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Appleton wrongful death claim attorneyWhen an accident is caused by a negligent party, those who are injured have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, however, many accidents are fatal, in which case the victim’s family members are left to deal with the lasting consequences. While nothing can truly make up for the loss of a loved one, it is possible for families to pursue financial recovery through a wrongful death claim.

Filing a Wisconsin Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death claims are possible in any situation in which a person loses his or her life due to someone else’s negligence, including cases involving car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, construction site accidents, workplace accidents, dog bites, product liability, and nursing home neglect. A claim can be pursued by the personal representative of the victim’s estate or a person who is entitled to recovery, which is often the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner. While the estate or certain parties taking responsibility for expenses can bring claims for certain specific damages, other claims can be brought by specified family members or domestic partners. The Statutes do not allow for all family members to bring claims, so it is important to consult with an attorney to learn which  survivors can make claims for compensation.

Damages Covered Under a Wrongful Death Claim

When pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, it may be possible to receive compensation for any or all of the following:

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Green Bay, WI car accident wrongful death attorneyEvery year, tens of thousands of Americans are fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2018. This means a person is killed in a car accident every 14 minutes. If a member of your family has been killed in a collision, you will want to understand your legal options for addressing the financial and emotional harm your family has suffered. By working with a personal injury attorney, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover financial compensation. 

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim? 

A wrongful death claim may be pursued against a person or party whose negligent or intentional actions caused the death of another party. These claims will typically be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate, and a victim’s survivors, such as a spouse, minor children of deceased parents, or the parents of a deceased minor, may also be able to recover compensation for their losses. It is important to note that not every family member may have the right to pursue a claim, so family members should immediately seek legal advice to determine whether they have a right to pursue a claim for damages.

The estate of the victim and their survivors may be able to recover compensation for multiple different types of damages. These include the medical care the victim received before passing away, the pain and suffering they experienced, and costs related to their funeral or burial. Family members may also seek compensation for loss of future income the deceased would have earned, loss of companionship, loss of services the victim would have provided to the family, and grief, sorrow, and mental anguish.

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Appleton wrongful death attorneyDeath is never easy, but it can be especially difficult to deal with if a person was killed because of someone else’s negligent actions. Even if the death was not intentional, a person’s surviving family members will be forced to deal with the financial challenges and emotional anguish that are involved in their loved one’s passing. Although financial compensation cannot bring someone back, a wrongful death claim can help address the monetary setbacks that resulted from the death. If your loved one has died because of the careless actions of another person or company, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the steps you should take to address the damages your family has suffered.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Although wrongful deaths can occur for a wide variety of reasons, there are certain situations that present a higher risk of a person being killed due to someone else’s negligence. Most commonly, wrongful deaths occur because of:

Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim

According to Wisconsin Statute 893.54, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years after a person was killed in a car accident, or three years after a death occurred because of another type of negligent act. The surviving family members of the deceased have a right to seek compensation for:

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Green Bay, WI wrongful death lawyerWhenever a family member or loved one dies, the person’s survivors are likely to experience a great deal of emotional pain and sorrow. In order to get closure and try to move on from the difficult situation, friends and family members may try to understand the reasons behind the death. If there is justification to believe that negligence or improper acts led to the person being killed, the family members of the deceased may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. If an unforeseen passing has struck someone close to you, discussing your legal options with an experienced attorney could provide insight into your situation.

Was the Death Wrongful?

Friends and family members may be looking to hold somebody responsible for their loved one’s death. However, every situation is different, and the circumstances behind a death must be closely examined to determine whether negligence played a role. For example, if a pedestrian was looking at his or her cell phone and did not obey traffic signals when crossing a street, and he or she died from being hit by a car, it may be determined that the driver was not at fault. The driver may be able to show that he or she was following the rules of the road and did everything in his or her power to prevent an accident.

Looking at a different scenario, what if negligence did occur, and the result was an innocent person being killed? For example, if a person was sending a text while driving, lost control of his or her car, and struck and killed a pedestrian on the sidewalk, the driver could be held responsible for his or her actions. The driver’s failure to pay attention to the road would likely be considered negligence, and he or she would be responsible for causing the death of the victim. 

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Wisconsin wrongful death attorneysBeing a victim in a car accident does not just affect the victim. When someone is seriously injured or even fatally so, it affects loved ones closest to him or her. In many cases, life not only changes financially but physically and emotionally as well. Spouses and children who once had a husband, wife, father or mother who provided love, companionship, comfort and physical needs, often suffer lasting effects from no longer having these needs met. And under Wisconsin law, loved ones who suffered these types of losses can file for what is called, “Loss of Consortium.”

What is Loss of Consortium?

As mentioned above, loss of consortium, also referred to as a loss of society and companionship, was created for secondary victims, namely spouses and dependents in order to receive compensation for loss of lifestyle. 

A claim for loss of consortium arises when two people can no longer enjoy or maintain their relationship because of an injury to one of the parties. 

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