5 Things You MUST Know about Wrongful Death Lawsuits in WI
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. If you have a loved one who has died to due to negligence and are eligible to file a suit, you need to know it - and everything you need to know before making a claim.
1. Who is eligible to sue for a wrongful death
Who can sue for a wrongful death lawsuit in Wisconsin?
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.
2. How long you have to file a wrongful death claim
What is the statue of limitations to sue for a wrongful death in Wisconsin?
You have three years to sue for a wrongful death in the state of Wisconsin. As long as you file your claim with the state within three years of the death in question your case will be valid.
3. How much you can sue for a wrongful death
Is there a damages cap on wrongful death lawsuits in Wisconsin?
No. Wisconsin law puts no limit on the damages in a wrongful death case. As a representative of the deceased you may make what’s called a survivorship claim to seek damages for conscious pain and suffering. Damages may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and other financial losses
- Loss of companionship/society – up to $500,000 for a minor
- Funeral/burial expenses
Punitive damages are not available in wrongful death cases in Wisconsin
Punitive damages meaning above and beyond standard compensation for pain and suffering in order to punish a defendant. These kinds of actions are not permissible in Wisconsin courts.
If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident and are thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there is help available. Take action. We can be a tremendous help to your financial well-being after a tragedy.
4. The average wrongful death settlement amount in Wisconsin
Wrongful death settlements in Wisconsin won by personal injury attorney Steve Caya
We’ve helped many Wisconsin victims get the compensation they deserve after a senseless tragedy. The average settlement for a wrongful death case is very high due to the severity of the cases, many cases wind up in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Not everyone is eager to share their story about their wrongful death lawsuit, but here are a few examples of settlements we've attained for victims in the past:
5. How to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Wisconsin
- Find an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience for any family member. Hiring a wrongful death law attorney will 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 in court.
- 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.
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