Pre-existing condition paperwork on clipboard

Yes, you may still have a wrongful death case even if your loved one had a pre-existing condition at the time of the deadly accident. Below, we answer three questions that may be on your mind if your loved one had a pre-existing condition and died in an accident.

What Makes an Accidental Death a Wrongful Death?

To recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that:

  • The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care
  • The defendant breached the duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances
  • Your loved one died because of the accident
  • You have the legal right to pursue damages

In other words, you must prove that the person who killed your loved one was negligent and that the negligence caused your loved one’s death.

Negligence may cause fatal accidents in many different scenarios, including but not limited to:

  • Car crashes
  • Motorcycle wrecks
  • Truck accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Dangerous drugs and medical devices
  • Negligent security
  • Slip and fall accidents

If your loved one’s pre-existing condition wouldn’t have caused them to die the day of the accident, then you may have a legal case worth pursuing.

Is Your Loved One’s Pre-existing Condition Relevant?

If the accident and resulting accident injuries were the cause of your loved one’s death, you might recover damages in a wrongful death case.

The person who killed your loved one should not be exempt from legal liability simply because your loved one had a pre-existing condition.

However, the pre-existing condition may be relevant to the amount of damages that you can receive. Your loved one’s reasonably foreseeable life expectancy will be an issue in determining how much your family may be able to recover for future lost income and other damages. That said, you may still be able to recover for both future lost income and other damages as well as past damages, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Should You Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?

Nothing is going to bring your loved one back. Our experienced and empathetic wrongful death lawyers know that deciding whether to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit can be difficult for some families.

We want to ensure that you have all of the information you need to make an informed choice before it’s too late. Like all other states, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois have statutes of limitations that give you a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, your case will likely be dismissed, and your family won’t recover any compensation.

Accordingly, we encourage you to think about your legal options even as you mourn your loved one’s death. A wrongful death case may not only result in financial compensation for your family, but it may hold the person who caused your loved one’s death accountable.

Wrongful death cases are often complicated and aggressively defended. We encourage you to find out, free of charge:

  • If you have a wrongful death case
  • What your family’s potential legal recovery may include
  • How your loved one’s pre-existing condition will factor into your recovery
  • How a wrongful death case works

We can provide all of this information and more during a free, no-obligation consultation at any of our Wisconsin, Illinois, or Iowa law offices, your home, by phone, or by video conference. We would also be happy to discuss our Win or It’s Free Guarantee.

Insurance companies know that Hupy and Abraham means business. We will aggressively pursue a fair recovery for your family so that you don’t suffer the financial burden of your loved one’s death while you grieve.

Our wrongful death lawyers are sympathetic to what your family is going through, and we want to help you during this difficult time. Please contact us directly to schedule your free consultation today.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.