Search Site

How Can Negligence Affect My Injury Case?

In a personal injury case, the court will take negligence into account if there is a situation that involves a person(s) that has “breached” their duty of care in the accident or incidental case. To be considered negligent, the injured individual would need to prove that the other individual or individuals involved have failed to fulfill their duty of care to act reasonably given the circumstances.

Who Is at Fault?

Wisconsin is a ‘comparative negligence state”. This means that when a case goes to trial, the jury has to consider if one of both parties were negligent. If the jury determines that both parties were negligent, then the jury has to apportion the degree of negligence both parties had in causing the accident. For a simple example, we have an intersection accident. The jury might find both drivers were negligent. They then apportion the fault. This is important because in Wisconsin, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot collect from the other driver. Also, the value of any injury you suffered is reduced by the percentage that you are found at fault. So, for example, you are found 45% at fault and the other driver 55% at fault. You can then recover from the other driver. However, if your injury claim is determined to be worth $10,000, that recovery will be reduced by 45% of that amount which is your percentage of the negligence.  Under that scenario you would only receive $5,500. If you are found to be 51% at fault, you get nothing.

Establishing Your Duty

In looking at who is at fault, the court look to the circumstances at the time, the reasonableness of your conduct under those circumstances, whether any safety law was violated (example, speed limits or yield sign violations) and your general duty to be aware of your surroundings and act reasonably. You have a duty to act safely and reasonably under the circumstances.

In addition, even if the other person is at fault, you have a duty to ‘mitigate your damages’. This means you cannot run up accident bills just because the other side will have to pay. You have to keep your damages to a reasonable level and resolve your injury as soon as reasonably possible. One example is getting your car repaired. You have to do that as soon as possible and obtain a reasonable cost of repair. The other driver is only responsible for fixing what the accident broke, nothing else. In the case of injury, you need to promptly see the doctor, follow the doctor’s advice, and do what you have to do to get better in a reasonable period of time. You cannot abuse seeing the doctor or getting treatments. If you do not act reasonably, the court/jury can reduce your claim for injury since you did not act reasonably to limit your injury. In other words, you did not mitigate your damages. Likewise if your healthcare provider is determined to have over treated you or treated you for issues not related to the accident, those fees and treatment will not be considered part of your claim.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a personal injury case that resulted from negligence, give Hart Law Office a call today at 414-271-1775 for a free consultation or visit our website today.

  • AUDIO: Richard and Eric Hart Interview 10/26/20 Attorney Arthur

  • Hart Law Office Videos
    About Hart Law Office
    Divorce FAQs

    Q: What is a divorce?

    A: A divorce is the legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when filing the divorce papers with the court. The reasons given when filing are referred to as the grounds for divorce.

    Read More ›
    Ebook Download

    Enter your email address in the field below and we will send you a copy of our FREE ebook.

    • yelp

      Eric Hart is an experienced attorney who thinks and acts outside the box.  For those who have been falsely accused and are fearing the worst, Eric Hart has your back.  If you’re looking for a criminal defense or family law attorney, you should co...

      Read more

      Diane L.

    • google

      I had a great experience working with Hart Law Office. Attorney, Eric Hart, was very professional, helpful, and thorough in assisting me with my sensitive matter. I highly recommend this law office for legal advice and assistance.

      Read more

      Ivana Brookins

    • google

      I have found Richard to be fair over all with both parties in the capacity of a GAL. There is sometimes where he should not be as lenient in his recommendations, but that is just him using all his options.

      Read more

      Jennifer Holtslander

    • google

      The Hart law firm is extremely professional and very consistent in successful results. All the attorneys at the firm have strong relationships with DA's and judges in both major SE Wisconisn counties. Would highly recommend.

      Read more

      Joey J

    • google

      Young ambitious attorneys love it love it

      Read more

      Joe Jennings

    See all reviews
    Contact us

    Quick Contact Form