Wisconsin Malpractice Law | Wisconsin Medical Malpractice
Limits on Malpractice Damages
Wisconsin has established a $350,000.00 cap on noneconomic damages. This amount increases to $500,000.00 for cases involving the death of a minor.
Collateral Source Rule
Under a traditional collateral source rule a defendant may not seek to reduce its liability by introducing evidence that the plaintiff has received compensation from other sources such as the plaintiff’s own insurance coverage. For medical malpractice cases in Wisconsin evidence of payment from collateral sources is admissible at trial.
Rules for Expert Witnesses
Wisconsin does not impose special limits on the testimony of expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases.
Joint and Several Liability
Under a traditional rule of joint and several liability where more than one defendant is found liable for the injury suffered by a plaintiff. Each defendant is individually liable for the entire amount of the judgment, such that if one defendant is unable to pay the other defendant or defendants are liable for the entire amount of the judgment. Wisconsin has modified this rule such that unless a defendant is more than 50% responsible for a plaintiff’s injury or acted in concert with other defendants to cause the plaintiff’s injury, each defendant is liable for damages in an amount proportionate to that defendants fault for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Statute of Limitations
Medical malpractice actions must be filed within three years of the date of the act or omission resulting in injury or one year from the date the injury was or reasonably should have been discovered whichever is later. However no medical malpractice action may be filed more than five years from the date of the act or omission underlying the claim. For medical malpractice cases involving minors a lawsuit must be filed by the minors tenth birthday or within the general medical malpractice limitations period whichever is later.
Limits on Attorney Fees
Attorney fees are limited to 1/3 of the first $1 million, or 25% ofthe first $1 million if the defendant stipulates to liability within a specified timeframe. Attorney fees are limited to 25% for any recovery in excess of $1 million.
*Voluntary mediation may be requested prior to the commencement of court action and tolls the statute of limitations until thirty days after the last day of the mediation period.