In Wisconsin, family members of the deceased generally have three years in which to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one, or only two years if a car accident was involved with the death. This period of time is known as the statute of limitations, and the timeframe begins when the injury that caused the death occurred. In many cases where the deceased person’s death was not instantaneous, the statute of limitations can become a contentious legal issue in wrongful death lawsuits.
If you believe that your loved one’s death was the result of negligence, it is important to act promptly. A wrongful death lawsuit can be dismissed if it was not filed within the statute of limitations. No monetary award can compensate for the immeasurable loss of someone you love. However, damages in a wrongful death claim can provide a sense of justice for you and your family and help to manage the economic hardships that may result from your loss.
The wrongful death attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC understand how the statute of limitations is applied in Wisconsin’s courts. We know the emotional and financial costs of losing someone dear. We are committed to helping ease the burdens of families during this difficult time so they can focus on moving forward.
In order to bring a valid wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove these four elements:
In a successful wrongful death case, your attorney must prove that your loved one’s death was caused either in part or in whole by the recklessness, carelessness, or negligent actions of another party or parties who owed a “duty of care” to the deceased.
While the precise definition of this duty of care can vary depending on the facts of a case, it is essentially the duty to act in a way that keeps another person safe, or in a way that avoids doing something that could potentially harm your loved one. For example, drivers have a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Medical professionals have duties regarding the care of patients.
Once a duty of care has been established, your wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate that the defendant failed in his or her duty of care to your family member.
In a car accident case, this may mean proving that the defendant was intoxicated or distracted and not paying attention to the road when he or she caused the wreck. A reasonably prudent driver would not drink or drive, nor would they fail to pay attention to the road. By doing so, the driver breached his or her duty of due care in those situations.
In addition to proving a breach in the defendant’s duty of care, your attorney must prove that this breach caused your loved one’s death. Continuing the example of an auto accident, your lawyer must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty behind the wheel caused the crash that killed the deceased. Depending on the details of the case, proving causation can be complicated, and require the skill and resources of an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
In a wrongful death claim, your attorney must prove that the victim’s death caused quantifiable damages, such as:
Proving wrongful death in Wisconsin requires strong and convincing evidence. A wrongful death lawyer will help build a compelling case on your family’s behalf and pursue the justice you deserve in this difficult time.
Wrongful death claims in Wisconsin can be filed by the spouse or domestic partner, children, or surviving parents or guardians of the deceased. However, the claim must be filed within the Statute of Limitations, so it is important to act quickly if you believe your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence.
At Studinski Law, LLC, our wrongful death attorneys know what a difficult time this is for you and your family. We can handle every step of the legal process on your behalf, from dealing with the insurance agency and negotiating a settlement to taking your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
We know that no two cases are the same. We will work to understand the details of your case and tailor a legal strategy that is customized specifically for your unique situation.
If you’ve lost someone dear because of another person’s negligence, call Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have offices in Plover and Marshfield and serve the entire state of Wisconsin.