Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd.
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How Wisconsin’s Direct Action Statute Affects Personal Injury Cases

Appleton, WI injury lawsuit attorneyA serious injury can have a huge impact on your life and your finances. In addition to paying for medical treatment, you may lose income if you are unable to work while you are recovering, and you may require ongoing rehabilitation or accommodations for disabilities. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit will allow you to recover compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. However, if your injury was caused by a friend or family member, you will probably be hesitant to take legal action against them, since you do not want to jeopardize an important personal relationship. Fortunately, Wisconsin’s direct action statute may allow you to recover compensation from the person’s insurance company rather than bringing a lawsuit against them.

What Is Direct Action?

Wisconsin statute 632.24 states that an insurer is liable for damages caused by a person covered by an insurance policy, up to the policy limits. This is a law that is unique to the state of Wisconsin, and it allows an injured person to pursue a lawsuit against an insurance company rather than (or in addition to) the person who caused the injury.

Under this law, you can avoid taking legal action against a family member or friend who acted negligently and caused injuries or other damages. This can be beneficial in a wide variety of situations, including:

  • Car accidents - If you were a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend or family member, you may have suffered serious injuries if they were at fault for a collision. In these cases, you can pursue direct action against their automobile insurance company.
  • Premises liability - You may have experienced injuries while at someone else’s home, such as a slip and fall near a swimming pool, burn injuries suffered at a family barbecue, or a dog bite from a family pet that acted unexpectedly. In these situations, you can pursue a lawsuit against the person’s homeowner’s insurance company. 
  • Workplace accidents - If you work at a family-owned business, you may be concerned that a case involving on-the-job injuries will affect the company’s ability to remain in operation. Fortunately, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and you may have other options for pursuing direct action against an insurer that provides coverage for the business.

Contact Our Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers

When you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation. However, if you do not want to sue a family member or friend, our Green Bay personal injury attorneys can help you understand your options for taking direct action against an insurance company. We will work with you to ensure that you are able to recover the financial compensation that addresses your damages. To schedule a free consultation, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. at 920-739-7366.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/632/III/24

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Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. is located in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves clients in Fox Valley, Outagamie County, Brown County, Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, including Appleton, New London, Clintonville, Neenah, Oshkosh, DePere, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, Neenah, Chilton, Menasha, Shawano, Waupaca, Wausau, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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