The Statute of Limitations refers to the time limit for filing a lawsuit. After the Statute of Limitations expires, an injury victim is no longer allowed to seek recourse for their injuries.
The Wisconsin Statute of Limitations varies by the type of case. For a typical Wisconsin personal injury accident, the Statute of Limitations is 3 years, meaning an injury victims has 3 years from the date of accident to settle their claim or file a lawsuit. See Section 893.54 Wisconsin Statutes. However, the 3 year limitation can be shortened depending on the circumstances.
Wisconsin personal injury claims against municipal entities requires the injury victim to provide the particular entity with written notice of the injury within 120 days of the event. The injury victim must also present the municipal entity with a detailed notice of the claim prior to the filing of a lawsuit. See Section 893.80 Wisconsin Statutes.
Other common Wisconsin Statutes of Limitations for causes of action accruing prior to February 6, 2016, include the following:
- Contracts: 6 years
- Property Damage: 6 years
- Fraud: 6 years
- Product Liability: 3 years
- Medical Malpractice: 3 years
- Libel / Slander / Defamation: 2 years
- Intentional Tort: 3 years
The Wisconsin Legislature changed many common statute of limitations effective February 6, 2016, as follows:
|Accidents occurring before February 6, 2016||EFFECTIVE ON ACCIDENTS OCCURRING AFTER FEBRUARY 6, 2016
|Auto Property Damage||6 years from Date of Accident||3 years from Date of Accident|
|Bodily Injury Claim (non-death)||3 years from Date of Accident||3 years from Date of Accident [NO CHANGE]|
|Death Involving a Motor Vehicle||3 years from Date of Accrual [Defined by case law as date of death]||2 years from Date of Accrual|
|Uninsured Motorist (UM)||6 years from Date of Accident||3 years from Date of Accrual|
|Under Insured Motorist (UIM)||6 years from Date of Accrual||3 years from Date of Accrual|
Wisconsin Statute of Limitations for Minors and Incompetents
Like most states, Wisconsin recognizes a different statute of limitations for minors and incompetents than for regular adults. Section 893.16 Wisconsin Statutes provides for the following:
(1) If a person entitled to bring an action is, at the time the cause of action accrues, either under the age of 18 years, except for actions against health care providers; or mentally ill, the action may be commenced within 2 years after the disability ceases, except that where the disability is due to mental illness, the period of limitation prescribed in this chapter may not be extended for more than 5 years.(2) Subsection (1) does not shorten a period of limitation otherwise prescribed.(3) A disability does not exist, for the purposes of this section, unless it existed when the cause of action accrues.(4) When 2 or more disabilities coexist at the time the cause of action accrues, the 2 year period specified in sub. (1) does not begin until they all are removed.
Wisconsin Statute of Repose
A Statute of Repose refers to a time limitation barring claims after a certain period of time, even if the defect is not discovered or the injury does not occur within that period of time. For example, Wisconsin personal injury claims against architects and/or engineers due to negligent design or construction of property causing injury is 10 years from the date the building is constructed. Wisconsin medical malpractice claims have a 5 year statute of repose.
The Wisconsin Statute of Limitations for a particular claim can vary greatly depending on many circumstances. If you have a potential claim and would like to know the statute of limitations, contact an experienced Wisconsin lawyer.