The death of a loved one is difficult in any circumstances, but it can be especially painful if a person was killed because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts. In these cases, a person’s surviving family members will not only suffer a great deal of emotional pain, but they may also experience significant financial difficulties. In addition to the loss of the income earned by the deceased person, there may have been a variety of other expenses, such as medical treatment prior to the person’s death and funeral and burial costs. In order to address the financial and personal impact of a loved one’s death, their survivors may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who was responsible.
Wrongful Death Cases in Wisconsin
Wisconsin law defines wrongful death as the death of a person that is caused by another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” If a victim could have sought compensation from the liable party through a personal injury lawsuit had the death not occurred, their survivors may pursue a wrongful death claim. Eligible survivors include a spouse or domestic partner, children, parents, and in some cases, siblings. The personal representative of a person’s estate may also file a wrongful death action.
A wrongful death lawsuit seeks to recover compensation for the damages caused to the deceased person’s survivors. These may include pecuniary damages experienced by the person’s family members, such as medical expenses, funeral or burial costs, and the loss of the income earned by the deceased person. In addition, family members may receive compensation for loss of society and companionship, which refers to the loss of a relationship with their loved one. Wisconsin law limits these types of damages to $500, 000 for the death of a minor or $350, 000 for the death of an adult.
The estate of the deceased person may also pursue a survival action against the person responsible for their death. This refers to the damages that could have been pursued in a personal injury case if the person had not died, and the right to file this type of claim survives beyond the person’s death. This type of lawsuit may address the damages the person suffered while they were still alive, such as the costs of medical treatment and the pain and suffering they experienced.
Contact a Green Bay Wrongful Death Attorney
If your loved one has died because of the actions or negligence of a person, company, or organization, you should be sure to understand your legal options for pursuing compensation. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for wrongful cases is three years after a person’s death, or two years if the death was caused by an auto accident, so any claims must be filed within the applicable time period. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our Appleton personal injury lawyers can help you determine whether you can pursue a wrongful death claim, and we will work to ensure that your family receives the compensation you deserve. To arrange a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.