Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Wisconsin
When you're injured in an accident, your life is turned upside down in an instant. All of a sudden, through no fault of your own, everything that was going on in your life is disrupted by pain, medical visits, loss of earnings, and your efforts to recover. Your family has been affected. Your relationships with your friends are impacted. You cannot do your normal activities. You need help from people when you didn't need it before. You have medical bills, you need to make sure your lost wages are covered. Your worried if you'll ever get better or if your injuries are permanent -- and if they are permanent, what then?
We can help. We know your case is not just a case. It's your life.
If you are injured by someone else's negligent conduct, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, including your past and future medical bills, lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, loss of consortium, society and companionship, disfigurement and other damages. The attorneys at Lawton & Cates have been representing people injured in accidents throughout Wisconsin for over 60 years. We focus on personal injury cases and have the results to prove it.
If you or someone you love was harmed due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another, contact us now. You will talk to one of our personal injury attorneys who will consult with you and provide a free evaluation of your case
When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim in Wisconsin?
In general, you have three years from the date of your injury to file most personal injury lawsuits. However, in some cases, deadlines can be shorter. It is vitally important that if your are injured in an accident and believe you may have a claim that you consult with a qualified lawyer, specializing in personal injury cases, as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the better.
Additionally, to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Wisconsin, you must establish that you have grounds for a case. Because most cases are brought on the grounds of negligence, this typically involves proving the following elements:
- Injury: First, to have a personal injury case, you must prove that you were, in fact, injured. Proving your injuries typically also involves proving your damages, which are economic and non-economic losses you endured as a result of your injuries.
- Duty of Care: You will also typically need to establish that the person or party against whom you are bringing the claim (known as the “defendant”) owed you a duty of care. This means they had a responsibility to act reasonable and refrain from conduct that could cause foreseeable harm.
- Breach of the Duty of Care: Next, you must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care or failed to uphold their responsibility to act reasonably or within the confines of the law. Typically, this involves proving the defendant acted negligently or wrongfully.
- Causation: Lastly, you must establish causation. This simply means that you must prove that the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct was the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and resulting damages.
As the plaintiff, or the person seeking damages, you have the burden of proof. This means that the responsibility for proving your claim falls on your shoulders. However, when you turn to Lawton & Cates, our attorneys will handle legal aspects of your claim. We work with a team of experts to investigate claims, evaluate damages, and develop innovative and individualized legal strategies for our clients.
Damages in Personal Injury Claims
The purpose of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit is to recover monetary compensation for “damages” suffered by the plaintiff. Damages are losses, both economic and non-economic, that the plaintiff has sustained due to their injuries resulting from the negligent or wrongful conduct of the defendant.
Examples of damages commonly recovered in personal injury litigation include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care costs
- Lost income/wages
- Lost future earnings
- Emotional distress and trauma
- In-home assistance and care
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
- Compensation for past and future pain, suffering, worry, distress, fear, and disfigurement
- Nursing services, past and future
- Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, ramps, lifts, specialized showers, and other modifications to the home
- Loss of consortium, society, and companionship
- Wrongful death damages
In addition to these compensatory damages, plaintiffs may be entitled to punitive damages. Also known as “exemplary damages,” punitive damages are awarded in cases in which the defendant engaged in egregious conduct or intentional wrongdoing, leading to the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for such behavior and send a message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.
How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Getting back on your feet after a serious accident or injury can be extremely difficult. At Lawton & Cates, we know the challenges you are facing, because we've been helping people like you get better for over 60 years. Our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers are here to guide you through the recovery process. We will aggressively fight for you every step of the way.
We represent clients in all types of personal injury litigation, including but not limited to cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Wrongful death
- Dog bites
- Farm injury accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workers’ compensation
Regardless of the severity of your injuries or the complexity of your case, our team is here to help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum compensation you are owed. We offer free consultations and contingency fees for personal injury services, meaning you do not owe any legal fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
Q:How do you protect your rights if you have been injured in an accident?
A:There are several things you can do to protect your rights after an injury or accident. First, seek medical attention right away, even if you believe your injuries will heal on their own. Not only does this protect your health and safety, but it also establishes documentation of your injuries. You should also avoid saying anything that could be construed as admitting fault, such as apologizing to the other party. Get the other person or party’s contact and insurance information but refrain from discussing the incident any more than necessary. Gather and save all evidence, such as pictures from the scene of the accident or damaged personal property, but do NOT make any statements or talk to the insurance company without first discussing your rights with an attorney. One of the best things you can do to protect your rights after an accident is contact a qualified, experienced lawyer, focusing on personal injury law who can answer your questions and help make sure your right to compensation is protected.
Q:Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?
A:While you are not required to have a personal injury attorney by law, there are many advantages to working with a lawyer. Studies have shown that people who hire personal injury lawyers often recover as much as three times more in compensation than those who try to resolve their claims on their own. Additionally, you are more likely to receive a settlement when you work with an attorney, and if your case goes to trial, your attorney will be able to handle the litigation process on your behalf. We are experienced lawyers focused on personal injury law, recognized by our peers as among the very best personal injury attorneys. We strive to make sure our clients get as much money as possible in compensation for their injuries.
Q:What is a fair settlement?
A:Their is no such thing as a "fair settlement." You didn't ask for someone to injure you and there really is no amount of money that can compensate you for your injuries. How much money would you accept in payment to have someone cause the injuries you have suffered? The answer is no one would agree to that. We can talk about how much money we can recover for your injuries. The fact is the value of your claim will depend on numerous unique factors, such as the severity of your injuries and the extent of your financial and intangible losses. Ultimately you have a right to have a jury decide what is reasonable compensation for your injuries. Before most cases get to a jury trial and often before suit is even filed, however, settlement discussions take place. Ideally and settlement or verdict should cover all current, past, and future damages you have sustained due to the accident , including all medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, pain and suffering, and other related damages. As experienced lawyers knowledgeable in personal injury law, we have the expertise to give you a good estimate of the value of your claim after evaluating your case. Having tried many cases to verdict and through our experience resolving personal injury claims, we will provide you with reliable, professional advice regarding the value of your claim.
Q:How long do you have to sue for personal injury in Wisconsin?
A:Wisconsin’s statute of limitations for most standard personal injury cases is three years from the date of injury. This means you have three years from the day on which you were injured (or discovered your injuries/reasonably could have discovered your injuries) to file a lawsuit. Note that additional deadlines may apply; contact Lawton & Cates to learn more during a free initial consultation.