Introduction to Wisconsin Car Accident Lawsuits and Lawyers
Famous for the Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre, and some of the best cheese in the nation, over 5 million individuals call Wisconsin home. This makes the state the 20th most populated state in America, according to the 2013 census. Wisconsin is also famous for its harsh winters that can bring frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall. When you combine 5 million people, many of whom drive, along with icy and snow-packed roadways, car accidents are bound to happen. A Wisconsin car accident can happen at any time, even if the roads are clear and dry. When an accident does occur, injured Wisconsin drivers must be prepared to take prompt action.
Statistics About Fatal Wisconsin Car Accidents
Statistics about fatal Wisconsin car accidents – some of the most serious and damaging car collisions that occur and that claim the life of at least one person – are maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When these statistics are analyzed, they paint a vivid picture of the dangers facing Wisconsin drivers and passengers:
- In 2015, there were 566 fatalities resulting from car accidents in the state.
- About 60 percent of those fatal traffic accidents happened in rural areas of the state, with the other 40 percent happening in urban areas.
- The 566 number represented an increase of 60 deaths over 2014, wherein 506 people were killed in traffic crashes.
- The 2015 number of traffic-related fatalities is considerably less than the 2006 number. In that year, 724 people lost their lives on Wisconsin roadways.
About half of these fatalities are attributable to either a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration in excess of the legal limit of 0.08 or to excessive speed. These statistics do not show the number of Wisconsin residents who are injured in a Wisconsin car accident – a number which is considerably higher than the number of fatalities. These statistics reinforce the point that Wisconsin residents must exercise caution when traveling in the state.
Wisconsin is a Fault-Based State
Wisconsin is in the majority of states who follow a “fault-based” approach when it comes to insurance claims following car accidents. Fault-based states allow injured motorists or passengers to file claims for compensation against the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company. The driver or other individual or entity responsible for causing the Wisconsin car crash will bear the obligation of compensating the injured party or parties for their loss.
Wisconsin also follows a doctrine known as the “51 percent bar.” This doctrine is applicable in cases where the injury victim and another person are both determined to be at fault in causing the car crash. Where the injury victim is 50 percent or less responsible for the crash, that victim can recover compensation from the other at-fault party. The amount of compensation he or she will recover, however, is reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the victim. So, for instance, a victim who is determined to be ten percent at fault for causing his or her own injuries and who incurs $50,000 in expenses and damages will be able to recover $45,000 from the other at-fault party. If the victim is 51 percent or more responsible for causing his or her own injuries, then the victim is not able to recover any compensation at all.
Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations Means Claims Must Be Filed Quickly
Wisconsin law contains a “statute of limitations” applicable to car accident and other personal injury cases. This statute of limitations sets a deadline by which all lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries and losses arising out of a car accident in the state must be filed. Wisconsin’s statute of limitations sets this deadline at three years. In other words, injury victims have three years from the date of their Wisconsin car accident within which to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the party they believe is responsible for their losses. (There are exceptions to this three-year deadline, but they are very fact-specific and do not apply in the vast majority of cases. Car crash injury victims should assume that they have three years from the date of the accident to file their case.) Failing to meet this deadline can result in their lawsuit being tossed from court without any adjudication of the merits of that case.
Contact a Compassionate Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer Today
Stern Law, PLLC is an experienced car accident injury law firm able to assist Wisconsin residents who have been injured in a car crash. We will advise you of your legal rights and help you prepare and present your claim for damages against those responsible for your injuries and losses. We pride ourselves on professional yet compassionate representation. Call Stern Law, PLLC today to discuss your car accident case. Stern Law, PLLC can be reached at (844) 808-7529.