How long do you have to sue for personal injury?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace mishap, or other accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is particularly true if your injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence. If you’ve been injured, you may be asking, “how long do you have to sue for personal injury?” In most cases, the answer is six years in Minnesota and three years in Wisconsin.
The 6-year statute of limitations for Minnesota personal injury lawsuits can be found at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. The 3-year Wisconsin personal injury statute of limitations is codified at Wisconsin Statutes section 893.54. There are some very limited exceptions to these time frames in each state, which will be discussed below.
Getting injured, especially through no fault of your own, can mean mounting medical bills, time off work, lost wages, stress on your family, and a great deal of uncertainty about your future. If this has happened to you, you don’t have to suffer alone. Our skilled and experienced personal injury attorney at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can help you get the justice you deserve. To find out more about how we can help, call us at 651-259-1113. The initial consultation is free.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
How much time to bring a personal injury lawsuit?
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. Damages can be both economic and non-economic. They include:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress (including trauma, humiliation, and disfigurement).
In some instances, there can also be punitive damages in addition to the damages listed above. Punitive damages are awarded by a court when there is evidence of gross negligence by a defendant who knowingly or recklessly placed persons in danger or if the defendant had a history of safety violations. Punitive damages, as the name implies, are designed to punish a defendant and prevent any other would-be wrongdoers from being similarly negligent.
Damages can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the unique circumstances of each case. There is no “average compensation” for personal injury claims, because every case is highly fact dependent.
Whatever your injury, you want to make sure you bring a personal injury lawsuit within the time frame allotted. If you live in Minnesota, you must file within six years of the date of the accident. If you live in Wisconsin, you have three years. If you miss your window of opportunity to file, then a defendant is likely to object, and your case will be thrown out of court. So, it’s imperative that you take action right away.
If you’re laid up in the hospital, how long do you have to sue for an injury?
There are some narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit, but being in the hospital isn’t one of them. Even if you’re injured and hospitalized, you must still abide by the statute of limitations. Following are a list of the rare instances in which a statute of limitations may be extended.
There are a few scenarios in which the “clock” on the 6-year statute of limitations might be delayed. These include:
- If the injured person under is the age of 18, then the statute does not run until the later of 6 years or the person turns 19-years old.
- If the injured person is legally insane, then the clock won’t start running until the period of legal disability is over (mental competence is restored). However, this filing deadline won’t be extended beyond five (5) years, and once sanity is restored, the suit must be filed within one (1) year. (Minnesota Statutes section 541.15)
- If the injured person dies as a result of the accident, there is a general timeframe of three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
Wisconsin also has a few scenarios that could delay the “clock” in its 3-year statute of limitations. These include:
- If a plaintiff is under the age of 18, he or she will have two (2) years to file a claim after they turn 18 years old.
- If a person is mentally ill, he or she will have two (2) years to file a claim after their mental competence is restored. However, the filing deadline will not be extended beyond five (5) years from the date of the accident in cases involving injured parties that are mentally ill. (Wisconsin Statutes section 893.16)
- If the defendant – after the injury occurs but before a lawsuit can be filed – leaves and resides outside of Wisconsin (and therefore cannot be served with a lawsuit), the period of out-of-state absence probably won’t count toward the 3-year statute of limitations. (Wisconsin Statutes section 893.19)
How do you prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will need to prove that the other party acted negligently when they caused the accident in which you were injured. A defendant can be a person, a business, an insurance company, a government entity, or any combination of these.
To prove negligence, your attorney will have to prove 4 elements in your lawsuit. These include:
The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal “duty of care” to ensure that an environment or location was safe.
A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
A plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions, or inaction, caused the injuries to another person.
Damages means that there’s a monetary way of compensating a plaintiff for their injuries and property damage.
Contact Tyroler Leonard Injury Law Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to get the justice you deserve, contact our skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today. We fight aggressively for our clients and will hold the responsible parties accountable. We are compassionate and committed to the well-being of every client. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at 651-259-1113.