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Am I able to receive any compensation for a Madison wrongful death if the family member who died was elderly?

Possibly. There are two points that must be addressed in this question: the age of your deceased family member and your relationship to your loved one.

According to Wisconsin law, age is not a determining factor when it comes to a Madison wrongful death claim. A 90-year-old man who dies in a Wisconsin auto accident caused by a drunk driver or an 80-year-old woman who is killed when a nurse gives her the wrong medication is a reasonable case for a wrongful death claim in Wisconsin.

The determining factor is the cause of death, namely that the death occurred because of another person’s negligence. Under these circumstances, the family of the deceased may be eligible for compensation regardless of the age of the family member who died.

If, however, the family member died of natural causes or of complications due to his or her age—not due to another person’s mistake—you will likely be unable to recoup any damages.

Whether or not you specifically are eligible for damages depends on your relationship to the deceased family member. Only certain family members are allowed by law to file a claim for a Wisconsin wrongful death.

Typically, when an elderly person dies, either the surviving spouse or children of the deceased pursue a wrongful death claim. Stepchildren or other legal dependents may also be able to recoup damages.

In order to win a wrongful death case, you will need to prove that someone else’s actions caused your loved one’s death and that you suffered damages from the death of your loved one.

For a free consultation or a free copy of one of our many informational handouts, contact the experienced Madison wrongful death attorneys of Hupy & Abraham at 888-277-4879. Our firm maintains seven offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, and we can always direct you to the closest one to your home or business.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham