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Pursuing Compensation for a Family Member's Wrongful Death

Posted on in Wrongful Death

Milwaukee, WI wrongful death claim lawyerIf your loved one has died due to the fault of another person or business, Wisconsin law states that you may be able to recover certain monetary damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Who Can Recover Compensation?

Wisconsin law only allows certain people to bring wrongful death actions, and it also dictates certain parties who must recover any award of damages in wrongful death actions. Those who may bring a wrongful death action include:

  • The personal representative of the deceased person's estate
  • The surviving spouse of the decedent
  • The domestic partner of the decedent 
  • The child of the decedent
  • The parent or guardian of the decedent

If the decedent left behind a spouse, domestic partner, or one or more children under age 18, the court will set aside a part of any award for the care of the deceased person's dependents. The amount will not be more than 50 percent of the total award.

What Types of Damages Are Awarded?

Damages that are typically awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Any medical expenses for treatment of injuries resulting from the negligent act that led to the death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages or income that the decedent would have earned if they had not been killed
  • Loss of society and companionship

Wisconsin law places some limits on damages in wrongful death actions. For example, in a claim involving a deceased adult, family members may not be awarded more than $350,000. That limit is increased to $500,00 for a deceased minor. In addition, Wisconsin law does not allow punitive damages to be awarded in wrongful death cases.

Another type of damages that may be brought alongside a wrongful death claim is a survivorship claim. This claim seeks compensation for the conscious pain and suffering the decedent experienced after the accident and before death. For example, if someone died in an accident instantly, there would be no survivorship claim. On the other hand, if someone died weeks after the accident, their family could be compensated for the pain and suffering experienced during that time. There is no limit on pain and suffering awards in survivorship actions.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Wrongful Death Lawyer

While no amount of money can make you whole again after a loved one dies, it can help ease the financial burden of losing someone on whom you depended. The attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP will handle your case efficiently and effectively for you during this difficult time. To speak with a trusted Milwaukee wrongful death attorney, call our firm today at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/895/I/04

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