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How long do I have to file a Wisconsin motorcycle accident case?

Make sure the time doesn't run out on your motorcycle injury claimIf you wait too long to file a motorcycle accident case after you are injured on a Wisconsin road, then you may not be able to recover damages. In other words, you are unlikely to ever recover any money for the injuries that you sustained in the accident. That is why it is very important that you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer soon after your crash and that you don’t wait too long to file your claim.

How Long Is Too Long?

Generally, you have three years to file a personal injury case, such as a motorcycle accident case, in Wisconsin. This is known as the statute of limitations.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, however. For example the time you have to file a case may be different if:

  • Your accident involves a municipal entity such as a county or city. In this circumstance you must act quickly. You are required give notification of your injury in writing within 120 days of your accident. There are other rules specific to Wisconsin personal injury claims against municipalities, so talk to a Wisconsin motorcycle attorney immediately if you think that road conditions or a government vehicle may have contributed to your accident.
  • You were a minor at the time of the crash. Minors have two years from the time they reach the age of majority to file a lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations may not be extended for more than five years.

It is important not only to know how long you have, but to take prompt action to protect your rights.

What Happens If You File Your Case Too Late?

If you file your lawsuit in a Wisconsin court after the statute of limitations expires, then you should expect that the defendant will quickly file a motion to have your case dismissed, and that the court will grant that motion. This will leave you without any legal right to recover damages for your injuries and it will leave the defendant without any incentive to compensate you for your injuries.

Don’t Let Time Prevent Your Fair Recovery

While the law may provide you with a certain amount of time to file your claim, you should not wait until that time is almost up to protect your rights. Instead, it is important to act now to:

  • Preserve evidence. Your case will depend on evidence such as police reports, hospital records, documentation of your injuries, photographs of the scene, witness reports, and even the damage to your car. If you wait too long, some of this evidence may not be around. Your car will be repaired, your injuries healed, and the witnesses will forget what they saw.
  • Ensure that you are not going to miss any deadlines. Once you miss the deadline for filing a claim, then you may be unable to fix the mistake and make a fair recovery.
  • Get the money that you deserve sooner. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner your case may be resolved and the sooner you may be able to recover the damages that you deserve.

To learn more about what you can do to protect your rights after a bike crash, please read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, and please contact us directly via this website to schedule a free consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham