Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Wisconsin
The loss of a family member in an accident can be one of the most difficult events a person may have to endure in his or her lifetime. An individual is never prepared to lose someone they love. But when a loss comes suddenly and unexpectedly, coping can be especially difficult. However, when the accident occurs due to someone else's fault or negligence, there is a way for family members and loved ones to receive help in picking up the pieces and moving forward with their lives. A wrongful death claim refers to a claim made or a lawsuit filed in civil court to recover damages from a person who, either through a wrongful or negligent act, caused the death of another.
Wisconsin's Wrongful Death Statute
Wisconsin law on wrongful death is detailed in section 895 of Wisconsin's statutes and allows only certain people to bring a civil lawsuit for personal injury against the wrongdoer on behalf of the deceased. A wrongful death claim can be brought only if the deceased could have pursued a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer had he or she survived. A civil wrongful death claim is different from a criminal case, where the wrongdoer is charged for killing a person by the state and is imposed with a punishment such as jail time. In a civil wrongful death case, certain family members or the estate of the deceased files a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation from the individual who was responsible for the victim's death.
According to Wisconsin's wrongful death statute, the following people are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the wrongdoer:
The personal representative of the deceased's estate; and
The surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or guardian of the deceased.
What Type of Damages Can Be Pursued in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, a family member or estate can seek monetary compensation for the following:
Costs associated with the funeral and burial of the deceased;
Lost income and wages that the deceased would have earned if he or she did not sustain an untimely death;
Medical expenses as a result of the negligent act; and
Loss of society and companionship.
When a personal representative of the estate files a wrongful death claim, he or she can sometimes pursue a survivorship claim seeking compensation for the conscious pain and suffering the deceased experienced from the time of injury to the time of death.
Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney in Wisconsin
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident that was caused by someone's negligence, please contact one of the compassionate Green Bay wrongful death attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. Time can be of the essence in wrongful death claims, as the state of Wisconsin imposes a deadline regarding when a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. Our attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and help you gradually rebuild your life in the wake of a tragedy. We have offices in Green Bay, Oshkosh, New London and Appleton, and we are ready to assist you today.