured in an accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and collect damages to cover your medical costs, loss of wages and pain & suffering. In most cases, the compensation will come from the at-fault person’s insurance company. An experienced personal injury attorney will help ensure your claim meets the requirements of Wisconsin tort law and increase your chances of collecting the compensation you deserve. In order to collect compensation for your injuries, your claim must:

  1. Prove the at-fault party was negligent. For example, if a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into your car, the other driver would be considered negligent under Wisconsin law. If the cause of the accident was a manufacturing defect in the brakes, the car manufacturer could be found liable.

  2. Prove the party's negligence caused your injury. For example, if you suffered a broken arm and whiplash in the car crash, the drunk driver’s negligence is the cause of your injuries. For the defective brakes example, the manufacturer should be held accountable for poor construction. 
  3. Prove your injuries caused physical or mental harm. You will need to show how exactly the broken arm and whiplash affected your quality of life and income. Medical expenses and lost wages are examples of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff. 

Wisconsin Tort Law

Tort means a wrongful act. A tort is something a person did that hurt someone else badly enough to justify compensation for the injury. Tort law defines torts as civil acts (not criminal) and gives the injured party the right to recover damages. Wisconsin Tort Law includes:

  • Statute of Limitations The time limit on your right to file a personal injury lawsuit
  • Shared-fault laws Each party involved in the case may share responsibility. Percentage of fault influence the dollar amount of damages
  • Separate rules for claims against a government body Small claims damages limited to $10,000

It’s important to understand how Wisconsin statutes can affect the outcome of your personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will protect your rights during the claims process and increase your chances of collecting the damages you need.

Time limits for making a personal injury claim

The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim after an accident. In Wisconsin, victims have three years from discovery of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. Experienced personal work injury lawyers can provide you with important guidance in deciding when is the right time to file a personal injury claim. Settling too quickly or waiting too long can both harm your outcome. Insurance companies like GEICO use the delay tactics to run out the clock past the Statute of Limitations. Your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit is your one bargaining chip during settlement negotiations. If the time limit runs out and you still haven’t agreed on a settlement for your claim, you now have to accept whatever amount the claim adjuster is willing to offer.

Wisconsin’s shared fault law can lower the value of your claim

Wisconsin operates under a Shared Fault Law, meaning each person involved can be held partially responsible for the crash. Damages compensation is reduced or increased based on the percentage of fault attributed to you. Fault is usually determined by the police officers who respond to the scene. Your chances of collecting the compensation you need are much higher with the help of an experienced attorney. Insurance companies have entire legal departments devoted to minimizing the amount they pay in claim settlements. You need a lawyer who understands how they operate in order to protect your rights and reach a fair settlement.

tips to win a personal injury case in Wisconsin

How much is your personal injury claim worth?

After a devastating accident, you deserve compensation for the total of all the harm you suffered, including the disruption of your daily life and the stress of dealing with the aftermath. There are varying types of damages available to accident victims, and each case is unique. The total compensation you can expect from your personal injury case depends on the details of your circumstances and whether you have an experienced car insurance lawyer on your side. If you suffered serious injuries in an accident, you may be entitled to claim damages for:

  • Medical expensesincluding bills, transportation, rehabilitation and out of pocket expenses
  • Lost earningsincluding time spent unable to work and lost future earning potential
  • Pain and sufferingincluding emotional turmoil, physical pain and loss

Don’t settle for settlement mill lawyers. Warshafsky's No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers Get Results.

A lawyer interested in turning your case into a quick payout may give you examples of average settlements and try to talk you into a quick agreement with the insurer. Sign and settle law firms rely on handling claims quickly and cannot be trusted to tell you the true value of your case. Warshafsky Law investigates every claim thoroughly to ensure you get what you deserve. Our lawyers are strictly no-win-no-fee. We do not collect payment until we've won the case at trial or a just settlement is reached.

8 tips for winning your personal injury case in Wisconsin

  1. Be honest with your attorney 

    Tell your lawyer everything - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The more transparent you are with your lawyer, the better able they are to represent and defend your case in court. Hiding facts from them only hurts you.

  2. Do not talk without legal advice. 

    If you are being questioned by lawyers or insurance companies, don’t say a word. One verbal slip can cost you your whole case. Wait until you have found an experienced attorney to communicate on your behalf.  

  3. Plan for every outcome

    Not every case can hit the jackpot. The outcome of your case depends on a multitude of unique factors. Before going to court, have a plan for what outcomes you are willing to accept.

  4. Have a strong medical testimony

    In personal injury lawsuits, the word of a trusted medical expert can make or break the case. Finding a reputable doctor to take your side in court is a major step towards winning your case.
  5. Document everything 

    Evidence is essential in court. Take pictures, get things in writing, and save any relevant documentation. You can never have too much evidence, but you can have too little. 

  6. Have a team mentality

    You and your lawyer are a team. Throughout your lawsuit, you will need to trust one another to do what is best for the greater good. With mutual trust and good communication, victory becomes much more attainable.

  7. Make sure you are ready to commit

    Before taking on the challenge that is a lawsuit, ask yourself if you can handle it. Lawsuits take time and can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. For some people, the time, stress, and effort required to win in court may not be worth the potential payout. Only you can know if a legal battle is worth it to you.

  8. Pick a good attorney

    Perhaps the most important part of your entire personal injury case is picking who will represent you. Do your research and find a firm that shares your values and is willing to do the hard work on your behalf. When people choose their Wisconsin personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has not seen a courtroom for years. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages. Insurance companies know Warshafsky's reputation. They HATE when you choose us. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.

Injured? it is about the money®


What is a personal injury?

In legal terms, a personal injury is any physical or mental harm that was inflicted on a person as a result of someone’s negligence.

Should I talk to an insurance company without a lawyer?

Don’t talk to an insurance company without the guidance of an attorney. What you say can possibly be used against you in your case. Talk to a lawyer first before talking to anyone else about your personal injury case.

Is getting a personal injury lawyer worth it?

Absolutely. Without proper legal representation, you will be left to fend for yourself against the insurance company and their lawyers. As confident as you may be in your case, you need experienced legal representation to make sure you don’t get swindled out of the maximum compensation you deserve.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Wisconsin?

Due to Wisconsin's Statute of Limitations, you have 3 years from discovery of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit will not be heard if it is not filed within three years of the date of your accident unless a rare exception applies to extend the filing period.

How do I win a personal injury claim?

While there is no clear cut path to winning a personal injury lawsuit, there are key decisions you should take to increase your chances. 1) Take pictures at the scene of the accident. 2) Hire a law firm with courtroom trial experience. 3) Do not settle for a low-ball insurance company settlement offer.