Under Wisconsin law, a tort occurs when an individual suffers an injury directly due to the breach of a duty owed to that individual by another party, which can be an individual or a business. The ensuing lawsuit or personal injury action allows the injured individual to seek financial damages for his or her injuries. The three main types of torts are negligence, strict or absolute liability, and intentional torts.
Negligence refers to the careless disregard of a person or company for an individual’s safety. This standard of liability is typically used in medical malpractice actions and personal injury cases, such as car accidents or premises liability, or being injured on someone else’s property. Strict liability is a standard used in product liability cases that requires no element of intent. In these cases, a company or individual who makes or distributes a product with a manufacturing defect or fails to warn consumers about a potential defect. On the other hand, intentional torts are those torts that require some element of intent under Wisconsin law. Examples of these torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, libel, and slander.
All torts, no matter what type they may be, contain four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury. The party who is at fault for the accident must have owed some sort of duty of care to the injured party. For instance, all drivers owe a duty to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to exercise reasonable care in operating their vehicles. In order for a tort to exist, the responsible party must have breached that duty of care by acting in an unreasonable or negligent manner. The responsible party’s action – or inaction – must be the direct cause of the injuries suffered by the victim. Plus, the victim must have suffered actual injuries as a result of the responsible party’s actions.
When an accident occurs and causes injury or death to an individual, the injured individual or the family of the deceased may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, determining which parties are liable for your losses and quantifying those losses is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Since it may take some time to sort these matters out, and you only have a limited timeframe in which to a file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you should take immediate action to get legal help. Don’t delay in calling the Madison wrongful death attorneys of Boller & Vaughan in order to set up your free consultation today.