Wisconsin | FAQs

Do I have the legal right to bring a lawsuit if I’ve been hurt in Wisconsin?

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If you are 18 years or older and you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, then you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Wisconsin.

The right to file a lawsuit is known as “standing.” You have standing to sue if you are the one who was hurt and you have the legal right to make decisions for yourself—in other words, if you are an adult who does not have a legal guardian.

But What If You Aren’t an Adult, What If You Can’t Make Decisions for Yourself, or What If the Person Who Was Hurt Died?

Children, adults with legal guardians, and the estates of people who have died because of someone else’s negligence also have the right to recover damages even though they can’t bring lawsuits themselves. In these situations, Wisconsin law allows other people to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the injured party. For example:

  • Children can recover for personal injuries. However, they cannot bring personal injury lawsuits. Typically, one or both of the parents will contact a personal injury lawyer on the child’s behalf. A guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent the child’s interests. This may be the attorney hired by the family. If a settlement is reached or a court verdict is determined, then the money will be put into an interest-bearing account until the child reaches the age of 18 or until the conditions met by the court are satisfied.
  • Adults with legal guardians can recover for personal injuries. The legal guardian may contact a personal injury attorney on behalf of the person who was hurt. Any recovery will be used for the benefit of the person who was injured.
  • Estates of people who have died in wrongful death accident can recover for personal injuries. The personal representative of the estate has the right to bring the lawsuit for the benefit of the person’s estate.

If you try to bring a lawsuit and you lack standing, then you can expect that your case will be dismissed. Accordingly, it is important to know if you have the right to start a lawsuit and how a personal injury lawsuit works. To learn more, please contact us any time via this website or by phone to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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