Much like every other state in the United States, if you have a slip and fall accident while on someone else’s property, you should be able to get compensation—especially if the property owner is clearly negligent, and that negligence played a part in your fall.
Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or going to court for a personal injury suit, there are two Wisconsin laws that are the most important to keep in mind—these laws are the statute of limitations for filing a slip and fall lawsuit, and the “shared fault” rules that may affect how much compensation you receive.
Statute of Limitations
First up for discussion is the statute of limitations—this is a law that gives you a time limit on your civil right to have a lawsuit heard in the state’s civil court. This is a very specific time limitation, and often changes dependent upon what type of suit you are attempting to file.
Wisconsin has a statute of limitations for most slip and fall cases that is the same as personal injury lawsuits filed in the states: according to Wisconsin Statutes section 893.54, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within three years of the incident or accident that caused the injury.
So now, you know, if you are in Wisconsin and you want to file a lawsuit against someone because you were injured on their property, you need to do that within three years of the date of the accident or you won’t be able to have it heard in court. Now, if you’re filing a lawsuit over property damage that resulted from the slip and fall accident, such as breaking an expensive watch or ruining a nice purse, you have six years to file according to Wisconsin Statutes section 893.53. You can seek repair or replacement for the damaged piece of property up to six years after the accident.
Not only do you have to worry about the slip and fall laws themselves, but you need to worry about the comparative negligence in Wisconsin. These laws stem from the concept of shared fault—which is governed by Wisconsin Statutes section 895.045, which says that the property owner you’re trying to sue can raise the “contributory negligence” defense which forces the jury to look at whether you could have been at blame too.
If they agree that you were at fault as well, you may receive a percentage—such as 25% of the injury was your fault, the rest was the property owners. That 25% is removed from whatever amount the property owner is deemed to owe you, because you owe yourself that amount. If you are found to be more at fault than the property owner, though, you won’t recover any damages at all.
Contact an Attorney
Reach out to a personal injury lawyer, such as the ones available at Hickey & Turmin SC. These lawyers are skilled in injuries and can help you navigate whether you’re at fault or not, and prepare you for going before the court.