Slip and Fall Accident Liability and Claims in Wisconsin
What Are My Options in a Wisconsin Slip and Fall Accident?
Wisconsin winters bring with them an increase in the number of slip and fall accidents experienced in the state. While slipping and falling on snow or ice seems like simple bad luck or carelessness, there might be more to the situation and you may be entitled to file a claim for the accident.
Property Owner Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents
Wisconsin law puts the responsibility for snow and ice removal squarely on the shoulders of property owners. Property owners are expected to clear walkways, sidewalks, driveways, and paths within a reasonable amount of time after wintery weather. However, what is “reasonable” varies from person to person and from town to town. The timing of the accident in relation to the timing of the weather event can also play a role in a victim’s ability to win a claim. A property owner’s liability for a slip and fall accident is less likely if the accident happens within 24 to 48 hours after a snow fall.
What About Other Types of Slips and Falls?
Slip and fall accidents can happen for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the weather. They can happen indoors or outdoors due to poorly maintained spaces, wet floors, damaged sidewalks, and bad lighting among other things. Determining liability in these cases comes down to two key questions:
- Did the property owner/occupant know (or should they have reasonably known) about the hazard? AND
- Did the property owner/occupant fail to address the hazard or warn visitors about the hazard in a timely manner?
Answers of “Yes” to both of these questions open the door to a slip and fall liability case.
Statute of Limitations Applies
One thing to be aware of is the Statute of Limitations laws. In Wisconsin, personal injury slip and fall claims must be filed within 3 years of the incident occurring. If the accident occurred on government property, your time is even shorter. You must file an intent to sue within 120 days of the event occurrence.
Other Considerations That Can Affect Your Case
Slip and fall accidents are rarely straightforward since there is plenty of room for subjectivity. Situations can become complicated when:
- The property owner is different from the property occupant as in the case of landlords and tenants. There may be a question of who is responsible for the maintenance or conditions of the property.
- Comparative negligence laws. Under comparative negligence laws, both the property owner and the injured party may bear partial responsibility for the situation. The injured party will be limited in the number of damages they can recover based on how much responsibility they bear for the accident.
- Your interactions with the insurance company can affect the outcome of the case. Insurers will use your own statements and evidence against you if it helps them avoid paying out on the claim.
It is in Your Best Interests To Work with an Attorney
It is always best to hire an accident attorney to help you in a slip and fall situation. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurer for you, will collect, examine and present evidence to support your claim, calculate damages for you, and represent you in court if it comes to that.
Contact the team at Eisenberg Law Offices to learn more about your chances of recovering damages in a slip and fall accident. Our accident attorneys offer free, confidential case consultations and you are under no obligation to work with us. Arrange your free consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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