What Damages Could I Be Entitled to in a Personal Injury Case?
In the context of a personal injury case, the term “damages” refers to the money you could be entitled to for your injury-related losses. Damages are meant to compensate you for these losses and restore you to the state you were in before the injury accident (or as near as possible).
Here is a list of common types of losses for which you could recover money in a personal injury case:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Property damage costs
Can I Still Get Compensation If I Was Partly to Blame for My Injuries?
Yes, you can still recover personal injury compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. Your right to do so is governed by Wisconsin’s comparative negligence law.
This law imposes a modified comparative fault rule, which reduces the compensation you can receive by a percentage equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were held to be 20 percent responsible for an accident that cost you $100,000 in losses, the most you could recover would be $80,000 (your total losses minus 20 percent).
But there is a limit to this rule. If you were held to be 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, the law would bar you from recovering any money for your losses. In other words, the rule only applies if you are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident.
If the other side accuses you of contributing to an accident, working with an experienced Green Bay personal injury attorney is the best way to maximize your compensation. They can identify evidence that shows your degree of fault was lower than the other party’s and negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to ensure they don’t undervalue your personal injury claim.
How Long Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Last?
It depends. Factors such as the severity of your injuries, the distribution of fault, and the number of parties involved can influence the timeline of a personal injury case. Cases involving severe injuries or complex liability issues often require extensive investigation and negotiation, which can prolong the case’s duration. If liability is clear and the incident was relatively minor, the case might resolve quicker.
Remember, while it might be tempting to settle a case quickly, ensuring that any settlement adequately covers your current and future injury-related losses is more important. The best way to do this is to work with a Green Bay personal injury lawyer who can maximize your settlement while handling your case efficiently.
How Long Do I Have in Wisconsin to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In most cases, you have three years from the date you got hurt to file a personal injury lawsuit against a liable party. However, certain exceptions that lengthen or shorten this timeline could apply.
For example, suppose you did not discover the injury immediately after the incident that caused it. In that case, your three-year filing period might begin on the “date of discovery” rather than the date of the incident. Similarly, if your case involves a government entity, you might have only months to act rather than years.
Missing a filing deadline could have significant consequences for your case, possibly eliminating your right to pursue a lawsuit and obtain money for your losses. Consulting an experienced Green Bay personal injury lawyer is essential after any injury accident, as they can identify key case deadlines and protect you from preventable errors that could jeopardize your compensation.
How Soon Should I Start a Personal Injury Claim?
While Wisconsin law provides a three-year window for most personal injury lawsuits, starting your personal injury claim immediately after an injury is advisable.
When you initiate your claim promptly, your lawyer can begin collecting crucial evidence while it is still fresh and available. Over time, evidence can degrade or become lost, and witnesses’ memories can fade, making it more challenging to prove your case.
Additionally, getting legal advice early in the process allows your attorney to guide your actions, protect your rights, and establish a solid foundation for your claim. The sooner you act, the better it is for the potential success of your injury claim.
What Will a Green Bay Personal Injury Lawyer Do for My Case?
When you team up with a personal injury lawyer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, they can support you and your case by:
- Evaluating the merits of your case, explaining your rights, and advising you on your next steps
- Gathering and preserving evidence to support your claim and demonstrate liability
- Estimating a reasonable value for your claim so you never settle for less than you deserve
- Handling all communication with the other side to protect your interests
- Negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company to seek a fair settlement
- Representing you in court, if a settlement cannot be reached and your case goes to trial
- Preparing and filing all necessary documents for a lawsuit within the appropriate timelines
- Advocating for your interests and protecting your rights throughout the entire process
- Working on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay legal fees if you get money for your claim
Contact a Green Bay Personal Injury Attorney Today
Ready to reclaim control of your life after an injury accident? Schwaba Law Firm is here to help. Get in touch with Andrew Schwaba today to begin your free initial case evaluation.