In the state of Wisconsin, hundreds of people lose their lives in fatal car accidents each year, and many more are killed in other incidents involving another party’s negligence. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be struggling with intense grief over your loss, and you may be frustrated because it feels like there is no way to hold the responsible party accountable. While it is true that a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring your loved one back, it may help you obtain compensation to recover financially.
Legal Options After a Wrongful Death
In most cases, there are two options for pursuing compensation when a person loses his or her life due to someone else’s negligence. The first is the commencement or continuation of an action on behalf of the decedent, which can be initiated by the decedent’s named personal representative. The representative may be a spouse, child, or another party appointed to manage the decedent’s estate. If you proceed with this option, you are entitled to seek compensation for damages that your lost loved one could have claimed him or herself, including medical bills, property damage, lost income, and the conscious pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their death.
The second option is a wrongful death lawsuit for damages to a surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, guardian, or other family member or dependent of the decedent. As one of these parties, you can initiate the legal process, and it is best done with the assistance of an attorney. You can pursue recovery for your own losses, including funeral and burial expenses for your loved one, loss of past, and future, financial support that the deceased would have provided, and your loss of society and companionship. Under Wisconsin law, there is a cap on recoverable damages for society and companionship that is set at $350,000 for a deceased adult and $500,000 for a deceased minor.
If wrongful death actions are filed by more than one party with the appropriate standing, all of the claims are likely to be consolidated into a single action.
How an Attorney Can Help
Your attorney can help you determine which of these options offers the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need or whether you may be able to pursue a combination of the two. He or she can also help you gather the evidence you need to demonstrate the negligence involved in the accident that took the life of your loved one. An experienced lawyer will be a strong advocate and representative of the interests of you and your loved one in settlement discussions with the at-fault party, or in a trial whenever necessary.
Contact a Green Bay Wrongful Death Lawyer
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we understand how hard it can be to lose someone you love, and we will take responsibility for your legal case for compensation so that you can focus on your own emotional recovery. Contact one of our experienced Appleton wrongful death attorneys by calling 920-739-7366 today.