Comparative Negligence in Wisconsin
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on June 21, 2017 in Personal Injury
Like many states, Wisconsin uses comparative negligence as a standard to determine each party’s liability in an accident caused by negligence.
Unfortunately, comparative negligence is often used by insurance companies and their attorneys to place an unfair amount of blame on the victim.
At PKSD, our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys have represented numerous victims of negligence and will work to ensure your involvement in an accident is accurately depicted.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or harm to another person. This often occurs when people act carelessly or recklessly without regard for the safety of others.
It is an important part of a personal injury claim because it serves as the basis for proving liability for an injury.
A person is considered negligent when he or she fails to use the same level of care that a reasonable individual would under similar circumstances.
For example, a driver could be considered negligent if he or she struck your vehicle at an intersection after running a red light. A reasonable driver would have stopped at the red light and the traffic collision would not have occurred.
How is Comparative Negligence Decided?
It may not always be clear who is at fault in a personal injury case, as all parties may have played a role in causing the injury.
In these situations, a court will use the rule of comparative negligence to identify the level of fault each party had in causing the injury. It will assign a percentage of fault to each individual involved.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect My Claim?
The amount of damages you are able to recover from your claim will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For instance, a court may determine that the at-fault party in a car accident is 80 percent liable and that you were 20 percent at fault for the collision.
If your claim’s original value was $10,000, it would be reduced by 20 percent, which would mean you are only able to recover $8,000.
However, your level of negligence cannot be greater than the at-fault party’s. If a court finds that you are 51 percent at fault for the accident, you lose the right to seek compensation from the other party.
How Can Comparative Negligence be Used Against Me?
Although comparative negligence is meant to fairly measure liability in an accident, insurance companies and their attorneys may use it against you.
They will often try to place the majority of blame for the accident on you in an attempt to reduce or end your chance of recovering compensation.
They will likely use any evidence available to make it seem as if you caused your injury and have falsely represented the at-fault party’s liability in your claim.
Our personal injury attorneys are familiar with the unfair tactics used by insurance companies and have experience working to ensure our clients’ claims are secured from any effort to dismiss it.
Accomplished Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys
PKSD’s accomplished personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable in Wisconsin’s negligence laws and will accurately represent your claim under the state’s comparative negligence rule.
If you were injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact us. We always provide prospective clients with a free, no obligation consultation to review their claim and determine if they have a case that entitles compensation.
Our attorneys only work on a contingency fee basis, which means we provide all of our services for no upfront legal fees. We only require payment if we successfully represent your claim and recover damages.