A personal injury can affect almost every part of a victim's life - from physical and emotional health, to relationships with family members and friends, to the ability to go to work and function independently. The Appleton personal injury lawyers at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham understand the challenges that injury victims and their families face following a serious injury. Our firm has nearly a hundred years of litigation experience and we have recovered millions in compensation for our personal injury clients.
To learn more about how we can help you pursue a damages claim, contact our team today at (877) 888-5201. Your initial, free consultation enables us to review the merits of your claim and everything we discuss is strictly confidential.
Call us today at (877) 888-5201.
Do You Have a Case?
As each case is unique, this question is difficult to answer until we learn more about your injuries - and how they occurred. When pursuing a personal injury compensation claim, a number of components must be established and proven. Some of these include:
- Existence of duty of care – It must be proven that the at-fault party had a legal responsibility to act in a way to prevent you from suffering an injury. This means he or she must not be careless or reckless and fail to act the way a reasonable person would in the same kind of circumstance.
- Breached duty of care – When the duty of care is not upheld, the at-fault party could be liable for your injuries.
- Causal link between duty of care and your injury – It must be proven that your injury would not have occurred unless there was negligence (breach of the duty of care) on the part of the other party.
- Damages from your injuries – Your injuries must be linked to damages - for example: medical bills and other monetary damages. You may also pursue compensation for emotional damages and physical pain.
One aspect to be aware of when building a case is Wisconsin’s law on comparative negligence. The law is that you can make a claim against anyone that is equally or more at fault than you. If you are more at fault than the person you want to make a claim against, you will not recover damages.
Our Appleton personal injury lawyers are prepared to carefully review the incident that caused the injury, and determine if there is any percentage of fault for what may have occurred.
Have a Question? Call us at (877) 888-5201.
What is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?
This is a common inquiry that largely depends on the severity of your injuries, how those injuries have affected various parts of your life and the limits of the insurance policies that may be available. As every case is unique, we recommend that victims contact an injury lawyer at our firm, and let our team review the details of your specific incident. We will then be able to advise you of the options that are available.
Limits on Damages in Wisconsin
There is no cap on damages for most personal injury cases in Wisconsin. This means we can pursue the full amount of damages you have suffered.
Deadlines For Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Wisconsin
In most personal injury cases in Wisconsin, personal injury victims have just three years from the date of the accident to file their lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not filed before those three years pass, it may be barred under state law. This deadline covers motor vehicle accident cases, slip and fall accidents and dog bite cases. However, the deadline is reduced to two years in cases involving wrongful death from an accident involving a motor vehicle. Conversely, any other wrongful death case has a statute of limitations of three years. If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations is extended to the minor’s 20th birthday.
If you are filing a lawsuit over the actions of a state officer, agent or employee who was acting in the course of his or her duties, you must provide notice of the event that caused your injury within 120 days.
However, there many also be other cases that are exempt from these specific rules. Ideally, contacting a personal injury lawyer for help shortly after an accident has occurred, is recommended.
Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Our Appleton personal injury lawyers have experience handling a range of personal injury cases including:
We also handle workers’ compensation cases and help people with disabilities pursue Social Security Disability benefits.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another individual and believe that you may have a case, contact our attorneys for a free legal consultation to discuss what happened. We can determine if you have grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit, and the potential value of your claim.
Contact us by calling (877) 888-5201.
How Are Compensation Amounts Calculated?
One of the first steps taken to determine the value of a case is identifying the damages that an injury victim has sustained. This information may be obtained from:
Invoices For Medical Treatment
Expenses associated with medical treatment can be significant. Some of these may include:
- Transportation to the hospital in an ambulance
- Medical testing (blood tests and imaging)
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medications
- Staying in the hospital
- Appointments with your primary care doctor and specialists
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment to aid in your mobility (wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc.)
- Mileage to a doctor appointment
- Cost of past and future treatment
- Other out-of-pocket costs
Many victims are unable to return to work immediately following an injury. This often results in lost income and can make it very difficult for victims to pay their bills and support their families. Injury victims may also need to leave work at various times to be seen by doctors and for other treatments, such as physical therapy.
As injuries increase in severity, the risk of a continued loss of earning capacity also increases. This means:
- Victims may not be able to work in the same job as they did before the injury
- They may need to work fewer hours than they did before the accident
- They may need to re-train and possibly switch to a different field due to the physical limitations imposed by their injury
Our attorneys understand how difficult these issues can be and are committed to aggressively pursuing the compensation you need to support yourself and your family when your career outlook changes.
If any of your personal property was damaged in the incident, you may be eligible to recover compensation to repair the property or replace the item(s) at a fair market value. This is often an issue after a motor vehicle accident (car, truck or motorcycle crash).
Insurance adjusters and the defence counsel cannot be depended upon to determine the value of these items. Our Appleton personal injury attorneys can help determine the fair market value of damaged property and ensure that your interests are protected.
Pain and Suffering
Our lawyers understand that a personal injury is about more than just medical expenses. The pain and suffering you experience on a physical and emotional level should not be overlooked. These damages can make it very difficult to work, sleep or simply function at a regular level on a consistent basis.
Waking up every morning to a sore neck, or an aching knee that may never go away can be very aggravating - especially when it was caused by the negligence of someone else.
There are many potential examples of pain and suffering caused by a personal injury, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Physical pain
- Physical discomfort
- Post-traumatic stress
- Physical deformity or disfigurement
Our Appleton personal injury attorneys carefully review the medical records of each case we handle - including any accounts of the pain and suffering that our clients are dealing with. As there are no defined economic values for these damages, recovering them is a task that our attorneys are very familar with. For example - attorney James Pitz has recovered more than $100 Million in compensation for Sigman Janssen clients, including $500,000 for a client that required a long recovery following a foot injury from a construction accident, and over $400,000 for a client that suffered multiple injuries in a car crash at an intersection.
Loss of Consortium
When a personal injury causes significant damage to your relationships with your spouse, children or other loved ones, you could be entitled compensation for loss of consortium. Damage to your relationships could be in the form of:
- Lost intimacy
- Lacking the ability to care for children
- Lost ability to help out around the house
- Trouble or inability showing affection, including engaging in a sexual relationship
- Lost love
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Often, personal injury victims are unable to take part in the things they used to enjoy. For example, maybe they cannot play sports because of the physical limitations of their injury. This could be because of the loss of a limb or due to the loss of one (or more) of the five senses following an injury.
Our attorneys may need evidence showing how you used to enjoy a particular activity before you were injured, which may include pictures of you engaging in that activity and testimony from friends and family members about how you enjoyed the activity.
This form of compensation is rarely awarded as it is reserved for cases involving extreme negligence, maliciousness or reckless disregard for human life. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate for some specific loss you suffered as a result of your injury. Instead, these damages are meant as a form of punishment against the at-fault party. The intention is that awarding punitive damages will deter other parties from engaging in the same kind of behavior in the future.
The following factors are considered when victims attempt to recover punitive damages:
- Degree of malicious intent of the at-fault party
- Grievousness of the other party’s actions
- Damages that may have been caused by the act
- Defendant’s ability to pay those damages
If a jury decides to award punitive damages, you cannot recover more than the higher amount of twice the total value of compensatory damages or $200,000.
Steps to Take When a Personal Injury Occurs
No two personal injury accidents are the same. In some instances, victims are completely incapacitated and taken away from the scene in an ambulance. Other times, victims are still able to walk and may even transport themselves to the local hospital or a doctor’s office.
However, even though the specific details of the accident and the injury may be different, victims can take many of the same steps after an accident to begin building a case against the party that may be responsible for their injuries.
Step 1: Give Your Injuries the Attention They Deserve
Your safety is paramount in the immediate aftermath of an accident. If you are bleeding or have other injuries, you must get medical attention and take steps to stabilize your condition. For example, if you are injured in a store in a slip and fall accident, employees may be able to apply first aid to cuts or bruises.
If you are incapacitated or it is not safe to move, particularly after a car accident, you should remain where you are and call 9-1-1 or have someone else call 9-1-1.
Once you have received treatment from the doctor, you can begin the process of pursuing compensation by contacting an injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Step 2: Gather Information About the Accident
If you are able, try to begin collecting information at the scene right after the accident occurs. The advantage of acting quickly is you can prevent evidence from being lost or damaged. You are also more likely to forget important details as time goes on.
If you have a smartphone:
- Take pictures of your visible injuries.
- Take pictures of where the accident occurred.
- Take a lot of pictures - as the images may provided valuable information that can be used at a later date.
- Take notes on what you remember about the accident before you forget.
You should also discuss the accident with any witnesses. Write down what they tell you. You could also record a video on your smartphone, with their permission. Be sure to get phone numbers or other contact information. You or your attorney may have more questions later.
Step 3: Officially Document the Accident
- If you have suffered an injury at work, there is usually a specific procedure for documenting your injury so be sure to follow it.
- If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, a police officer will most likely be dispatched to the scene and he or she will complete a police report to officially document that an accident happened.
- If you are injured in a retail store or government building, ask the owner or person in charge about completing an accident report.
- Whenever possible, it is important to have official documentation that an accident happened, and you were injured in it. These documents can help to validate your claim.
The more official documentation you have, the stronger your case may be.
Step 4: Contact a Lawyer
Many injury victims are hesitant to contact a lawyer, fearing that they may not be able to afford the expense of having legal representation.
However, most personal injury cases that are handled by a licensed attorney settle for significantly more compared to those when an attorney is not hired. Furthermore, our Appleton personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis - which means that there are no upfront fees if we take on your case and no costs to you if we do not recover compensation on your behalf.
There are no guarantees when working with a personal injury attorney, but we have decades of combined litigation experience and millions of dollars in compensation recoveries for our clients. We know what it takes to build a strong case, how to thoroughly investigate accidents, how to aggressively negotiate, how to determine fair compensation for your damages, how to interpret and apply relevant state and local laws and ordinances, and how to deal with counter arguments from the defence counsel.
After our initial consultation, we will explain if we believe you have a case and if we think it is in your best interest to pursue it. The decision to proceed is entirely up to you.
Contact Our Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers
The injury attorneys at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham recognize that compensation does not change the outcome of an accident however, it can help to ease the financial burden that is often associated with the recovery process.
Our legal professionals are ready to discuss your claim today and offer a free, initial legal consultation to learn more about your claim. There are no upfront fees or costs. We only get paid if we collect money for you through a settlement or court victory.
For your free consultation, call (877) 888-5201.