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What is the Wisconsin statute of limitations for car accident cases?

Don’t miss the deadline for filing your Wisconsin auto accident claimEvery state—including Wisconsin—has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. While the time to file a court case varies from state to state, the intention behind the statute of limitations is the same. The statute of limitations—or the time by which you must file a claim in court—is limited so that the defendants don’t need to live forever with the uncertainty of a claim, so that cases can be decided when evidence is more readily available, and so that injured parties can get the damages they deserve.

The Time Limits in Wisconsin

In most cases, the statute of limitations for a car accident in Wisconsin is three years. That means you have three years to file your complaint in court. If you fail to do so then you may still file a complaint, but the defense can argue that you did so after the statute of limitations expired and, assuming the defense’s argument is true, you will be denied damages. To avoid this, you should file your complaint before the statute of limitations expires.

Three Years Is Only the General Rule

There are times when you have less time or more time to file a case. For example:

  • The statute of limitations is shorter if your claim is against a governmental entity. In these cases you may have just 120 days to provide the city or county or 180 days to provide the state with notice of your claim.
  • The statute of limitations is longer if you were a minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident. If you were under age 18 or mentally incompetent then the statute of limitations is extended. Typically, you have two years from your 18th birthday to file a claim if you were a minor at the time of the crash and no one took action on your behalf. Similarly, the statute of limitations may be extended to five years if you were mentally incompetent at the time of the crash.

To make sure that your case is filed before the statute of limitation expires, please contact us via this website or at 1-800-800-5678 as soon as possible after your accident occurs and well before the statute of limitations is set to expire.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham