Category Archives: Civil Litigation

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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Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Claims: 1 Year SOL – A Trap for the Unwary

Imagine that your home has just been damaged by a recent fire or hail storm. You take a deep breath, relieved that you have a homeowners’ insurance policy to cover the damage. You soon realize that it will take many months to fully document all of the items lost, assess the actual value of the damage and then begin the process of getting estimates and rebuilding.

What you may not realize is that you generally have only twelve months from the date of loss to either settle your claim for damages with your insurer or file suit. Failure to do so can result in a complete loss of your claim. While twelve months may sound like a long time, it can go by quickly.

Most homeowners and similar indemnity policies are loosely classified as “fire insurance” policies. They may not apply exclusively to fires, but they do include fire protection, along with protection against other forms of loss, including flooding, hail, ice, lightening, explosion, and wind. As such, they are subject to Wis. Stat. 631.83, requiring a claim to be …
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Understanding UM/UIM Coverage in Wisconsin – Making sure you are adequately protected.

In order to appreciate the benefits of UM/UIM coverage, it’s essential to understand the different types of coverage available to motorists.

Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Motorist Coverage: These policies are intended to cover the medical bills, pain and suffering and wage loss claims incurred by the victim and their passengers, from an accident in which the at-fault driver either didn’t carry any liability insurance or who’s policy limits were insufficient to cover all of your related losses. In addition, uninsured coverage also includes “phantom vehicles”, or those that cause injury or property damage without making physical contact. In short, this insurance protects you and your family against injury caused by other drivers. Wisconsin law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured (UM) coverage. Although underinsured (UIM) coverage is considered optional, it is recommended that drivers carry a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. It is recommended that drivers carry the same amount of UM coverage as well.

Liability (Bodily Injury) Insurance Coverage: This type of insurance coverage is required by …
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