Car crashes occur on a daily basis in the state of Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Serious injuries and even fatalities can result from these crashes, often when families least expect it. When the negligent or reckless behavior of another person causes a crash that leads to injuries or death, Wisconsin law permits families to file lawsuits seeking compensation from the responsible person, or damages. These damages are one way that an injury victim and his or her family can recover from a debilitating or fatal accident.
The first step is to establish that the other person is liable, or legally responsible for, the crash that led to your injuries. Once you have proven liability, then you must determine the amount of damages to which the injury victim is entitled. Since Wisconsin law uses a modified comparative fault system, or the 51% rule, to calculate damages, then you must determine percentage of fault that is attributable to each party. As long as the victim is less than 51% responsible for the accident that led to his or her injuries, then the victim can recover damages from the responsible party. However, the ability of the victim to recover damages is limited by his or her degree of responsibility for the accident. In other words, the amount of the victim’s recoverable damages is reduced by his or percentage of fault for the accident. Therefore, if the victim is 10% responsible for the accident, then his or her damages award will be reduced by 10%.
There are different types of damages available through a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, damages are classified as economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that represent the actual financial losses that the victim has suffered as a result of the accident. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses related to the injuries from the accident, such as hospital expenses, emergency transport costs, surgical costs, and physical therapy expenses. Economic damages also may include lost wages or income due to your injuries from the accident.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more difficult to calculate, since they are not based on actual economic losses. The most common type of non-economic damages is pain and suffering, which is the physical and emotional consequences of the accident on the victim and his or her family. Pain and suffering might include the psychological trauma resulting from the accident and ongoing physical pain from the injuries sustained in the accident.
When a traffic accident occurs as a result of a driver’s negligence, and causes injury to a passenger, driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims in the state of Wisconsin, and you can lose your right to compensation if you do not consult an experienced lawyer in time. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan today, and set up your free consultation today.