Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on May 26, 2017 in Car Accidents
Updated on February 24, 2022

car accident victim holding her neckThe statute of limitations is a time limit used by state and federal courts that dictates the amount of time you have to file a civil claim to recover damages.

Each state imposes its own statute of limitations for civil action that you must follow for a court to consider your claim.

If you were injured during a car accident in Wisconsin and intend to file a claim to recover damages for your injuries and property damage, you must follow the state’s statute of limitations.

Deadlines for Filing a Car Accident Claim

In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accident injuries, is three years, according to Wis. Stat. 893.54.

This means that you have three years starting from the date of your accident to file a claim and pursue damages against the at-fault party.

There are certain exceptions in which the statute of limitations might fluctuate to allow you more or less time to file a civil claim.

Claims Against the Government

If your car accident was caused by a state government employee, Wis. Stat. § 893.80 dictates that you must bring your claim within 120 days of the accident.

You are required to submit a written notice of injury and claim form to Wisconsin’s attorney general that states:

  • The time, date and location of the traffic collision
  • A description of the injuries or property damage you suffered
  • The names of the people involved, including the responsible state employee, agent or official

Once you file your claim with the state’s attorney general, the government will decide whether to accept and pay your claim or deny it.

If your claim is denied, you have three years to bring a claim against the government in a civil court. If you fail to meet this deadline, the court will not hear your claim.

Wrongful Death

Wisconsin allows certain family members or a representative of the decedent to file a wrongful death claim if the victim died from the injuries sustained in a car accident.

If you are legally allowed to file a wrongful death claim, you must do so within two years from the date of the decedent’s death.

Not every family member or loved one of the decedent is able to file a wrongful death claim. If you have any questions about filing a wrongful death claim, contact our attorneys to learn more.

Property Damage

The statute of limitations to recover compensation for any property damage you endured during the accident is also three years, according to Wis. Stat. § 893.52.

This can include any damage inflicted upon:

  • Vehicles
  • Personal items or property
  • Real property, such as land, structure or dwelling

Although you have three years to bring a claim to recover compensation for property damage, you should wait until you have an accurate assessment of the cost of repairs and loss you suffered.

During a free consultation, our attorneys can discuss the damages you sustained to your personal property and estimate the approximate compensation you may be able to recover.

Claims Involving Minors and Disabled Individuals

If your car accident involved a minor under the age of 18 or a person who suffers from a disability, you might have to follow a different statute of limitations listed under Wis. Stat. § 893.16.

When a person under the age of 18 is injured in a car accident, the victim has two years from his or her 18th birthday to file a claim.

If the victim is disabled or ruled by the court to be an incompetent, he or she has two years to bring a claim once the disability ceases.

If the disability is a mental illness, the statute of limitations may be extended for no more than five years after the traffic collision.

Experienced Legal Help for Car Accident Victims

Car accident victims often face many difficulties after a car accident, which can include recovering from serious injuries or losing the ability to work.

At PKSD, we understand the burdens you might be experiencing and will help to ensure that your claim is properly handled and meets all of Wisconsin’s statutes of limitations.

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. We will review the circumstances of your car accident to determine if you are entitled to pursue damages and legal action against the at-fault party.

All of our Milwaukee car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and will never charge you upfront for legal services. We only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.

o schedule a consultation, complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.

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