A wrongful death is a death caused by a “wrongful act, neglect or default,” of another person. In these instances, the individual responsible for the negligent act, like a car accident, may also be responsible for any deaths resulting from the incident.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Wisconsin?
Wisconsin has specific rules about who can file a wrongful death claim.
If the deceased victim was married, only their spouse can file a claim, but if the victim was not married, the victim’s children can file the wrongful death claim. If there is not a spouse or children, the victim’s parents or siblings may file a claim.
Medical malpractice claims that result in death are handled differently. In these instances, only a spouse or minor child(ren) can bring a claim. Adult children who lost a parent because of a medical malpractice incident cannot bring a wrongful death claim.
In most instances, you have three years to file a wrongful death claim. If the victim died because of a car accident, however, you only have two years to file a claim.
This statute of limitations can get confusing, though. For example, if someone was injured in a car accident and passed away three months later, it can be difficult to determine when the statute of limitations starts. Because of this, it’s best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so you don’t miss your chance to file a claim.
If you would like to learn more regarding Wrongful Death laws in Wisconsin, more information can be found here.
What Can You Recover?
Successful wrongful death claims in Wisconsin can recover damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and income: this is the money the victim would have earned if he/she had not been killed.
- Loss of society and companionship: this is the emotional loss of losing a loved one. This is capped at $350,000 for a deceased adult and $500,000 for a deceased minor.
- If the deceased victim has minor dependents, the court can set aside up to 50% of the final wrongful death settlement into a trust for the dependent(s)’ care. This trust cannot be more than 50% of the total award.
At Habush Habush & Rottier, we recognize that every client and every case is different. We ensure that we hear each client’s story and fully account for the circumstances of their cases. If you or your loved one is in need of legal help regarding a wrongful death case, contact us today. You can speak with our qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys and ask for advice on your unique case. The first call is free and confidential.