Understanding Wisconsin’s Comparative Negligence Law
Every state has its own laws for determining the compensation owed to victims in an automobile accident. In Wisconsin, this is known as comparative negligence. What exactly is comparative negligence, and how might it affect your claim? The following information explains, and provides some key details on how you can effectively pursue the most compensation possible.
What is Negligence?
Before one can understand comparative negligence, one must first understand negligence itself - namely what it is, and what it is not. Negligence is when someone fails to exercise the same amount or level of care that another, reasonable person would use in the same situation. This person does not have to intentionally cause harm. However, there is an element of harm. So, if someone speeding, driving while intoxicated, texting while driving, or has run a stoplight and caused an accident that resulted in injury or death, they may be considered negligent.
The laws in Wisconsin require that each party be examined for fault in an accident. So, while one driver may have ran a red light, if the other could have reasonably seen the red light runner but did not stop, they could be considered partially at fault for the accident. The amount of their fault then determines their settlement. As an example, if a victim has $100,000 in damages and expenses but is considered to be 20 percent at fault in an accident, they would receive $80,000 in their settlement, rather than the full $100,000.
How Comparative Fault Can Impact Your Settlement
While victims would like to believe that they will be treated justly after an accident, they often experience something entirely different. Insurance adjusters and attorneys work hard to reduce their settlement, searching for even the smallest shred of possible negligence on the part of the victim. After all, the more blame they can shift over to the victim, the less the insurance company has to pay out. Unfortunately, it is the victim who suffers when they are successful.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we fight for the rights of victims. We protect their interests and pursue the fair and just compensation for their losses. Seasoned and experienced, we can conduct a separate investigation to validate any facts found and we will inform you of your options. Learn how we can assist with your case. Schedule a consultation with our Appleton personal injury attorneys to learn more. Call us at 920-739-7366 today.