Death 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:
- Automobile collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
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:
- Medical expenses for any care the deceased received before their death
- Pre-impact terror and anticipation of death
- Post-impact conscious pain and suffering until time of death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of anticipated future earnings
- The economic value of past and future services that performed by the deceased (for example: household, yardwork or other chores; booking; child care; transportation; etc.) as determined by vocational and/or economic experts
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional damages, including grief and mental anguish
It is important to consult with an attorney when a loved one is lost, because some claims belong to the estate of the descendant, and others belong to survivors. Wisconsin Statutes also specify which family members do or do not have the right to pursue claims. The statutes also place caps on certain damages but not others.
Following a person’s death, it is important to gather evidence and documentation related to the cause of death, the medical care provided, and the effects the death has had on the family. For instance, witness statements, video footage, and police records could help determine who was responsible for the death. Medical records can demonstrate the extent of treatment that was needed and the causes of death, and financial records can show the impact that the loss has had on a family’s ability to meet their needs. A skilled attorney can work to obtain the necessary evidence and pursue a wrongful death claim that will allow survivors to address the irreparable harm that was done to them.
Contact a Green Bay Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your loved one has been killed because of someone else’s negligence, you will want to be sure to understand how you can receive compensation for your loss. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our caring Appleton, WI personal injury attorneys understand how difficult the passing of a loved one can be, and we are here to help your family receive the financial resources you need. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 920-739-7366.