Wrongful Death Attorneys in Milwaukee
Providing Caring & Attentive Legal Support to Loved Ones & Families
Nothing is more difficult than losing a loved one. If you have suffered such a tragic loss, we at Dunk Law Firm want to extend our sincerest condolences to you and your family.
When a person dies as a result of the careless, reckless, or wrongful actions of another person or entity in the state of Wisconsin, certain individuals may file a wrongful death claim. Such a claim seeks compensation from the liable party to help surviving family members and loved ones who are left to deal with immense financial and emotional challenges as a result of the wrongful death.
If your loved one died in an accident or incident caused by someone else’s negligence, Dunk Law Firm is here to help. Our Milwaukee wrongful death lawyers can provide you with the legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time.
What Makes a Death “Wrongful?”
Wisconsin law states that a death is “wrongful” when it results from “a wrongful act, neglect, or default.” In other words, if a death could have and should have been prevented, it is a wrongful death, and the surviving family members may be able to take legal action. Wrongful deaths often result from car and truck accidents, as well as other forms of negligence.
What Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Typically, in order to bring a wrongful death action, you will need to show that you suffered damages. Wrongful death damages may include things like:
- Medical costs for treatment prior to death
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages/income the deceased would have earned
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of society or companionship
While there is no amount of financial compensation that can negate the loss you have endured, securing compensation for your damages can allow you the ability to meet new financial challenges so that you can focus on healing and spending time with your family.
How Do You Prove a Wrongful Death Claim?
Cases involving wrongful death are quite similar to other forms of personal injury cases in terms of negligence. After the lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff will be required to prove elements of a wrongful death claim. The following must be proven:
The defendant was negligent
The defendant’s negligence was the result of the deceased’s death
The defendant had a duty of care to the victim
In order for your case to be successful, it must be proven that the death of the victim resulted in quantifiable damages. Some of these types of damages can include medical bills, burial expenses, and loss of income for the dependants.
We understand the legal issues involved and the related statutes, and we are here to fight on your behalf to get the best possible outcome.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, only certain individuals may file a wrongful death claim. These individuals include:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- The deceased’s child/children (if there are any)
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) of the deceased
In any case, if the deceased has a surviving spouse/domestic partner and/or minor child/children, the court will set aside a portion of any wrongful death recovery awarded for those dependents. The amount set aside by the court cannot be more than half (50%) of the total award.
Who Pays for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most cases the responsible party's insurance company will pay out the settlement on their behalf. However, in cases where the settlement amount exceeds the policy limit, the individual company or person may be responsible to pay out the remaining amount.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
When you have been awarded your settlement amount, you may be given the choice between two different payout options: a Lump-Sum payout or a Structured Settlement payout.
A Lump-Sum payout is when you are given the entire settlement in one complete payment. This option allows families to immediately pay off any outstanding debts associated with their loved one's death.
A Structured Settlement is when the settlement amount is broken out into several payments over a period of time. While this removes the surviving family's ability to pay off large debts, it provides more long-term support. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this type of payout is that it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to change after the terms have been agreed on.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Wrongful Death Claim
In Wisconsin, you typically have three years to bring a wrongful death claim. However, if the wrongful death was the result of a car or motor vehicle accident, you only have two years to take action. In either instance, the clock starts running on the date of the death.
Though we understand that taking legal action may not be the biggest priority in your life right now, we urge you to reach out to our wrongful death lawyers in Milwaukee right away so that you do not miss the deadline. Failing to bring a claim within the statute of limitations will almost certainly result in your case being thrown out.
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