Legal Question in Personal Injury in Wisconsin

A lady ran the red light and hit my car and kept going last week. Police later found the lady and issued her 4 tickets. She admitted it was her fault. My car spinned around several times. Neither one of us had insurance. My damages are estimated at $9000. I found out her license is suspended and the car she was driving is not in her name. I called her to see if she wanted to work out a payment plan and she declined. I want to know if I can sue her and the car owner? I also have been suffering with severe anxiety and major depressive disorder and insomnia which has gotten worser after the accident. What can be done? Thanks!

Asked on 7/20/12, 7:33 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathan Safran Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C.

You might want to first find out if the owner of the car had any insurance. If neither the driver nor the owner, and you also had no auto insurance, and the other driver or owner are not willing to work out any payment plan with you, you might wish to first contact the Motor Vehicle Department to find out if they will be taking action against the driver and owner for not having any insurance for this accident. The State may suspend the registration privileges for the owner of the car and may further suspend the driving privileges for the driver of the car, on the condition that if they work out a satisfactory payment plan with you to pay your damages, that they may be able to keep their registration and driving privileges intact. If that does not work, you can certainly file a lawsuit, either in Small Claims Court, without the need of an attorney, or in Large Claims Court, with the assistance of an attorney. If you file in Small Claims Court, the maximum you may recover is $5,000.00, plus costs, however, you can avoid the fees associated with hiring an attorney. If you obtain a judgment, then you might be able to recover the money by way of garnishing wages or attaching assets. Many of the County Courthouses have instructions and assistance in filling out the papers to have the lawsuit filed. Please be advised that for injury claims, you would normally have a three year statute of limitations, and for property damage claims, you would normally have a six year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations time periods require you to either settle your claims or file a lawsuit within those time periods. If you are going to make a claim for physical and emotional damages, proof of those injuries, usually by way of medical care, will be required to prove those damages. You may wish to consult with an attorney in more detail regarding your claims and how to proceed regarding the above.

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Answered on 7/20/12, 7:54 am

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