May 31 , 2023 | Personal Injury Attorney
If someone injured you in an accident, you might wonder if you can file a Wisconsin personal injury lawsuit to compensate for your losses. You may be able to make a claim, but to win your case, your attorney must prove several things, which we outline in this article. If you think you have a case, our Wisconsin personal injury attorney at Martin Law Office, S.C., may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.
What Is Personal Injury In Wisconsin?
Residents of Wisconsin who were hurt because of someone’s negligence or fault may file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You can attempt to collect compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and property damages. A personal injury lawsuit in Wisconsin may be filed after many types of injuries, including:
- Auto accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Nursing home injuries
- Wrongful death
You have only a limited time to file a personal injury claim in Wisconsin, usually three years from the date of the injury. So, promptly contacting an attorney for a case review is vital. If you wait too long to file your case, you may not be eligible to receive compensation.
The Burden Of Proof In A Personal Injury Claim
It is not enough to simply say that another driver caused your car accident injuries in Milwaukee; this must be proven to the insurance company or jury. The burden of proof in a personal injury case is by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that you must prove that it was ‘more likely than not’ that the defendant caused or contributed to your injuries.
Attorneys sometimes explain this legal standard as illustrating that someone is more than 50% likely to be telling the truth. Note that more than 50% is required; a preponderance of the evidence means more than 50%. Therefore, your attorney must prove the following points to win your case:
- The defendant owed a duty to you, meaning that a ‘reasonable person’ would have done or not done something in the same situation to avoid injuries to you. For instance, a reasonable person would drive within the speed limit and not run a red light so no one is injured.
- The defendant breached their duty by failing to stop at a red light in Milwaukee.
- You suffered injuries because of the accident and have damages the defendant can compensate you for. For instance, if the defendant ran the red light, hit your car from the side, and broke your arm, you have injuries and damages. In addition, you may have medical bills, time lost from work, and some amount of pain and suffering that could result in financial compensation.
What About The Defendant’s Burden Of Proof?
The defendant does not usually have to prove their side of things is true; the burden of proof is on you, the plaintiff. However, that does not mean the defendant will not present evidence. A skilled defense attorney will offer contradictory evidence to put doubt in the jury’s mind.
Why Hire A Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer?
Now that you understand what must be proven in a personal injury case, why do you need an attorney? You should be able to demonstrate the case on your own, right? While it is possible to represent yourself, most non-attorneys benefit from being represented by an attorney after an accident for these reasons:
Protects You From Insurance Companies
After an accident, you may be bombarded with phone calls and other communications from insurance companies. Their primary purpose in contacting you is to get you to agree to a quick settlement. Unfortunately, this is rarely a good idea because you need to know what your case is worth and understand the extent of your injuries.
Also, insurance adjusters may ask you to sign medical releases and statements, which could go against your interests. Your personal injury attorney can shield you from insurance company questions and demands so you can focus on healing. You are probably unaccustomed to dealing with insurance adjusters and being injuredand you might not be in the best frame of mind. Let your attorney handle it.
Understands The Burden Of Proof
Your lawyer knows what is needed to prove liability and fault in Wisconsin. Your attorney will handle the investigation and determine who was at fault and the necessary evidence to prove it.
Values Your Claim Correctly
Many injured clients undervalue their claim; you may not know, for example, that you may be entitled to considerable pain and suffering if you require surgery on a car accident back injury. Injured parties also may not know they could receive compensation for future lost income and the inability to earn a living. Your attorney has the knowledge and experience with personal injury cases to value the claim accurately. Some of the compensation you may be due in an accident claim are:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earnings, including benefits, commissions, and bonuses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Medical bills and rehabilitation
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of quality of life
Handles Settlement Negotiations And Litigation
Your attorney will also prepare a detailed settlement demand letter for the insurance provider and show proof of liability. The lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to get you the most compensation. If necessary, your lawyer can back negotiations with the threat of a lawsuit to encourage a fair settlement. The personal injury attorney can also take the case to court if required. While most injury cases result in a settlement, the best attorneys are also skilled litigators before a jury.
Contact Our Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were hurt in an accident because of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover for medical expenses and other losses. A personal injury attorney can help you get compensation in a civil lawsuit. Contact our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys at Martin Law Office, S.C., at (414) 856-4010.