What Are the Most Common Personal Injury Claims in Wisconsin?

May 25 , 2022 | Personal Injuruy Lawyer

Vehicle collisions, slip and falls, and poisonings account for almost 90 percent of the injury-related deaths in the United States. No other single cause, including natural disasters, is higher than 5 percent.

Many people refer to falls, poisonings, vehicle collisions, and other incidents as “accidental” deaths. But there is nothing accidental about these things. People accidentally leave the water running. They do not accidentally drive drunk and cause collisions. Additionally, the A-word implies that the incident was unavoidable and inevitable. That’s usually not true. For example, preventable hazards like wet spots on floors cause most fall injuries.

These incidents are usually quite complex. For example, in many cases, the legally-responsible party is an out-of-state holding company or another conglomerate. So, only the most experienced Franklin personal injury lawyer should handle your claim. An inexperienced lawyer probably won’t be able to obtain all the compensation you need and deserve.

Car Crashes

Driver error causes over 90 percent of vehicle collisions in Wisconsin and across the nation. It is the most common reason for crashes to take place. Frequently, this driver error involves one of the five kinds of driving impairment, which are:

  • Medical Condition: Many people struggle with chronic medical conditions like epilepsy and diabetes which could cause a sudden and unexpected unconsciousness. If that happens while the motorist is behind the wheel, the result is usually a dangerous loss-of-control collision. Everyone is at risk in these situations.
  • Distraction: Hand-held cell phones, which are generally legal for drivers to use in Wisconsin, get most of the attention in this area. These gadgets combine all three forms of distraction. Users take their eyes off the road, their minds off driving, and their hands off the wheel. Other causes, and more common causes, of distracted driving collisions, include using a hands-free device while driving and eating while driving.
  • Alcohol: In the early 1990s, authorities began campaigning to end drunk driving in the United States. This campaign has largely failed. All these years later, alcohol still causes about a third of the fatal vehicle collisions in Wisconsin. This substance affects judgment ability and motor skill use.
  • Fatigue: Many people don’t realize that driving while intoxicated is roughly the same, from a biological standpoint, as driving while fatigued. Driving after twenty consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .08 BAC level, which is above the legal limit in Wisconsin. Circadian rhythm fatigue is common as well. Most people are naturally drowsy during certain times, like early mornings and late nights.
  • Drugs: Usually, the offending substance is legal, or at least semi-legal, to consume. Marijuana is the leading culprit, followed by prescription pain pills, like Oxycontin, and certain over-the-counter drugs, like Ambien. The impairing effects of these drugs usually begin with the first puff or pill.

Impairment-related wrecks could involve the ordinary negligence doctrine, which is basically a lack of care, or the negligence per se rule, which is a violation of a safety law that causes injury.

We mentioned multiple responsible parties above. Respondeat superior employer liability is a good illustration. This doctrine holds employers responsible when their employees are negligent. Respondeat superior often applies in Uber driver, bus driver, taxi driver, and other commercial driver wrecks.


Driver error causes most car crashes, and landowner neglect causes most falls. Under Wisconsin law, owners normally have a duty of care to address property hazards that they know about. Let’s look at these two elements in greater detail.

Usually, the extent of duty depends on the relationship between the victim and owner. Typically, the victim is an invitee under Wisconsin law. These individuals have direct or indirect permission to be on the property. Furthermore, just by being there, they benefit the owner, either economically or non-economically. In these situations, the owner has a duty of reasonable care. That’s one of the highest levels of legal responsibility in Wisconsin law.

Much like permission can be direct (come over for dinner) or indirect (an “Open” sign), knowledge may be direct or indirect. Restroom cleaning reports and other smoking guns that establish direct knowledge often surface during the discovery process of a personal injury lawsuit. Circumstantial evidence of indirect knowledge (should have known) usually involves the time-notice rule. The amount of time increases the amount of notice.

Basically, these same principles apply to other premises liability claims, such as swimming pool drownings, dog bites, and injuries related to negligent security.

Many falls happen at grocery stores and nursing homes. Grocery stores have significant foot traffic. Most nursing home residents have pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of a fall and/or the severity of fall injuries.

These claims are usually quite complex. Normally, the grocery store or nursing homeowner is an out-of-state company.

These claims are also complex because several insurance company defenses are often available. Comparative fault and assumption of the risk are two good examples.

Essentially, comparative fault shifts blame for a fall from the tortfeasor (negligent party) to the victim (innocent party). Frequently, insurance company lawyers argue that the victim should have seen the hazard and should have stepped around it. Assumption of the risk usually involves a “Caution Wet Floor” or other warning sign. Contrary to popular myth, even if the victim was partially at fault or the owner displayed a warning sign, a Franklin personal injury lawyer can still obtain fair compensation in the case.


Vehicle collisions and falls often have multiple responsible parties. This concept is also true regarding poisonings. Most of these injuries are unintentional drug overdoses.

Obviously, the person who took the drugs is partially responsible, at least in many cases. Other responsible parties could include a doctor who wrote a prescription without thoroughly examining the patient, the manufacturer that made the drug, and the shipping company that transported the drug to the store.

Frequently, our Franklin personal injury attorneys used advanced legal theories, like a public nuisance, to obtain compensation in this area. These cases have a lot of moving parts. Furthermore, they usually involve billions of dollars in possible damages.

Count on an Experienced Milwaukee County Personal Injury Attorney

Accident victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Franklin personal injury attorney, contact the Martin Law Office, S.C. by calling 414-856-4010. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.