December 10, 2019

How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Wisconsin?

A big part of filing a successful claim for compensation after an injury or accident is determining the liability and fault of the other party. Certain Wisconsin laws dictate how compensation is awarded and the amount victims can claim.

In Wisconsin, comparative negligence plays a large part in personal injury claims. However, understanding how this concept affects a case may be confusing for accident victims who have never heard of this term. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg are here to explain.

Determining Fault Percentages

When a victim is filing suit against another party in court, the court is responsible for determining the allotted percentages of fault for how and why the accident occurred in the first place. Although it may seem clear that the negligent party was the one who broke the law, determining liability is not always so cut and dried.

If the victim could have done something to avoid the accident, even if he or she wasn’t the primary cause, the victim still holds a portion of the responsibility. That’s the basic idea behind comparative negligence.

For example, say you were involved in a car accident in which another driver ran a stop sign and crashed into your vehicle. The other driver broke the law, but if you could reasonably have seen the other driver coming and still did not stop, you could be held partially responsible for the accident.

How Comparative Negligence Affects Settlement Values

So how does comparative negligence affect your settlement value? Put simply, the percentage of responsibility you hold is deducted from the value of your claim.

For instance, if the total value of your damages after the accident is $200,000, but the Wisconsin court determines that you hold 10 percent of the responsibility, you would only receive $180,000—10 percent less than the total value of your damages.

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Legal issues like comparative negligence can be difficult for accident victims to navigate when they’re trying to recover from their injuries. That’s why enlisting the help of a qualified attorney from the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg is a smart step toward the compensation you need.

Our attorneys will work with you to prove the full liability of the other party so you can claim the largest settlement possible. Give us a call today at 414-271-7007 or fill out our online contact form at the bottom of the page to take the first step.