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Do I have a viable claim?

The liability aspects of your potential claim will be investigated by the attorney and/or his investigator in order to determine whether any particular individual or entity was negligent and whether the rules of comparative negligence and joint and several liability would allow or prevent your claim to proceed.

What is fair and reasonable compensation for my injuries?

The attorney and his staff will gather your pre- and post-accident health care records, obtain yours bills for treatment related to your injuries, determine whether you have sustained a past loss of earnings or whether you have a future loss of earning capacity and how your injuries have affected your life in the past.
In addition, a determination will be made, based upon consultation with your health care providers, as to whether your injuries are long term or permanent, and if so, how those injuries will affect your ability to enjoy life in the future and/or your ability to earn income. After all of this information is gathered, the attorney will provide you with his or her opinion of the likely value of your claim and how the value of that claim would be affected by the rules of comparative negligence and/or joint and several liability.

Who is liable for the injuries and damages I have sustained?

After the investigation of your claim is completed, the attorney will determine and disclose to you who may be liable for the injuries and damages you have sustained.

What insurance coverage are available to help compensate me for the injuries and damages I have sustained

Each case is different and dependent upon the nature of the injury, where and how it was sustained and dependent upon what types of insurance coverage you may have or the person who injured you may have.
If you were injured in an automobile accident and the person who injured you and caused the accident is uninsured, you may have access to your own uninsured motorist coverage. If that same person was insured but did not have sufficient liability coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages, you may be able to access underinsured motorist coverage under your own policy if you have purchased such coverage.
You may also have access to medical payments coverage under your own automobile insurance policy or under someone else’s auto policy if you are a passenger in their vehicle. Bills related to your accident and injuries are typically first submitted to your own health insurer for payment and then to the extent they are not paid by your health insurance, can be submitted to your automobile carrier for payment under your own medical payments coverage or under the medical payments coverage of the vehicle you were a passenger in.

Do any of the insurance companies that have paid benefits to or on my behalf have rights of subrogation?

What are rights of subrogation? Is there any way to minimize or totally eliminate that insurance company’s right of subrogation? When an insurance company or the state or federal government pays medical expenses to or on your behalf that result from an accident, that insurance company or governmental body usually will have a right of subrogation.
That means they will have the right to recover from the person responsible for causing your injuries amounts they have paid to or on your behalf. If you include the amount of your medical bills in your settlement with the liability carrier, then the amount of that subrogation claim would have to be re-paid out of your settlement proceeds.
There are ways to minimize or totally eliminate these rights of subrogation in certain circumstances. Your attorney will discuss these with you during the handling of your claim.

Will you handle my case on a contingent fee basis and charge me no attorney’s fees unless there is a recovery on my claim?

Personal injury claims are typically handled on a contingent fee basis. You will not be charged any attorney’s fees unless there is a recovery on your behalf.

Will your office advance the costs and disbursements necessary to prosecute the claim on my behalf?


What is the applicable statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations on most personal injury claims is three years in Wisconsin. There are exceptions involving claims against health care providers and involving claims against various governmental entities and others.
A breach of contract claim typically has a 6-year statute of limitations. However, in certain circumstances, there are contractual or statutory limitation periods which are much shorter.

What happens if the statute of limitations expires and I have not settled my case or started a lawsuit?

If you do not either settle your case or properly commence a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose any rights you would otherwise have to make a claim.

In certain types of cases, for example involving state or local government units, are there statutory procedures and deadlines which must be complied with before I can present a claim?

Yes. See the answer to question 8. Claims against health care providers may have a different statute of limitations, depending upon the exact nature of the claim and the age of the person injured. Claims against city, county, state or federal government units typically have very strict, statutory procedures which must be followed before a lawsuit can be started against those entities.
The time limits within which to comply with those statutory requirements are quite short. If you have a potential claim against a governmental entity, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer of your choosing as soon as possible after the injury.

How do the concepts of comparative negligence and joint and several liabilities apply to my case?

Wisconsin is a comparative negligence state. The negligence of the injured party is compared with the negligence of the person alleged to be responsible for causing the accident and injuries. The negligence of the person injured must be less than or equal to the negligence of the person alleged to have caused the injury for the injured party to recover. If the injured party is more negligent, there can be no recovery.

If there is more than one person who was responsible for causing the injuries and damages, any individual whose negligence is found to be 51 percent or more of the total negligence, is jointly and severally liable for all of the injured person’s damages.

If I receive a settlement or jury award, do I have to pay taxes on the award?

Typically, no, but in unusual cases, it is wise to consult your tax consultant.

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Danielson Law Offices, LLC

3430 Oakwood Mall Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 834-7771
Email: E-mail Us