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Unraveling the Timeline: How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Wisconsin?


Wisconsin law gives you three years to file a lawsuit for personal injury or property damage arising from a car accident. But do not wait to speak with an accident lawyer. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident. Delaying the process may not only risk exceeding the statutory limit but also jeopardize your case's credibility.


In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be preoccupied with the whirlwind of things clouding your mind – emotional pain, physical pain, worry, lack of a car, and/or losing time from work. The question that often gets asked is - "How long do I have to file a lawsuit?" This crucial query points towards the concept of the Statute of Limitations in Wisconsin, a subject that requires careful scrutiny. In general, with exceptions, the Statute of Limitations arising from a car accident is three years.

Despite this, the reality is that most of our clients reach out to us promptly after a crash. It is important to reach out to us for a consultation as soon as possible. The three-year limit set by the laws in the State of Wisconsin may seem like ample time. However, the clock starts ticking on the day of the accident. Immediate action is necessary, not just to preserve the validity of your case, but to gather evidence while it is fresh – both physical evidence and the testimony of witnesses while the facts are still fresh in their minds. All of this is paramount in attempting to ensure the most favorable outcome.

Our clients' testimonials and reviews serve as a testament to our commitment and dedication. At Gruber Law Offices, we understand the urgency and complexity of your situation. We strive to offer comprehensive, timely, and effective legal representation while helping you to navigate this challenging journey. We allow you to focus on you, your loved ones, and healing—both physically and emotionally. We handle the rest.



Understanding the Statute of Limitations

low angle pic of a courthouse with an overcast sky in the background

In Wisconsin, the general time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit stemming from a car accident stands at three years. However, there are many other factors that can come into play that could impact this time limitation. That is why it is paramount that these factors be analyzed right away by a proven Wisconsin personal injury law firm. The Statute of Limitations clock begins ticking from the date of the accident.

Therefore, generally speaking, if you’ve suffered an injury due to a car accident, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the accident’s occurrence. You must also keep in mind, however, that there are other mandatory filing requirements for other personal injury claims. For instance, claims involving a public entity such as a county, city or other municipality frequently have mandatory shorter and stricter time and notice requirements.


Exceptions to the Rule

While the three-year rule generally applies, Wisconsin law does provide certain exceptions. For instance, if the injured party remains mentally ill or under 18 years of age at the time of the accident, the three-year period only begins once they regain mental competency or reach 18.

Additionally, in cases where the at-fault party leaves the state before a lawsuit gets initiated, the time they spend outside Wisconsin does not count towards the three-year limit. These specific situations underline the necessity of consulting an experienced car accident lawyer to guide you through the intricacies of the Wisconsin statute of limitations.


Why Timing Matters

Group business people and lawyers meeting together. Consulting in regard to the various contracts at meeting.

Filing your lawsuit well within the statutory timeframe not only complies with the law but also could enhance the strength of your case. Often, evidence remains fresher, memories of the incident are more vivid, and witnesses are more easily accessible. Lost evidence and diminished recollections can severely hamper your chances of obtaining favorable compensation.

It’s essential to understand the importance of immediate action. For example, suppose you're in a minor accident and wonder whether it's worth hiring a car accident lawyer in Wisconsin. In that case, prompt consultation with a legal expert can provide invaluable guidance, helping you make an informed decision.
Filing a lawsuit becomes even more complex when dealing with insurance companies. They may pressure you into giving recorded statements, which could potentially harm your case. To navigate this complex scenario, consult our guide on how to avoid recorded statements for insurance.


Seeking Legal Help


Unraveling the legal complexities of the Wisconsin statute of limitations can be a daunting task. Requiring knowledge, experience, and tact, the process necessitates the involvement of skilled legal professionals. Gruber Law Offices prides itself on providing expert legal guidance, whether you've been involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. They can guide you on everything from hiring an attorney after a minor car accident, understanding how long it takes for a settlement check, to securing passenger compensation.

The road to legal recourse might seem daunting, but you don't need to tread it alone. An experienced attorney from Gruber Law Offices can offer the assistance you need. Our team boasts extensive experience in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, ensuring expert guidance for your unique situation.

Remember, understanding your rights and the time constraints imposed by the statute of limitations forms a crucial first step in your pursuit of justice and compensation. If you've suffered a personal injury due to a car accident in Wisconsin, don't wait – reach out for legal guidance today, and let us help you navigate the path toward justice and healing.

Steven Gruber car accident attorney
( Personal Injury Attorney )

Attorney Steven Gruber was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His family has deep roots in the Wisconsin legal community, as his father, David, founded Gruber Law Offices almost 40 years ago and his mother, Nancy, is a managing attorney with the firm. Steven is an award-winning attorney who focuses on serious injury cases and firm strategy and operations. Some of Steven’s awards and memberships include National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Top 10 Attorney in Wisconsin by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, just to name a few. He has successfully handled cases regarding serious matters that have been publicized by the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC, Fox and many other media outlets. At Gruber Law Offices, Steven also manages and leads a powerful team of 130 talented professionals. He is proud to continue the family legacy of positively impacting our community.