Wisconsin Wrongful Death
If someone is killed and the fault lies with another party, wrongful death damages may be recovered by the victim's family. Examples would be a personal injury that results in death or a fatality caused by drunk driving or a defective product. There have also been more unusual cases of deathscaused by another party. Families in this situation not only must deal with the emotional stress that comes with losing a loved one, but often financial burdens as well. These are the damages a suit aims to recover and a task that a competent wrongful death lawyer must be up for.
Survivors of the victim may be eligible for many different wrongful death damages in a claim. Once fault on the part of another has been determined, they may be eligible for the following
- Compensation for medical and funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Compensatory damages
Filing a Claim
In most cases, a claim for wrongful death damages can only be filed by close family members of the deceased. In Wisconsin, immediate family such as parents, spouses and children are allowed to file a claim. Keep in mind, however, that laws vary from state to state so speaking with a qualified personal injury lawyer is advisable. The state laws regarding wrongful death tend to vary by the following factors:
- Minors - In some states, a legal guardian is required to ensure a minor's best interests in a lawsuit.
- Distant Relatives - Distant relatives such as grandparents, aunts and uncles are not able to file a suit for wrongful death damages in Wisconsin.
- Statute of Limitations - Families of the victim must usually comply with the local statute of limitations and file charges in a predetermined amount of time. State of Wisconsin has a 2 year statute of limitations that generally runs from the date of an accident. Once this time has expired, a claim or charges cannot be filed against the responsible party.
Anyone who files a claim for wrongful death damages from the responsible party must have valid proof of certain elements and present their case to the court. In most cases, they either need to prove that the responsible party did or did not act in a certain way, thus causing the instance that resulted in the death of their loved one. Because these cases can be very complex, the best way to determine if you have a legitimate claim is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate your case and discuss your legal rights.
A wrongful death lawsuit is often stressful and emotional for survivors of the deceased. If you have lost a loved one due to the neglect of another party, please contact Daniel P. Kondos today. Attorneys are available by phone, e-mail, or by clicking here.