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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  • What is the difference between a survival claim and wrongful death claim in Illinois? Can I pursue both?

    When you lose loved one because of the negligence, recklessness, or wrongful behavior of another person or entity, you have a right to file an Illinois wrongful death claim. This allows you to pursue compensation for expenses related to the death and the financial and emotional losses experienced by your family. Wrongful death damages are always paid to immediate family members and include burial expenses, the loss of income to the family, mental pain and anguish over the loss of the loved one, and the loss of services that the deceased provided.

    When you file a wrongful death claim in Illinois, you may also be eligible to file a survival claim. The estate of the deceased files a survival claim in order to recover the compensation that the deceased would have received had he survived the accident. Survival claim damages include medical expenses, loss of earning capacity before death, and pain and suffering. If these damages are awarded, they must be distributed according to the terms of the estate.

    In some states, surviving family members to choose between pursuing a wrongful death action or pursuing a survival action. In Illinois, a family may choose to do both. The same attorney can file these actions at the same time.

    Every family who loses a loved one to a wrongful death deserves accountability. To learn more about Illinois wrongful death claims, please contact the Rockford personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-390-6350 to schedule a free consultation.

  • My husband went to the hospital to have his right kidney removed. Unfortunately, the wrong kidney was taken out. Now he is fighting for his life. Why do wrong-site surgical errors happen in Illinois hospitals?

    As you know, surgery on the wrong body part can have life-threatening consequences. Because wrong site surgery is so risky, a set of rules called the Universal Protocol requires doctors to use a three-step process to prevent surgical errors.

    Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong-Site/Wrong-Patient Surgery

    1. Preoperative verification: The physician should check that the scheduled surgery matches the patient’s expectation and that the patient’s records are consistent with the surgical team’s understanding of the procedure to be performed. During this step, a team member should gather any missing information and check for discrepancies.
    2. Mark the operative site: The surgeon performing the procedure should mark the part of the body to be operated on while the patient is still awake and aware.
    3. Time out: Surgical teams must take a time out before surgery in order to verify that they are performing the correct procedure on the correct patient. Surgery should not begin until all concerns are resolved.


    Wrong site and wrong procedure errors happen in Illinois hospitals when the Universal Protocol is rushed through, disrupted, or skipped. Common reasons why the Universal Protocol may not be followed include:

    • Mistakes on patient wristbands
    • Two patients with similar names
    • Hospital beds have been moved around
    • Unclear abbreviations on the medical chart
    • Using the term “right” instead of correct
    • Failure to ask the patient or patient representative about the surgical procedure
    • The operation site is not marked or not clearly marked
    • Last minute changes in the operating room schedule
    • Last minute changes in the operating room staff
    • Skipping the final verification or “time out” in the operating room
    • Surgeon does not verify the details of the procedure before beginning the operation
    • Lack of a checklist
    • Lack of involvement of all operating room staff in the verification procedure
    • Not bringing patient notes to the operating room
    • More than one surgeon is involved in the procedure
    • Time pressure due to over-scheduling or emergencies
    • Multiple surgical procedures in the same patient


    The Universal Protocol exists to prevent operating room errors in Illinois operating rooms. When it is followed, wrong site procedures don’t happen. When it is not followed, medical staff put patient lives at risk. This is medical malpractice.

    If someone you love was seriously injured or killed during a surgical procedure, contact the Gurnee personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. You have rights and you deserve justice. To schedule a free consultation, call 866-625-2299.


  • Are Wisconsin wrongful death cases only for motor vehicle accident fatalities? Can I call a Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer if my loved one died in a different kind of accident?

    We are sorry to hear that your loved one has been killed in a Wisconsin accident, and we understand your question. Many of the wrongful death cases that we hear about from friends or read about in the news involve car crashes, truck wrecks, or motorcycle accidents. Any of these types of motor vehicle accidents may lead to a wrongful death case. However, these are not the only causes of wrongful death cases in Wisconsin.

    You may contact a Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer and pursue damages if your loved one was killed by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. For example, in some cases, a slip and fall accident or a dog bite injury could be fatal and could lead to a wrongful death case.

    If you believe that someone else was legally responsible for your loved one’s death then it is important to contact an experienced Milwaukee wrongful death attorney to discuss pursuing your fair and just recovery of:

    • Medical expenses your loved one incurred between the time of the accident and death.
    • Funeral costs.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses.
    • Lost income.
    • Pain and suffering.
    • Other damages.

    For more information, please call a Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer today at 414-223-4800 or 800-800-5678 to schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation so that we can discuss your potential case and possible recovery.


  • Is it worth my time and energy to file a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit?

    If a close family member has died then you have a lot on your mind. As you are grieving and caring for your other family members who are also in mourning, you may need to continue working. You may need to continue running your household. You may need to deal with the business aspects of a death such as arranging a funeral, closing accounts, and handling insurance claims.

    The weeks and months following a wrongful death can be overwhelming and you, understandably, may be hesitant to get involved in anything that is going to take more of your time and energy. However, before you can decide whether or not it makes sense to file a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit, you need to know more about the potential benefits of filing a case and the risks of failing to file a cause.

    Our Milwaukee wrongful death attorneys want you to make an informed decision that you are comfortable with now and that you won’t regret in the future. We invite you to contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer so that you can learn more about the specific pros and cons of filing a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of your loved one. Please contact us today via this website or by calling us directly at 800-800-5678 today to learn more about your legal options and possible recovery.

  • How long does it take to settle an Iowa wrongful death claim?

    You feel as if there is no way that your grief is ever going to end or that the suffering in your life will ever cease. However, if you have lost a loved one in an Iowa accident, then you may be wondering how long it takes to settle an Iowa wrongful death claim.

    Our Iowa wrongful death lawyers wish that we could give you a date by which your claim would be settled. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Every case is different. However, we can give you some hints on how to settle an Iowa wrongful death claim both quickly and fairly. Specifically, we encourage you to:

    • Know what your case is worth. It does you no good to settle a case quickly if the recovery that you are getting is unfairly low.
    • Understand that the insurance company wants to settle quickly. Often insurance companies want to settle quickly. They think that you will take less money to settle your Iowa wrongful death claim if they get you to settle while your grief is still raw and before you have consulted an Iowa wrongful death attorney.
    • Contact an Iowa wrongful death lawyer. You don’t have to wait and you don’t have to try to settle your own Iowa wrongful death claim. Instead, you have the right to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Iowa.

    For more information about settling your Iowa wrongful death claim fairly and quickly, please call an experienced Iowa wrongful death lawyer today at 888-807-2752 to schedule an initial consultation.

  • What can I do to protect my health and make sure I get the necessary treatment when a patient in a Rockford emergency room?

    Patients in Illinois emergency rooms are supposed to be seen based on the severity of their condition. If you have a twisted ankle, ear infection, or minor illness, you may spend as much as eight hours in misery while you wait to be treated. If you have a serious injury or illness, you are supposed to be seen as quickly as possible.

    But hospital staff are busy. They don’t always recognize a condition that is life-threatening. In these cases, delay in treatment may be fatal.

    You can take steps to protect your health and increase your chances of getting the help you need in the emergency room. Here are some tips from the Rockford medical malpractice attorneys at Hupy and Abraham:

    • If you think you are experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or other emergency that requires immediate treatment, call 911. Patients who come in by ambulance get faster treatment.
    • When possible, go to an urgent care center rather than an emergency room.
    • Before an emergency happens, find out if your local hospitals post emergency room wait times on the Internet. If your condition is not life-threatening, go to the hospital with the shortest wait time.
    • Make sure that the hospital has the staff to treat your condition. If you have a dental emergency, you need an emergency room with a dentist on staff. If you have a dog bite, you will want a hospital with a plastic surgeon.
    • If your condition is serious, go to the hospital where your physician has “admission privileges.” Call your doctor on the way to the emergency room. Your doctor may be able to call ahead and discuss your need for treatment with the emergency room staff. He may even be able to admit you to the hospital immediately, so you bypass the emergency room.
    • Don't leave once you've started waiting. If you are sick enough to need emergency room treatment, you need to stay at the hospital.
    • Let a nurse know immediately if your condition worsens or if you experience new symptoms.
    • Bring a list of your medications and drug allergies. If you can, put your medications in a bag and bring them to the hospital. This is the best way prevent dangerous drug interactions.
    • Bring any medical records or test results that relate to your condition. This will speed up the diagnostic process, so you can get the treatment you need.
    • Bring a friend. If you are going to the emergency room, you are not feeling your best. Bring a spouse, parent, or friend who knows your medical history and can advocate on your behalf. Don’t bring children. They will distract you and your medical team.

    Unfortunately, these steps may not be enough to guarantee that you get the treatment you need when you need it. If you or your loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of emergency room delays, you may be eligible to file an Illinois medical malpractice claim. To learn more, contact the Rockford personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • Is it possible for an anesthesiologist to be the cause of a wrongful death accident in Wisconsin?

    During surgery, a patient puts his life in the hands of just a few people. One of the people who has control over the life of the patient undergoing surgery is the anesthesiologist. An anesthesiologist has the duty of making sure that the patient does not experience pain during the procedure. He must make sure that he administers the right dose of sedative to keep the patient unconscious but not to interfere with vital functions.

    A small mistake can indeed lead to the death of the patient. It is very likely that this can lead to a Wisconsin wrongful death claim. A situation like this is not uncommon. In fact, there were more than 2,200 anesthesia deaths between 1999 and 2005. Anesthesia has been found to be the underlying cause of death in approximately 34 people every year in the United State, and a contributing factor in about 281 other deaths.

    Some of the common ways a death is caused by an anesthesiologist are:

    • Incorrect dosage. An anesthesiologist uses drugs that are very strong. A slight overdose of the drug can easily lead to death. This is the most common cause for death by an anesthesiologist.
    • Wrong medicine. It is important to give each patient the correct type of anesthesia. The wrong anesthesia may lead to the wrong dose amount or an allergic reaction by the patient.
    • Other factors. Administering anesthesia is a complicated practice. There are many factors that play into the safety of the patient. The slightest misstep by the anesthesiologist can easily lead to the death of the patient.

    If you lost a loved one during a surgery or any other cause, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. Contact a Milwaukee wrongful death attorney for a free case evaluation. Call 800-800-5678 to discuss you legal options.

  • My spouse was recently killed in an Illinois car accident. The insurance adjuster keeps calling me. He seems sympathetic to what my family is going through. Should I talk to him or to an Illinois wrongful death lawyer?

    Everyone should be sympathetic to what your family is going through. An Illinois car accident is tragic way to lose a spouse.

    However, as sympathetic as the insurance adjuster may seem, it is important to remember that he or she does not have the same priorities that you do. As concerned as the insurance adjuster may seem about you and your family, the adjuster has a job to do. That job is to pay you as little as possible for your claim so that the profits of the insurance company may be maximized. Insurance companies make money by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims.

    Thus, it is important for you to talk to an Illinois wrongful death attorney for a couple of reasons. First, you can be assured that an Illinois wrongful death lawyer is working for you and is zealously advocating for your full and fair recovery. Second, you won’t have to wonder about whether a proposed settlement is fair. Your experienced lawyer will be able to tell you if the settlement is one that you should accept. Finally, your lawyer can take over communication with the insurance adjuster and remove this source of stress from your life.

    For more information, we invite you to contact a Rockford wrongful death lawyer today at 815-877-3900 or 800-390-6350 to schedule an initial consultation. We also encourage you to read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims, to learn more.

  • I recently lost a loved one and have been feeling really blue. Do you have any advice on how I can fight depression while I go through a Gurnee wrongful death claim?

    When most people think of filing any type of claim they strictly think of recovering damages that were incurred due to an incident. While this is the basis of a claim, there are consequences to dealing with the added stress that a wrongful death claim brings.

    Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be very difficult to endure. The loss alone can cause you to become depressed. When beginning a claim, it is important set the priority on your recovery for the loss to ensure you don’t fall further into depression.

    Three ways you can fight depression while going through a wrongful death claim are:

    • Medication. A wide variety of antidepressants on the market have been proven effective in treating sadness during the grieving process. It is usually recommended that medications be used in conjunction of other forms of treatment.
    • Therapist. There are many great psychologists who specialize in grief counseling and depression. A therapist will have the knowledge and understanding to get your through your depression.
    • Exercise. Physical activity has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression. Some great ways to start exercising include walking, jogging, swimming, or even light home activities such as gardening.
    • Sleep. Sleep is important for your physical and mental wellbeing. Many depression sufferers have trouble sleeping. A doctor may be able to help you with your sleep patterns.

    Because losing a loved one can be so difficult, you should not go through it alone. You can count on an experienced Gurnee wrongful death attorney at Hupy and Abraham to get your through the claim process. Call 866-625-2299 today to discuss your legal options.

  • How safe is sedation dentistry? What steps should I take to minimize sedation dentistry risks?

    Are you or your child terrified of going to the dentist? Do you have a bad gag reflex? Do you need a lot of dental work? Do you have a low pain threshold? Are you a parent of a special needs child?

    These are all good reasons for choosing sedation dentistry. However, sedation dentistry is only as safe as the dentist performing the sedation.

    In Wisconsin, dentists must hold permits in order to perform any type of sedation. Most dentists are able to administer minimal sedation using nitrous oxide or laughing gas. An increasing number of dentists are able to perform conscious sedation. This is a state of medically induced relaxation. The patient is in a dreamlike state, but able to respond to commands. Very few dentists are able to use general anesthesia or deep sedation.

    There are risks associated with any type of anesthesia. However, sedation dentistry is usually safe when performed by an experienced dentist. Check your dentist’s qualifications before undergoing sedation dentistry. Ask your dentist about his training, his experience, and the number of procedures that he has performed. Ask if he has dealt with emergencies or bad reactions. Check the dentist’s credentials with the Wisconsin Dental Association.

    Our Milwaukee dental malpractice attorneys suggest doing the following before the procedure:

    • Consult your own regular doctor, especially if you are taking any medications. Ask if you have any health issues that the dentist should take into account.
    • Discuss your health history with your dentist. The dentist should ask about existing health problems and any medications you're currently taking.
    • Find out the name of the sedative that will be used and the dosage you will be given.
    • Make sure you are given a form detailing the risks of the procedure. Go over the form with the dentist. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
    • Check that the dentist will be monitoring your vital signs during the procedure and that he has emergency equipment on hand.

    A good doctor will not be offended by your questions.

    The Milwaukee medical malpractice attorneys at Hupy and Abraham help victims of medical malpractice get justice, accountability, and compensation. Please call us at 800-800-5678 to discuss your Wisconsin dental malpractice case.