Is Wisconsin a no-fault insurance state?

No, the state of Wisconsin is not a no-fault insurance state. Instead, Wisconsin operates under a tort system. That means that after a car crash, a car accident victim must establish that someone caused the accident, or was legally at fault for the crash, before a car crash victim can recover damages.

Tort Car Accident Recoveries

Wisconsin is not alone. The tort auto insurance system is the most traditional and the most widely used auto insurance system in the United States.

Wisconsin law requires the person found to be at fault for the car crash to pay for all of the damages incurred in the accident. While each car crash is different, damages may include, but are not always limited to past and future:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering

Once fault is established, the person found to have caused the crash will pay damages. Typically, damages are paid through the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, if a driver does not have enough insurance to cover the accident costs, the driver’s personal assets may be used to pay for the car accident damages.

In contrast, car accident victims are usually paid through the personal injury protection coverage on their own insurance policies regardless of who was at fault for the crash in no-fault insurance states. However, this is not the case in Wisconsin.

Make Sure You are Covered If You Cause a WI Car Crash

A car accident may be financially devastating if you are the at-fault party and you don’t have enough insurance to cover the injured party’s damages. Accordingly, it is important to consider purchasing car insurance that includes at least the minimum required by Wisconsin law:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for personal injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total personal injuries or death caused by the accident
  • $10,000 liability coverage for property damage
  • Uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your injuries if you are hurt by a hit and run driver or an uninsured driver

If you’ve experienced a Wisconsin car accident and have questions about your insurance coverage or recovery, contact us online or call us directly at 800-800-5678 for a free, no-obligation consultation.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.