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Changes are Coming to How Wisconsin Courts Prosecute Bodily Injury Claims

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Personal Injury

We live in a constantly-evolving society. When new technology and cultural trends make old laws and procedures feel inadequate or even inappropriate, our legislators work to create new laws that better fit with our changed reality. This happens at all levels of government – municipal, state, and federal level laws are subject to amendments, repeals, and new legislation to clarify or update old laws.

In Wisconsin, new legislation has been proposed this year to change how claims of bodily injury are prosecuted. If passed, this legislation will change how personal injury claims are handled. One of the most critical changes with this legislation is the change to the collateral source rule, which could make it more difficult for personal injury victims to recover full damages for their losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, work with an attorney who is aware of how these changes can affect your claim.

The Collateral Source Rule

One of the most significant changes to come with this proposed legislation is a change to Wisconsin’s collateral source rule. Traditionally, the collateral source rule states that when an individual is injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, the compensation that the injured party received from his or her own health insurance provider cannot be used to reduce the amount of money the negligent party must pay to the victim. In other words, a negligent party may be required to pay “sticker price” for a victim’s injuries, even if the total expense experienced by the victim is below that number because of the benefits he or she receives.

The proposed changes ofAB539would alter this to allow fact finders involved in personal injury cases to consider evidence of these benefits, known as collateral source payments, and evidence of the insured’s subrogation requirements when determining a compensation amount. Admission of this type of evidence may be used to refute that the amount of money a claimant is seeking is reasonable for his or her losses. It does not make statements for the exact amount of money paid by the claimant or the amount of compensation he or she received as collateral source benefits admissible. In short, this gives defendants a better ability to gauge the amount of money a claimant is seeking for his or her personal injury damages.

Work with an Experienced Appleton Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident, you need to work with an experienced Green Bay personal injury lawyer to get the monetary compensation you deserve. A competent personal injury attorney is well-versed on the changing legislation and the laws applicable to his or her clients’ cases. This is why it is critical that you work with a bodily injury attorney atHammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC – we stay up to date on Wisconsin’s evolving laws to serve you best. Do not wait to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm.