Determining Liability in Wisconsin Slip and Fall Cases

Many believe that slip and fall cases often aren’t very serious. Usually it is just a case of a bruised bottom and you are able to walk away embarrassed, but otherwise unscathed. However, some slips are more serious than others, and it is important that we remember that. If you are elderly and fall, it can have devastating consequences. Even if you are young, if you fall and hit your head or impact with another object, it can result in life-altering injury. This is why slips are no laughing matter. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, you have the right to compensation to cover those injuries.

Determining Fault

The crucial part to a successful slip and fall case is not so much proving that you were injured, but rather proving that some party was liable for those injuries. After you have discerned the severity of the injuries with your doctor and discovered if there will be any long-lasting effects, your next step is to determine fault. As a comparative fault state, the insurance company or the courts will determine fault in the accident in Wisconsin.

In some cases, you may be partly at fault for the accident. As a comparative fault state, even if you were at some fault for a slip and fall accident, you are still allow to collect damages. However, Wisconsin uses a modified rule that will deduct a percentage from your total damages for the percentage you were at fault. So, for example, if your case resulted in a $10,000 settlement and you were ten percent at fault, you would only collect, $9,000.

Liability Factors to Consider in Slip and Falls

Once fault has been established or in cases where no one person is directly at fault, your slip and fall case will then move on to determining negligence. Often this falls to the property owner or the manager of the establishment. If they knew there was a particular issue that may result in falls, they can be held negligence, and thus, at fault. This also includes actions by employees. Since the building owner or business owner is responsible for their business, they are also responsible for their employees. This means an employee will not be held liable for an accident, but rather their employer will.

However, while determining liability is important, the most important factor to keep in mind is time. In Wisconsin, you have three years to file a suit for a slip and fall incident. This means that if you injured yourself in a fall accident and find that the injury is far more expensive or long-lasting than you anticipated, if you are still within the statute of limitations, you can seek damages. However, there are certain factors that can affect this time limit. If the accident happened on government property, you only have 120 days to provide notice of intent to seek legal action. However, if you were still a minor when the accident occurred, you have until two years after you turned 18 to seek legal action.

Have you been hurt in a slip and fall accident in the Oshkosh area? Don’t wait to see if it will get worse, instead contact us today. The Harnitz Law Office has seen our fair share of slip and fall accidents, and we know that it is better not wait to see if the injury gets worse before you seek compensation. The longer you wait to file a personal injury suit against those held liable, the easier it might be to argue that you injured yourself or aggravated your injuries in a separate incident.