Wisconsin is a “comparative negligence” State. In fact, it is common for claimants are found to be some percentage at fault in an auto accident.
At the end of the trial, one of the questions asked of the jury is whether the claimant and the defendant were both at fault. If the answer is “yes”, even partially, then the jury attributes a percentage of negligence to the claimant and to the defendant who caused the incident.
The jury isn’t told this, but when they go home, in essence the judge says, “OK, Mr. Claimant, you are found 15% at fault, and (for propose of example) the jury awarded you $100,000. You don’t recover for your fault. So, I’m diminishing your recovery by $15,000, and the judgment for you is $85,000.” That reduction in percentage of negligence continues to the point of 50% each. Under Wisconsin law, if you’re 51% or more at fault, you recover nothing. The theory of the law in Wisconsin is if you’re more at fault in causing the accident you recover nothing.
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