In Wisconsin the personal injury claim time limit is three years for most negligence based personal injuries, including those caused the negligent driving of a motor vehicle. However, an action brought to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another and arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle shall be commenced within 2 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred. See Wis. Stats. Sec. 893.54.
For claims against the government, Wis. Stats. Secs. 893.80 and 893.82 require special notice of claims to be filed within 120 days of the event giving rise to the damages.
Wisconsin has a statute of repose, Wis. Stats. Sec. 893.89 which prohibits certain actions against property owners 10 years after substantial completion of improvements. However, this does not apply to negligence in the maintenance, operation or inspection of an improvement to real property.
An exception known as the discovery rule allows some claims past the normal personal injury claim time limit if the injured party did not discover, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, not only the fact of injury but also that the injury was probably caused by the defendant’s conduct or product.” Christ v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 2015 WI 58, 362 Wis. 2d 668.
Medical malpractice claims have their own specific time limits found in Wis. Stats. Sec. 893.55:
(1m) Except as provided by subs. (2) and (3), an action to recover damages for injury arising from any treatment or operation performed by, or from any omission by, a person who is a health care provider, regardless of the theory on which the action is based, shall be commenced within the later of:
(a) Three years from the date of the injury, or
(b) One year from the date the injury was discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered, except that an action may not be commenced under this paragraph more than 5 years from the date of the act or omission.
(2) If a health care provider conceals from a patient a prior act or omission of the provider which has resulted in injury to the patient, an action shall be commenced within one year from the date the patient discovers the concealment or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered the concealment or within the time limitation provided by sub. (1m), whichever is later.
(3) When a foreign object which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect has been left in a patient’s body, an action shall be commenced within one year after the patient is aware or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have been aware of the presence of the object or within the time limitation provided by sub. (1m), whichever is later.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.