Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pursuing Bodily Injury Claims against Government Workers

One of the most elementary and fundamental principles of our legal system is that citizens have the right to recover for their injuries from the person who injured them.  However, when that person is a government agent or employee, the injured person’s right to sue becomes constricted by the doctrine of governmental immunity.  Governmental immunity essentially protects the government from certain types of lawsuits.   It stems from the old English notion that the “King can do no wrong.” The state has since moved away from the idea of complete immunity. Following the 1962 case of Holytz v. City of Milwaukee, now “the rule is liability – the exception is immunity.” In other words, this case set the precedent for limited immunity for government and city workers.     This issue often comes up in car accident cases when drivers are injured by police officers or emergency vehicles during “hot pursuits,” high speed chases, or some other traffic accident.

In Wisconsin, the rule on governmental immunity can be found in Wis. Stat. § 893.80, which provides limited immunity for government officers, agencies or …
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Understanding Contributory Negligence in Wisconsin

It is a common misconception that because an injured person is partially at fault for an accident, they cannot bring a claim for compensation. Under Wisconsin law (Stat. 895.045), “contributory negligence”, or shared fault, is taken into account. Understanding the basics of liability in a personal injury case can be confusing, and further complicated by the number of different scenarios that come into play. In order to better understand shared fault, let’s consider the following scenarios.

Contributory Negligence is exactly as it implies. It is an act or conduct that contributes to an accident. It can be used as a defense by the defendant to assign a percentage of the fault on the plaintiff, thereby reducing the liability of the defendant and the amount of allowable recovery they would be compelled to pay. For example, if a pedestrian crossing the street fails to check for traffic or obey the walk signals and is struck by a car, the driver of the car could assert that the pedestrian’s own actions contributed to them being struck by the car. This possible defense …
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