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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Milwaukee

Providing Caring & Attentive Legal Support to Loved Ones & Families

flag at a gravesiteNothing is more difficult than losing a loved one. If you have suffered such a tragic loss, our lawyers for wrongful death 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, our Wisconsin wrongful death lawyers at Dunk Law Firm are here to help. Our Milwaukee wrongful death lawyers can provide you with the legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time.

Reach out to our Milwaukee wrongful death attorneys today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Call (414) 206-1295 or submit an online contact form to get started filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

On This Page:

On this page we answer a variety of wrongful death FAQ. Click on a below topic to navigate to that section of content on the page.

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?

Infographic Showing What Damages You Can Recover In A Wrongful Death Claim

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.

Can You Get Punitive Damages for Wrongful Death in Wisconsin?

While some states allow for victim's families to recover punitive damages as a means of punishing egregious wrongdoing that led to their loved ones death, Wisconsin is not one of those states. Punitive damages are not available in Wisconsin wrongful death cases.

How Much Is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?

Wrongful death claims typically result in higher settlements than other types of personal injury cases. This is because of the types of damages associated with these types of accidents. Loss of companionship, loss of income, and loss of inheritance can lead to some extremely high settlement amounts. While every case is different and therefore every settlement will be different, a typical wrongful death settlement can be anywhere from $500,000 to several million.

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 death 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.

Our attorneys for wrongful death 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?

sad couple standing together at funeralIn 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 wrongful death 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.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in Milwaukee include the following:

Is An Autopsy Required for a Wrongful Death Claim?

One common misconception about filing a wrongful death claim is the assumption that you will have to have an autopsy done on your deceased loved one in order to prove that the death was wrongful. It's understandable that some family members may be hesitant to have this done. However, this is not always the case. In many wrongful death lawsuits, fault can be shown without having to have an autopsy done.

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 wrongful death case being thrown out.

How Long Do Wrongful Death Cases Take?

Wrongful death claims usually tend to take longer to resolve than other types of personal injury claims because they are often more complex and require more evidence. The average timeframe for a wrongful death case is usually 1-4 years, although it's not unheard of for a wrongful death claim to be resolved in under a year. While we will certainly work to resolve your case as quickly as possible, our chief goal will be to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. If that means taking your case to court and arguing on your behalf, we're ready to do that, no matter how long it may take.

To learn how our wrongful death law firm in Milwaukee can help you, call us at (414) 206-1295 or contact us online and request a free and confidential consultation.

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