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Wisconsin Wrongful Death: Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle

Posted on in Car Accidents

emotional distress, funeral costs, property damage, Wisconsin homicide, Wisconsin wrongful death, wrongful death case, Wisconsin OWIA man from Neenah has been charged with the homicide of a Winneconne woman after driving drunk and crashing earlier this month. The man was charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, possession of marijuana, and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

At around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 29, a Kaukauna police officer discovered an SUV that had struck two power poles in the 800 block of Hyland Avenue and Outagamie County OO. Inside the vehicle, the officer heard a man pleading with a woman to wake up. The woman was unconscious and taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, where she died of severe head trauma.

This is a truly tragic story for all parties involved. Of course, the driver will now face criminal charges, and, if convicted, may incur severe penalties including fines and incarceration. The family of the deceased will also suffer due to their loss. However, the deceased woman's survivors may be able to file a wrongful death action against the liable driver in order to recover damages. If the driver is, in fact, convicted of homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle, this may be used as evidence of liability in a wrongful death case.

Wisconsin Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle

The law dictating the crime and penalties for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle can be found in Section 940.09 of the Wisconsin statutes. It states, “Any person who … causes the death of another by the operation or handling of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant … [or] has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood … [or] while that person has a prohibited alcohol concentration” is guilty of homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle.

The penalty for this crime is a Class D felony, and if there is a showing of prior convictions, revocations, or suspensions, the crime is elevated to a Class C felony offense. In addition to criminal penalties, a person convicted of this offense can also face civil consequences for the wrongful death of the victim. Damages for wrongful death can include:

  • Medical expenses;

  • Property damage;

  • Emotional distress;

  • Funeral costs;

  • Lost wages and earnings; and

  • Loss of consortium.

Call a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Today

If your loved one was wrongfully killed in a car crash or other negligent accident in Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh, or New London, let the experienced attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case with one of our Green Bay personal injury attorneys or Appleton personal injury attorneys.

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