At Studinski Law, LLC, we understand that the sudden loss of a family member in an accident is devastating. We know that the grief can be overwhelming, but in these situations, you hardly have time to focus on what you and your family need most – time together. Instead, the practical and financial aspects of your loved one’s death demand attention. You and your relatives may be forced to deal with medical bills, insurers, funeral homes, and cemeteries. Despite the accident being someone else’s fault, the expenses can pile up quickly. It is because of these reasons that you should speak with a Stevens Point wrongful death attorney as soon as you can.
We understand that filing a lawsuit and obtaining a settlement will not bring your loved one back. It may not make you feel better at all. However, it can offer a small amount of justice. We are here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve under the law, giving you and your family a better path forward.
Wisconsin’s Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim alleges that your loved one’s death was the result of another person’s negligence or knowing and willful misconduct. A wrongful death suit is not the same as a criminal case. It is a civil matter, and it does not necessarily allege that the defendant committed murder. In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit alleges that an individual’s careless or reckless behavior was the direct cause of a person’s death, and therefore, that individual should be held liable. If you are interested in moving forward with a wrongful death claim after the passing of a loved one, speak with our Stevens Point wrongful death attorneys as soon as you can.
Accidents that Commonly Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
Our legal team has years of experience handling wrongful death claims. We see many of these cases arise out of inadequate medical care, including nursing home abuse and negligence. If you believe your loved one passed away due to abuse in a healthcare setting, contact our Stevens Point wrongful death lawyers today. We see several wrongful death accidents arise from collisions and single-vehicle accidents, including:
Additionally, we represent individuals in third-party claims following workplace fatalities.
No matter how your loved one passed away, if you believe the accident was another person’s fault, call a Stevens Point wrongful Death attorney at our firm right away.
Filing a Wrongful Death Action
Multiple individuals may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of your loved one. Based on Wisconsin Statute 895.04, a person who would have the right to obtain compensation may file the claim. This typically begins with the surviving spouse and minor children. If your loved one did not leave behind a spouse, then their parents or adult children may file the claim. If they passed away with no surviving spouse, parent, or child, then their next lineal decedent could file a claim.
Additionally, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate has the right to bring a wrongful death action. This individual can pursue compensation for the estate and surviving family members.
A surviving relative and the personal representative can both file wrongful death claims. However, upon a motion, the court may consolidate the claims into one case.
Wrongful Death Compensation in Wisconsin
Through a wrongful death claim, you and your family members may pursue compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses – These damages are available to the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, or to the family member responsible for them.
- Funeral and burial expenses – These damages are available to the family member who took financial responsibility for the funeral and burial.
- Loss of financial contributions – A spouse, children, and other dependent relatives can pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one’s income.
- Loss of inheritance – The family members who reasonably expected to inherit from their loved one in the future can pursue compensation for this financial loss.
- Loss of society and companionship – A spouse, parents, or children can pursue compensation for the emotional loss of their loved one’s company and love. This amount can be up to $500,000 for a deceased child, and $350,000 for a deceased adult.
Wrongful Death Claim Statute of Limitations
For almost all types of legal claims, you only have a certain period of time during which you can file a lawsuit. After the statute of limitations runs out, you can no longer file a claim. For a wrongful death claim in Wisconsin, the statute of limitations depends on the situation. If your loved one passed away in a vehicle accident, then you must file a lawsuit within two years. If another type of accident caused your loved one’s death, then you may have up to three years to file. You should speak with a Stevens Point wrongful death attorney about the statute of limitations that applies to your case.
When the statute of limitations begins and ends can be complicated. If your loved one did not pass away immediately following their accident, then there may be an issue as to whether the clock started on the day of the accident, or the day of your relative’s death. If you and your family could not have known that you had a legal claim when your loved one died, then the statute of limitations may not have started running until the date when you reasonably could have known you had a right to file a lawsuit.
Understanding Survival Actions
Though they are often discussed together, wrongful death claims and survival actions are not the same thing. A wrongful death claim focuses on the harm caused to the survivors. The compensation is intended to address the survivors’ financial and emotional damages. The purpose of a survival action is to address the harm caused to your loved one prior to their death. If a relative or the personal representative files a survival action, the compensation pursued is for your loved one’s financial, psychological, and physical injuries. To learn more about the difference between survival actions and wrongful death claims, do not hesitate to contact a Stevens Point wrongful death lawyer from our firm.
Let a Stevens Point Wrongful Death Attorney Help
After the unexpected loss of a relative, you and your family members may feel like you are drowning. Our legal team at Studinski Law, LLC wants to lift some of that burden from your shoulders. We are here to find out what happened and who is responsible. Let us investigate, gather evidence, and analyze your legal options. We are here to do the work so that you can be fully informed about your rights and options. If you have a valid claim and wish to pursue compensation, we will be with you every step of the way.