How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Wisconsin
Losing a family member is never easy, especially in cases where negligence is involved. If your loved has been killed in a fatal accident caused by negligence you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death is defined as any fatality caused by another party’s actions or negligence. It may include examples such as motor vehicle accident, bicycle accidents caused by another driver, dangerous roadway or defective vehicles, medical malpractice, animal bites and abuse.
Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim? According to the Wrongful Death Statute of Wisconsin, the following family members are eligible to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased:
- A surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Guardian of the deceased
Additionally, a personal representative of the estate also has permission to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you have a loved one who has died to due to negligence and are eligible to file a suit, it is important to take the following steps:
- Find an experienced wrongful death attorney: Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience for any family member. By seeking out the expertise and guidance of a wrongful death law attorney, you can help alleviate some of the additional stress of filing a lawsuit and instead focus on the grieving process. An experienced wrongful death attorney can lead you through legal procedures and help you to file the lawsuit within the appropriate time frame.
- File the lawsuit within the statute of limitations: When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to act quickly. In Wisconsin, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within three years of the victim’s death. Individuals who wait too long to file a suit run the risk of having their case dismissed. With this in mind, it is critical that you contact an attorney well before the three-year time limit is over so that the attorney has enough time to conduct an investigation and gather evidence to establish the case.
- File a complaint with the state court: A wrongful death lawsuit formally begins once a complaint is filed with the state court. When drafting a complaint, it is important to be specific and discuss all the important details required to establish a wrongful death claim. It is also important that the complaint outlines all the damages, or compensation options, that you may be entitled to as a result of the wrongful death. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you file a complaint without any cost to you.
If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident and are thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there is help available.