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Am I allowed to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident?

You need standing to sue in order to demand justice from the civil courtsThe legal authority to bring a lawsuit is known as standing to sue. Generally, if you are a mentally competent adult who was injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, then you have standing to sue. You have the legal right to file a complaint in court to begin a lawsuit seeking damages for the injuries sustained in the crash.

You May Also Have Standing to Sue in Other Situations

Someone you love may be hurt or killed in a motorcycle crash and may be unable to begin his own lawsuit. Accordingly, Wisconsin law also allows the following people to bring a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle crash:

  • The parent or guardian of a minor. People under the age of 18 typically do not have the legal authority to bring a personal injury lawsuit in a Wisconsin court without their parent or legal guardian. While the statute of limitations—or the time to file a lawsuit—is extended for minors and would allow a minor to bring a case after his 18th birthday, it is important for you to consider bringing a case on your child’s behalf soon after the crash. Evidence may be more readily available and your child’s legal recovery will come sooner if you file the case now.
  • The guardian of a mentally incompetent adult. As the guardian of an adult, you may have the right—and responsibility—of bringing a personal injury claim if that adult was hurt in a motorcycle crash.
  • The personal representative of the estate for a person who died in the motorcycle accident. Obviously, the person who died in the motorcycle crash can’t bring his own lawsuit to recover damages for the life-ending injuries that he suffered in the crash. However, the personal representative of his estate can step in and bring a wrongful death lawsuit for all of the injuries and losses associated with the crash.

If you try to file a motorcycle accident case in court and you lack the authority to do so, then the defense will raise that argument and seek to have your claim dismissed. Accordingly, it is important to make sure that you have the legal right to bring a claim and to pursue damages if someone else has caused an accident that has left, or in some cases a loved one, injured.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham