Personal Injury FAQs

During this difficult time in your life, getting the answers you need is essential. We've created this FAQ page to address some of the questions our clients routinely ask and to give you information on these important topics.

After you've looked over the questions and answers on this page, please give us a call with any additional questions you have about your injury case. We are happy to help you understand what options are available to you when you've been hurt and to provide you with the information you need to make well-informed decisions about your situation.

Feel free to read this page as you go or to click on any of the links below to jump to the section that interests you the most.

Case Value And Affording A Lawyer

What To Expect When You Work With Us

The Process Of An Injury Case

Insurance Company Questions

Medical Bills And Medical Appointment Questions

Claims For Property Damage Only


Case Value And Affording A Lawyer

How much is my case worth?

The honest answer: It depends. While we wish that we could provide you with a more definite answer, there is no way to accurately value your injury claim until you have talked to a lawyer, that lawyer has asked you follow-up questions and obtained additional information, and there has been time to fully analyze your situation. Anything short of that, including what an online calculator may tell you, is, at best, an uneducated guess or, at worst, a misrepresentation of what you can expect in real life.

But why do you need to talk to a lawyer to get a good estimate of the value of your case? Simple — injury cases involve too many variables for any sort of calculator or form to adequately value a case. Just a few of these variables include:

  • What type of injuries you suffered
  • Who caused your injuries
  • How fault will be divided in your case
  • Short- and long-term effects of your injuries
  • How the injury affects your ability to work

Now that you know why it's necessary to speak to a lawyer to get the true value of your claim, are you ready to find out the potential value of your case? If so, contact us to set up a free consultation and talk to us about your situation.

Do I need to pay any money upfront for my injury case?

No, we do not require money upfront (also known as a retainer) for personal injury cases.

How long will it take to get money in an injury case?

The timeline for obtaining your money depends primarily on how your case is resolved. Cases that settle will typically result in quicker payment. Cases that go to trial will typically take longer, depending on how booked the court's calendar is.

However, it is important to understand that the speed with which you get your money is not the only thing to consider. You also need to consider whether the amount of money you get will be fair. That can significantly affect whether you decide to settle or go to trial.

When you work with us, we will help you analyze the pros and cons of settling versus going to trial and understand how choosing either option will impact the amount of compensation you receive and how quickly you receive it.

How do you get paid? How much will it cost?

We get paid only if we win or settle your case. We then get paid a percentage from those proceeds.


What To Expect When You Work With Us

How soon can you start working on my case?

If you hire us after the initial consultation, we can start working on your case immediately. Please call us now at 715-802-0872 or contact us so we can meet and you can determine whether we are the right fit for you and your case.

Will I work with an attorney directly or staff?

While we have highly qualified and helpful staff members to maximize our success, our attorneys will work directly with you and be your main contact throughout your case.

What information will you need from me during the case?

During the initial consultation, we will need as much information as possible related to your injuries. Date, time, place and any other related factors will all be important. We will also need you to describe the general scene of the accident and help us understand how the injury has affected you. Medical records are also important, but if you do not have them, we can help you obtain them. Any pictures (of the scene of the accident or that show the severity of your injuries) will also be helpful.

If we need additional information from you, we will let you know. We will follow up with you as needed so that we get everything we need to build a strong case for you.


The Process Of An Injury Case

What is a personal injury?

A personal injury is a legal term for a broad range of cases that involve intentional or negligent injuries. Physical harm like a broken leg, neck injury or traumatic brain injury from a car crash are personal injuries. Injuries from a drunk driver are personal injuries because all drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely, and driving while intoxicated violates that duty.

Falling in a store due to a spill that was not cleaned up properly is a personal injury. Being attacked and bitten by a dog, as well as being intentionally injured by a patron in an altercation in a bar, would also be examples of personal injuries.

Personal injuries can also occur in situations involving strict liability, such as injuries from a defectively manufactured or designed product.

How long do I have to file an injury claim in Wisconsin?

You have three years to file most personal injury and wrongful death claims in Wisconsin.

The exception is that you have only two years to file a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by a motor vehicle accident .

Please note that this is a general timeline and the statute of limitations on your claim could be much shorter if certain other factors (such as the case being against the government) apply. Please talk to an attorney as soon as possible no matter what type of injury or loss you have suffered.

How long do I have to file an injury claim in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, you have two years to file a personal injury claim.

For wrongful death claims, you have three years to file.

Please note that this is a general timeline and the statute of limitations on your claim could be much shorter if certain other factors (such as the case being against the government) apply. Please talk to an attorney as soon as possible no matter what type of injury or loss you have suffered.

Will I have to testify in court?

Only if your case actually goes to trial. In many situations, trial will not even be necessary. If you case progresses that far, we will work closely with you so that you know what to expect and how to handle it.

If avoiding having to testify is important to you, please bring that up in your initial consultation. Doing so will help us provide you with an accurate assessment of your case and the options available to you.

If I am partially responsible for my injuries, will that prevent me from recovering compensation?

As long as you were not more responsible for your injuries than the other person, you will still be able to recover compensation. However, your compensation will likely be reduced by a percentage equal to how much fault you were responsible for.

For example: If you were 20 percent responsible for your injuries and the other person was 80 percent responsible and the verdict in the case awarded you $100,000, then the award would be reduced by 20 percent (because you were 20 percent at fault) and you would get $80,000.

Please note that we selected the numbers in this scenario to make the example as easy to understand as possible. They should not be used to set expectations about your case, dividing fault/responsibility in your case, or the compensation that you should expect.


Insurance Companies

The insurance company offered me a settlement should I accept it?

If an insurance company offers you a settlement and pressures you to sign a release — or even threatens to deny a claim if you don't sign — do not accept the offer or sign the release. Talk to an attorney so that you know if the offer is fair, because even though it may be "your" insurance company, its ultimate loyalty is to its shareholders and the profits those shareholders love to see.

The other driver's insurance company keeps calling me am I required to talk to its representative?

Eventually, you may need to, but it is wise to hire an attorney first so that you understand what the insurance representative will ask. We can also help you understand whether any questions are inappropriate or if there are questions you should not answer. Often, if you hire an attorney, you do not need to talk with the insurance company and instead can have your attorney handle all communication from the insurance company.

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is a fancy legal term meaning your insurance company can stand in your place in a lawsuit to collect compensation for payments it made to you as part of a claim for your injuries. Your claim is " subrogated" to the insurance company and it can sue the responsible party (or its insurance company) to get the money it paid you back.

What exactly is workers' compensation?

It's insurance. Most workers think of workers' compensation insurance as a benefit like Social Security and that it's a government-administered program. While it is required by law, your claims go to a private insurer that your employer pays premiums to. This is why the process can be technical and complex, because you must satisfy the requirements of these insurance policies.

You need to understand and comply with your employer's rules, as they are typically derived from the insurance policy. But because employers and their insurers have a vested interest in minimizing claims, having your own attorney working on your claim can ensure that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.

My workers' compensation claim was denied. Now what?

Don't give up; insurers hope this is what happens. There are multiple steps for additional review of your workers' compensation claim, but you may want to speak with an attorney if you haven't already. Your appeal of the denial will first be heard by the alternative dispute resolution unit.

Accuracy and completeness of documentation become critical, which is where an attorney can help. There are additional appeals available, from the ADR unit to an administrative law judge on up to circuit court, but you would likely need an attorney to be successful.


Medical Bills And Medical Appointments

Who is responsible for paying my medical bills after an accident?

Many people and entities may be responsible for your injuries, depending on who caused them, when they occurred, whether anyone involved was working at the time of the accident and many other factors. While your case may vary, a list of those who are potentially responsible for paying your medical bills includes:

  • The person who caused your injuries
  • Insurance companies (yours, as well as the carrier for the person who hurt you)
  • Your employer (if you were working when you got hurt)
  • The employer of the person who caused you harm (if he or she was working at the time)

If I am feeling better after an accident, can I stop going to the doctor, chiropractor or other medical professional?

No! If you stop getting treatment, insurance companies, opposing lawyers, and even some judges and juries will perceive that as evidence that you are 100 percent healed. You may feel better, but do not stop going to medical appointments until after your medical professional has told you that you can stop and you have consulted with your legal counsel. Unless you have professional advice otherwise, you need to make sure you follow through with your medical provider's recommendations to have the best chance at fully recovering your health and being compensated for your injuries.


Property Damage Only

Do I have a claim if my vehicle and other items were damaged, but I was not injured?

While you may have a claim, we don't handle situations involving property damage only (such as if your car was damaged, but you were not hurt). However, if you were injured and hire us to handle your personal injury case, we can assist you in your property damage claim if you cannot resolve it on your own.


What does a personal injury lawyer do and why is it beneficial to hire one?

A personal injury lawyer is essential because of two main factors. One, the process is complex. There are laws, regulations and court opinions, and much of this is governed by insurance contracts, which are extremely complex documents. A personal injury attorney works with these issues daily and understands them in a holistic way.

Second, everyone else you deal with is a professional. You are the only 'amateur' in the room. This lessens your odds of being successful. A personal injury lawyer is a professional who can level the playing field and help protect your right to compensation.

Wondering whether to file a personal injury claim?

If you are injured by someone else's negligence, you should consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you determine both the scope of your injuries and whether a lawsuit may be necessary. Talking to an attorney is helpful, because they have been through this with hundreds of clients and they can apply that experience to your situation.

How long do you have to file a claim for personal injury?

Deadlines for filing personal injury claims are state-specific. In Wisconsin, you have three years to file most personal injury claims. In Minnesota, you have two years. Remember, this is the general rule; there are circumstances where you will have less time. Don't wait. As soon as you are able, speak with an attorney and they can tell you exactly which statute of limitation applies.

What happens if your child suffers a personal injury?

In Wisconsin, as with most states, children cannot file lawsuits. Parents can file personal injury claims for children who have been injured due to others' negligence. Children are different from adults, in that the statute of limitations that controls when they must file their case is extended to two years after they turn 18. If your child has been injured, an attorney can explain how all this works.

How do you decide if you need to hire an attorney?

Unsurprisingly, talking to a personal injury attorney is the surest way to be certain. We offer a free initial consultation where we listen to your facts and help you determine if you have a viable case. You probably don't have a great deal of experience with personal injury cases, but we do and we can discuss how we can help you.

What is the process for filing a personal injury case in Minnesota?

A personal injury lawsuit begins with the filing of a summons and complaint in the proper court. You also must 'serve' the defendant, allowing them to know the grounds for the lawsuit. The defendant then has 20 days to respond. After this, the discovery process begins, where each side looks for evidence to prove its arguments. This can be done by requests for documents and depositions, which are like a cross-examination during a trial.

You can do this on your own, but you are responsible for following the statutory and court rules throughout this process. There are many deadlines and failing to properly respond or follow court procedure can be critical. You must know the statute of limitation for your claim, the types of evidence necessary to prove a claim, the types of damages you may recover and whether you are entitled to special damages.

There are also rules regarding fault and whether you can make a claim. Most claims will settle, so to bring a case on your own will require that you know when to settle. Mistakes can cost you time and potentially your claim. Working with an attorney can help ensure that your case is not dismissed and that you receive the compensation you need.

What is the process for filing a personal injury case in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, you file a summons and complaint and serve it on the defendant. They must respond and then the discovery process begins. You request documents or depositions and gather other relevant evidence that allows you to show that you were injured and the defendant was responsible for causing those injuries.

You must meet many deadlines (statute of limitations and filing deadlines) and prove with relevant evidence all the points of your claim. An attorney can help to ensure that the correct questions are asked and the compensation demanded is proper and adequate. They also understand how negligence law in Wisconsin works and how that law can affect your claim. Complex questions about whether you were partly liable for the injuries or about suing a government entity can also affect your claim.

When do you not need an attorney after an accident?

When you were not significantly injured or when you only suffered property damage to your vehicle. The difficulty may be that unless it was a minor collision, you may not be able to fully determine whether you suffered a real injury. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately after the crash, but could develop into something more serious.

We offer a free initial consultation, so we can talk about the nature of your accident and the potential for injuries. You don't want to find out a few years from now that you have a back injury because of the crash, but too much time has passed to make a claim.

How long after your accident can you file a lawsuit?

In Wisconsin, you have three years to file most personal injury claims unless it is against a government entity like a city or state agency. In Minnesota, you have two years. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, as there may be more than one responsible party, and an attorney can help clarify this question.

What kinds of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?

In Wisconsin, you may be able to recover damages for the medical expenses, funeral costs, past and future lost income and some amount of pain and suffering. In Minnesota, you can recover for medical and funeral costs, loss of income, anticipated inheritance, and loss of protection, services, companionship, guidance and society. The wrongful death case is typically brought by the family and our attorneys can explain the time limits and other technical requirements of these cases.

What is loss of consortium in a personal injury claim?

Loss of consortium encompasses the emotional aspects of a relationship. In a marriage, spouses share affection, emotional support, love, sexual relations and other marital services such as caring for their children and other household tasks. These can be difficult to quantify, but an attorney experienced with personal injury cases can explain how this is calculated as part of a claim for damages.