Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Wisconsin Wrongful Death Accidents and Recoveries

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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.

With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.

Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.

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  • My sister was recently killed in an Illinois motorcycle crash. What can I do to protect my young niece and nephew?

    We are sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your sister. Whether the crash occurred on a major Illinois interstate such as I-90 or a local road such as Old Grand Ave in Gurnee, the grief can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to understand how another driver’s negligent actions could have cost your sister her life, your niece and nephew their mother, and you your sister.

    There are, however, things that you can do to help your niece and nephew in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and in the years to come. For example, you can:

    • Be an emotional support. More than anything your niece and nephew need to know that they are loved and that they will continue to be cared for after their mother’s tragic death.
    • Talk about their mom and honor her memory. You can make sure that they always know about their mom and that her name is not forgotten within the family or the community.
    • Protect their financial future. Your niece and nephew are suffering enough. They shouldn’t also suffer financially because their mom is no longer there to provide for them.


    An accident recovery may help your sister’s estate recover the money that is needed to do some of these things. For more information on what you can do to protect your niece and nephew, please browse our free videos and please contact us directly for more information.

  • My child was injured while playing a school sport. Are Illinois schools legally responsible for school sports injuries?

    If you watch pro sports, you’ve probably noticed that professional players are always getting injured. Illinois high school sports might seem tame in comparison. But the truth is that Bloomington’s high school and middle school athletes suffer injuries at about the same rate as professional athletes. However, their injuries don’t make ESPN headlines.

    Most schools in our area send home a sports permission slip at the beginning of the school year. When you sign the permission slip, you indicate that you understand the normal risks of the sport and agree that you won’t hold the school liable if your child is hurt. Does this form mean you have no rights if your child is injured in an Illinois school sports accident?

    It depends on the situation. All school sports have inherent risks. Football players risk getting tackled. A catcher on a softball team risks getting hit with a ball. A gymnast risks falling off the uneven bars. Athletes take precautions and wear safety gear, but there is still a risk of injury. This is an inherent part of the sport.

    However, not all injuries are inherent to the sport. There are some cases where the school or team can be held liable for an athlete’s injuries.

    Examples of School Sport Injuries Caused by Negligence

    • Injuries that occur because the athlete wasn’t given the right safety gear or because the athlete was given damaged or inadequate safety gear
    • Injuries that occur because an adult wasn’t paying attention or because there wasn’t enough supervision
    • Injuries that occur because of bullying and team initiation or hazing rituals
    • Injuries that occur when a young athlete is pushed too hard or is forced to overtrain
    • Injuries caused by a dangerous condition at the gym or sports facility


    When negligence causes an injury, parents may bring legal actions against their child’s school or the school hosting the game. However, it is up to the parent to prove that the injury could have been prevented.

    If you have questions about a school sports injury, Hupy and Abraham can help. Please call us at 866-532-4800 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Who are some of the parties that may be responsible for a wrongful death that takes place on vacation?

    The enjoyment of a vacation may turn tragic when an accidental death cuts short the holiday.  Family and loved ones may suffer due to losing someone while they are on vacation. While any death at any time is hard to deal with, suddenly losing someone while they are miles away from home is especially hard.

    Whether the death came from a drowning, vehicle accident, or slip and fall, the death may be caused by negligent behavior. If you have lost a loved one while she was on vacation, you need to hold the responsible party accountable for his actions.

    Some of the parties that can be named in a wrongful death claim while they loved one was on vacation are:

    • Resort. The resort or hotel where the deceased was staying has a responsibility to provide its guests with a safe place to stay and relax. When management and staff act in a negligent manner, their actions may lead to a death.
    • Rental company. There are many types of rentals that one may obtain while on vacation, including passenger vehicles, personal watercraft, boats, or all-terrain vehicles. The rental company should have provided a vehicle that is safe for the customer to use.
    • Instructor. Vacation often includes enjoying a fun new experience such as surfing, scuba diving, parasailing, or skydiving. These activities must be supervised by a well-informed and properly educated instructor for participants to be safe.

    Are you interested in learning how we can help you with your wrongful death case? If so, simply fill out the contact form you see on this page and we will contact you.

  • What can a Milwaukee hospital patient do to reduce the risk of medical errors and hospital-acquired infection?

    Each year, more than 90,000 hospital patients die from medical errors. An equal number die from hospital-acquired infections. The non-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates that over 40,000 patients per day suffer medical harm. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your risk of hospital-related illness and injury.

    • Don’t be afraid to speak up. Many people are intimidated by their doctors and nurses. Remember, doctors and nurses are human and they make mistakes. You should never feel like you can’t bring up your concerns.
    • Educate yourself. Research your medical condition. The Mayo Clinic website is a good place to start. Ask your doctor for other resources. Knowing about your health conditions will help you ask smart questions.
    • Get the details. Ask your doctor to explain the surgery. You should know what will happen, what the risks are, and who will be administering the anesthesia.
    • Bring your health records. Keep a notebook with your family health history, your own hospitalizations and surgeries, your medical conditions, medications, and allergies. Update it when something changes. This will allow you to easily access the information when you are admitted.
    • Fill out forms completely. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.
    • Be honest about your health. Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor about recreational drug use or drinking habits.
    • Bring a friend or family member who can act as your advocate. Your advocate should familiar with your medical condition and treatment plan. This person should also know whether you have signed a living will, organ donation form, or do-not-resuscitate order.
    • Ask your doctor to mark the area that will be operated on. He should put his initials on the site.
    • Check your medications. Always ask about the medications that you are given. The nurse should always check your identity before giving you medicine.
    • Ask visitors to wash their hands. Nurses, doctors, and caregivers should also wash their hands when they enter your room. Don’t be afraid to ask a caregiver if his hands are clean.
    • Make sure that you understand your discharge instructions. Know which medications you should take, if there are any restrictions on your activity, and where you should go for your follow-up visit. Know what complications you should watch for and who to call if you need help.

    We hope that your hospital stay goes according to plan. If there are problems, Hupy and Abraham is here to help you get accountability. To learn more about medical malpractice claims and your rights as a Wisconsin hospital patient, please contact our office at 800-800-5678.

  • My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and suffers from dementia. Last month, she wandered out of her Cedar Rapids nursing home. It was a cold day and it was several hours before she was found. She was ill, but has recovered. The nursing home says there were no serious injuries. However, I feel that her mental state has further deteriorated. Can I file a claim against the nursing home?

    About half of Iowa nursing home residents suffer from dementia. Residents with dementia will often wander or “elope” if they are left unsupervised. Once outside the facility, the resident can quickly become confused or disoriented. She may wander into traffic, fall in a ditch, or suffer from exposure to severe weather. Even if nothing happens, the experience of unfamiliar surroundings can be terrifying.

    Iowa nursing home managers understand these risks. They have a duty to protect all their nursing home residents from harm, and this includes patients with dementia. Nursing homes must have a strategy to prevent elopement. A nursing home that fails to protect its residents can be held liable for any injuries that result.

    Don’t take the nursing home’s word that there were no serious injuries. Get a second opinion from a doctor that you know and trust. There are many types of injuries that may occur during elopement:

    • Physical injuries
    • Illness
    • Hidden physical injuries
    • Psychological injuries
    • Worsening of existing medical conditions

    Every case is unique. We suggest that you discuss your mother’s case with a personal injury attorney. She may be eligible for compensation for her medical expenses, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. To learn more, contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752.

  • My daughter suffered severe facial burns from a curling iron that got too hot. Can we file a product liability lawsuit for her Illinois burn injury?

    You do your best to keep your family safe. You are careful in the kitchen and have trained your children to use electricity safely. But there’s nothing you can do to prevent injury from a defective consumer product.

    When a defective product causes a burn injury, you can hold the company that manufactured the product responsible. The company should compensate you for any medical bills, lost wages, and the victim’s pain and suffering. If the defective product caused a death, you may also file an Illinois wrongful death claim.

    The first step is to contact Hupy and Abraham. We’ll investigate the injury and determine how the burn happened and who is liable. We’ll gather the evidence needed to support your claim.

    Examples of Burn Injuries Caused by Negligence

    • On-the-job burn accident caused by safety violations or lack of employee training
    • Workplace chemical burns resulting from improperly stored or improperly labeled chemical
    • A space heater that overheats and explodes
    • A child is given scalding hot-chocolate at a restaurant
    • A fire death caused by a blocked fire escape
    • A building fire resulting from fire code violations
    • A burn injury from a car or motorcycle accident

    Burns are serious injuries that require intensive medical treatment. Hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation can result in millions of dollars in medical bills. If the burn is someone else’s fault, they are responsible for the medical bills. To learn more, contact the Rockford office of Hupy and Abraham at 800-390-6350.

  • My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with lunch at a nice Des Moines restaurant. Instead of the romantic evening we had planned, we spent the night being violently ill. We were both diagnosed with Listeria. My wife was pregnant and she lost the baby. She was very ill, but recovered. Can we sue the restaurant?

    Each year, more than 48 million people suffer from food poisoning. Approximately 128,000 become ill enough to require hospitalization; around 3,000 people die.

    While food poisoning deaths are rare, certain groups of people are more likely to die from food-borne pathogens. Those at high risk for food poisoning complications include:

    • Infants and young children
    • The elderly
    • Pregnant women and their unborn children
    • Those with compromised immune systems


    About half of food poisoning cases involve restaurants. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who suffer severe food poisoning don’t know that they can hold the restaurant accountable for their illness. Here are three things you must be able to show in order to win an Iowa food poisoning claim.

    • You suffered from food poisoning. In order to file a food poisoning injury claim, you must show that you suffered harm. You will need to have a medical diagnosis of food-borne illness. The doctor should perform tests to determine the type of illness you have. He should also perform pulsed-field gel electrophoreses (PFGE), a test that can help identify the source of the bacteria that made you sick.
    • Your food poisoning was caused by contaminated food from the restaurant. Report your illness to the health department. The health department will conduct an investigation and determine if anyone else became ill after eating at the restaurant.
    • The restaurant, food producer, or distributor was at fault. You must be able to show that the food became contaminated because the food producer, processor, distributor, cook, or server was negligent and did not take proper steps to ensure safety during the processing, preparation, storage, or handling of the food.


    If you or a loved suffered severe food poisoning after eating at a Des Moines restaurant, you have a right to be angry. You also have a right to demand compensation for your losses. To learn more about Iowa food poisoning lawsuits, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752. There is no charge for the consultation.

  • My family is dealing with a wrongful death accident that occurred in Green Bay and I am worried about my child. What are some of the reactions a child will have after a death of a loved one?

    Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult. You most are most likely aware of this from your own firsthand experience. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to cope, deal or get through the hard times the loss brings on. It is not uncommon for people to go through long periods of depression and sadness.

    These feelings are not exclusive to us adults. We often forget that our children are also going through an equally hard time. As resilient as children are, it is still hard for them to cope and live a normal life. A parent should be able to understand some of the reactions that a child might show in response to the death. This will help the parent be able to help their child cope with the loss.

    Four common reactions a child will show after the loss of a loved one are:

    • Emotional shock. A child may show signs of emotional shock, which includes a lack of feelings. This emotional shock can hinder the child’s ability to deal with the pain caused by the loss.
    • Regressive behavior. Regressive behavior, such as needing to be rocked or held, may occur after the loss has occurred. The child may also experience separation anxiety from parents or needing to sleep in the parent’s bed.
    • Acting out. A child may act out as a response to feeling angry, scared, frustrated, and helpless over the loss.
    • Repetitive questioning. Children will often ask questions that they have previously asked in regards to the death. This is typically because the information is hard to believe or accept.


    If you and your children are suffering from the loss of a loved one due to a wrongful death act, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Green Bay wrongful death attorney by calling 800-800-5678 today. You will receive a free case evaluation.


  • How do I know if I have an Illinois product liability claim?

    A product liability claim is a personal injury claim that is filed when a consumer product causes an injury. Most defective products fall into two categories:

    • The product causes an injury because of an improper design or design flaw. In 2009, thousands of umbrella strollers were recalled after 12 children suffered finger amputations when they put their fingers near the hinge. This was considered a design defect because the location of the hinge was part of the design and the strollers were intended to be used by young children.


    • The product has a safe design, but causes an injury because of a manufacturing problem. In 2007, Mattel and its Fisher-Price subsidiary recalled numerous popular toys because of high levels of lead in the paint. Lead-based paint is banned for use in children’s toys because it can cause severe neurological and developmental disability. The paint was traced to the Chinese factories that manufactured the toys.


    There are other ways a product can cause injury. Theraflu and Triaminic were recalled in December 2011. There wasn’t anything wrong with the medication, but the child-proof caps required by law did not work properly. A product may also cause injury because it isn’t properly labeled, it comes with inadequate instructions or warnings, or because it is misrepresented in the company’s advertising.

    However, not every consumer product injury is grounds for a product liability claim. Falling is an expected risk while learning to ride a bike. If your son falls off his bike while learning to ride, you can’t blame the manufacturer; most children fall when they learn to ride a two-wheeler. However, you can blame the manufacturer if he is injured because the fork supporting the bike collapses.

    Still not sure if you have an Illinois product liability claim? Contact the Bloomington personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham at 866-532-4800. Ask to schedule a free consultation. We’ll tell you if you have a case.


  • I recently read that recalled toys can cause serious injuries. How do I know that my child’s toys are safe?

    Each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls millions of toys for a variety of dangers ranging from lacerations to choking hazards to heavy metal poisoning. Most of these products aren’t recalled until after they’ve been on store shelves. Although recalls are published, they are rarely front-page news. Many parents aren’t aware that a toy is dangerous until after their child is injured.

    In 2010, toy-related injuries killed 17 children. These tips from the Green Bay product liability attorneys at Hupy and Abraham will help you identify unsafe and recalled toys:

    • Buy toys from reputable dealers. Toys from dollar stores are more likely to be recalled than name-brand toys.
    • Read labels. The labels will give the suggested age range for the toy and warn of any safety hazards, including small parts that may pose a choking hazard.
    • Be informed. You can sign up to receive recall announcements from the CPSC.
    • Fill out toy registration forms. If you mail the card back to the manufacturer, you will receive alerts about any recalls.
    • Check the toy’s model number. When a toy recall is announced, the announcement will list the model numbers included in the recall. Check your toy for the model number. It may be located on the tag or stamped directly on the toy.
    • Contact the manufacturer. If a toy is recalled, contact the manufacturer for a refund or replacement.


    If a toy injures your child, don’t hesitate to call a Green Bay product liability lawyer. Your family may qualify for compensation for your child’s injuries and related expenses. Call Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation.