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Are There Exceptions to Wisconsin’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims?

A statute of limitations is a legal time limit within which an accident victim can take legal action against the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Wisconsin’s statute of limitations for car accidents is three years from the accident date, but there are exceptions to this rule.

A Wisconsin car accident lawyer at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you determine the statute of limitations that apply to your claim based on your injuries, age, or liable party. We can also help you file a claim within the applicable timeline to ensure you receive the maximum financial compensation you are owed. 

Standard Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

In Wisconsin, the standard statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means you have three years from the collision date to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company for compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

While you will have to file your claim within a three-year window, you do not need to settle your claim within this timeframe. Consulting with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your car crash can ensure you file within the requisite timeframe and start your claim.

You and your attorney must gather evidence such as hospital records, video footage, and witness statements to prove that the other driver is at fault for your injuries. This is called discovery and can take several months to complete but may take longer if there are disputes over access to information.

If you wait too long to file, you may lose your right to compensation for financial, physical, and emotional damages.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

If you are in an automotive accident in Wisconsin, there may be several exceptions to the general statute of limitations of three years. Wisconsin’s statute of limitations exceptions include:

Claims Against Government Employees

Claims against government employees have a limited timeframe for filing. You only have 120 days to file a claim against a city, county, or state employee who caused the crash. You and your attorney must also file a notice of claim within the same timeframe, or your case may be denied.

This statute of limitations also applies to volunteers or employees, such as clerks, mayors, or chairpersons of the following:

  • Fire companies
  • Political corporations
  • Governmental subdivisions or agencies

Wrongful Death Claims for Car Accidents

If you lose a loved one in a car accident, you have two years to seek compensation for a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims resulting from auto accidents must be filed based on the date of the accident.

Claims for Minors Injured in a Crash

If minors are injured in a car wreck, they have two years after their 18th birthday to file claims. For example, if you suffer an injury at 16, you can still file a lawsuit until your 20th birthday.

Claims Involving Temporary Disability or Injury

If a car crash causes a disability or injury resulting in incompetence, you have two years to file your claim from the date the injury resolves or ceases. This typically applies to conditions such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI)—i.e., a mild to moderate TBI that leaves you incapacitated for six months.

Claims Involving Mental Incompetence

If a car crash victim was deemed mentally incompetent at the time of a car accident, they have five years from the crash date to file a claim. Incompetence can refer to a person who is developmentally disabled or has a serious and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder. Incompetence may also include people with degenerative brain disorders.

File a Timely Claim with Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Wisconsin, start your claim immediately after your accident to protect your rights to a fair settlement. Waiting months or years after a collision can cost you your right to seek compensation for your injuries, making it more challenging to rebuild your life following a crash.

Our car accident lawyers at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the state’s statute of limitations for car accident cases. We will review the details of your accident to determine whether your case falls under the standard three-year timeframe or if you have more or less time to file your claim.

We have years of experience representing car accident victims and can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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