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How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Personal Injury

When you’re injured in a car accident, it’s natural to wonder whether you should sue whoever was responsible. After all, in addition to the physical pain you suffer, financial problems commonly follow. Insurance may not be sufficient – shouldn’t you be entitled to more? The answer may very well be yes, but you shouldn’t wait long.

There’s a legal time limit

Wisconsin requires that every driver on the road operate their vehicle with a reasonable amount of care at all times. When someone fails in that duty, and injures you in the process, they are considered legally negligent and can be held liable. Wisconsin gives you the right to sue so that you can be made whole again.

When Wisconsin gives you the right to sue, it also places a time limit upon that right – this limit is known as the statute of limitations. In most cases, you have three years to file a lawsuit, measured from the date of the accident. If you don’t, you lose the right to sue.

There are also practical time limits

Three years may sound like a lot of time but there’s more to consider. The success of your suit depends upon the strength of the evidence you can present. Many times, that evidence requires an investigation, so that witnesses can be interviewed and documents or other types of evidence can be collected.

The problem is that, the more time passes, the more likely that evidence becomes stale or unavailable, hurting your case in the process. Witnesses’ memories fade and other evidence gets lost or disposed of. Getting an early start ensures that your case will be as strong as possible, which helps to maximize the amount of compensation you can recover from your personal injury lawsuit.