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 husband was seriously injured in a Madison car accident. As he was being transported to the hospital, he went into cardiac arrest. The EMTs tried to administer a shock with an automatic external defibrillator. But the AED was not charged, and my husband died because he was not given the treatment he needed. Can I sue the EMT or ambulance company for his Wisconsin wrongful death?

    When you call 911 because of an illness or injury, an EMT or paramedic will come with the ambulance. EMTs and paramedics are first responders who are trained to check for life-threatening conditions and perform certain interventions needed to stabilize the patient during the trip to the hospital. While EMTs and paramedics may only perform interventions within the scope of their training, they are required to use an AED if the patient goes into cardiac arrest.

    In Wisconsin, many EMTs and paramedics are volunteers. As long as a volunteer is acting without malicious intent, he is protected by state and federal “Good Samaritan” laws and cannot be sued for wrongful death if a patient dies while in his care.

    However, while EMTs cannot be sued individually, ambulance services, fire departments and other rescue organizations be targeted in a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit. An ambulance service is responsible for making sure that all volunteers are properly trained and that any trainees are supervised. An ambulance service also has a duty to keep the ambulance ready for an emergency. This means that after returning from an emergency call, supplies should be replenished, oxygen tanks should be refilled, and the AED should be charged. The ambulance should not be sent out until it is ready for new patients.

    Families who lose a loved one because of EMT negligence or ambulance malpractice may file a Wisconsin wrongful death claim against the ambulance company. They may seek damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of support and companionship.

    For more information about Wisconsin ambulance malpractice lawsuits, please contact the Madison personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 888-277-4879.

  • My brother was recently killed in a Milwaukee car crash. His wife is completely overwhelmed with grief. I love my sister-in-law and I know my brother would want me to help her, but I don’t know how. What can I do?

    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. You, your sister-in-law, and your entire family are suffering through a tragedy that should never have occurred. It is understandable that your sister-in-law is grieving and that she is overwhelmed as a new widow.

    While you can’t take away her suffering, you can take steps to help her. She may need your help now, in the days following your brother’s death, and in the days and weeks to come. It is important to remember that your sister-in-law must make her own decisions about how to move forward. However, you can be an important and trusted advisor and you can do much of the leg work to help her. You could for example:

    • Coordinate help. This may include, but is not limited to, help with meals, cleaning, and childcare.
    • Help plan the funeral. Your sister may need help planning the details of the funeral and responding to flowers, donations, and other acts of kindness that are provided to the family immediately following your brother’s death.
    • Provide her with names of Milwaukee accident lawyers. She may need legal help to pursue a wrongful death case against the person(s) responsible for your brother’s death.

    For more information about what to do after an accidental death in Wisconsin, please contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800.

  • I suspect that our Milwaukee nursing home is overmedicating my elderly mother. Lately, she seems very lethargic and unlike her normally sociable self. What are the signs of overmedication in the elderly?

    Sudden changes in the personality or condition of a nursing home patient can be a sign that something is wrong. Such changes may indicate deteriorating health, a problem with medication or even nursing home neglect or abuse. You are smart to be concerned.

    Overmedication in the elderly is a widespread problem. Each year, more than 38 million elderly Americans suffer drug complications. There are many reasons why overmedication occurs:

    • The ability to metabolize medications slows down with age. Many elderly patients require lower doses of drugs.
    • Many elderly patients take multiple medications.
    • Signs of overmedication are mistaken for illness.
    • Signs of overmedication are overlooked because of high turnover in caregivers. Nurses and other caregivers that don’t spend a lot of time with a patient may not recognize deviations from normal behavior.
    • Accidental overmedicating when the patient gets confused about prescriptions.
    • Multiple medical providers.
    • Inappropriate use of medication as a “chemical restraint” to control disruptive behavior

    How do you know if your loved one is overmedicated? In many patients, the symptoms are not obvious and may resemble other medical conditions.

    Symptoms of overmedication:

    • Change in personality
    • Change in awareness or recognition
    • Fatigue, sedation or lethargy
    • Problems with walking and standing
    • Balance problems
    • Flushed skin
    • Rashes
    • Sudden weight loss or gain
    • Mood swings
    • A change in attention to personal hygiene
    • Physical impairment
    • Memory difficulties
    • Hallucinations
    • Tics or tremors
    • Involuntary body movements
    • Seizures
    • Withdrawal from others
    • Agitation or anxiety
    • Confusion or delirium
    • Problems with thinking and reasoning
    • Death

    Your first step should be to speak with your mother’s physician. Mention your concerns. Overmedication can have life-threatening side effects.

    If your loved one has been injured or has died because of overmedication or a medication error in a Wisconsin nursing home, please contact the Milwaukee wrongful death attorneys at Hupy and Abraham by calling 800-800-5678. Our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys may be able to help your family get justice and accountability.

  • Is every death in Wisconsin a wrongful death case?

    No, not every death in Wisconsin is potentially a wrongful death case.

    In order to recover damages in a Wisconsin wrongful death case, the death must have been caused by the willful or negligent act of another human being. Thus, death from natural causes and death caused by the person who died are not considered to be wrongful death and survivors of the person who died are not entitled to legal damages.

    That said, it is not always easy to tell what a wrongful death is without speaking to an experienced Wisconsin wrongful death attorney. For example, while death from natural causes, such as cancer or heart disease, is not wrongful death, survivors could have a wrongful death lawsuit if a doctor’s negligent or medical malpractice caused the person to die. Similarly, suicides are often not wrongful deaths because they, by definition, occur because of the willful actions of the person who died. However, in some cases suicides may actually be caused by others who led the suicidal person to take extreme actions and in those cases a wrongful death case may be possible.

    Whether or not the death of your loved one was a “wrongful” death, you are likely still grieving and you deserve to have your question answered specifically based on what happened to your loved one. To get the answer your family deserves, please call our experienced Milwaukee wrongful death lawyers today at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800 for a FREE consultation.

  • Who are some of the medical professionals that can be named as defendants in a Madison wrongful death case?

    There is nothing more painful than the loss of a family member or loved one caused by a wrongful death in Madison. Whether the loss is a child, parent, brother, sister, relative, spouse or friend, the loss can seem unbearable and painful. You will probably be asking yourself, “Why did this happen?” or “How could this happen?”

    When seeking the help of a healthcare professional, a patient expects to get better from their care. Unfortunately, there are times that negligence on the professional’s part results in death. The professional responsible for the death can and should be held responsible.

    Some of the healthcare professionals who can be the cause of a Wisconsin wrongful death case are:

    • Doctors and nurses. Doctors and nurses are usually the first line of defense against ailments. They have the responsibility to treat their patients with an acceptable level of care.
    • Pharmacists. Delivering the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage of medicine can result in the death of the patient.
    • Surgeons. Any type of surgery presents a certain level of danger. There are many errors things that can happen during a surgery. Negligence on the part of the surgeon can result in death.
    • Anesthesiologists. During a surgery, a lot of trust is put in the hands of an anesthesiologist. Death can be caused from mistakes made by an anesthesiologist.

    When a painful situation is caused by the loss of a loved one, it is import to seek justice through a claim. To begin the process, contact a Madison wrongful death lawyer at Hupy and Abraham. They will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 888-277-4879 today for a free consultation.

  • My spouse died in a recent Milwaukee car accident. Should I contact a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer about filing a car accident case or a wrongful death case?

    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your spouse in a recent car accident. You understandably have a lot of questions following your loved one’s death including how best to protect your legal rights. An experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and the type of case that you may need to file in order to get the damages that you deserve.

    Since your loved one died in a car accident you may be able to file a car accident wrongful death case. In order to recover damages, your Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer will need to prove that the other driver breached a duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable driver and that that breach of duty of care resulted in your loved one’s death.

    If your loved one had survived the accident then he or she may have been able to bring a car accident claim. If your loved one had died as a result of some other accident (such as medical malpractice) then you might have another type of wrongful death case to bring.

    However, due to the circumstances of what happened to your spouse you will most likely need to bring a wrongful death case based on the car accident injuries. For more information about your legal claim, we encourage you to contact our experienced Milwaukee wrongful death lawyers at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800 and to read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims.

  • Who can be held responsible for carbon monoxide injury or death?

     

    It is winter, and that means an increase in cases of carbon monoxide poisonings in Wisconsin. Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion. In small amounts, it can produce flu-like symptoms including fatigue, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Prolonged exposure, or large doses of carbon monoxide, can cause breathing problems, heart damage, brain damage, loss of consciousness, and even death.

    Carbon monoxide poisonings often occur in the late fall and early winter when temperatures drop and people turn on their heat. Carbon monoxide fumes are frequently traced to malfunctioning heaters, poorly ventilated furnaces, and blocked chimneys or air vents. Sometimes, carbon monoxide leaks occur because a furnace and its vents were not checked before the heat was turned on. In other cases, a repairman was negligent and left the vents closed. Sometimes the heater is faulty or has a poor design, which causes it to emit carbon monoxide into a room. Sometimes the building has a poor design or a carbon monoxide detector doesn’t work.

    Any Wisconsin death that is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person is considered a Wisconsin wrongful death. If it can be proven that a carbon monoxide leak was caused by the negligence of a builder, property owner, repair company, or manufacturer, that party may be held liable for any injuries or deaths that result.

    If you suspect that negligence caused the carbon monoxide injury or death of your loved one, you need a Wausau wrongful death attorney on your side. The Wausau wrongful death lawyers at Hupy and Abraham have the experience necessary to investigate and support your claim. To learn more, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • I am always anxious on my commute home from work. Is this a common time for deadly Wisconsin car accidents or do most fatal crashes occur in the overnight hours?

    Unfortunately, your anxiety about driving in the late afternoon is probably well founded. According to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. time period is often the deadliest on the roads. In 2010, more people died between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. than during any other time period every day of the week except for Fridays (when slightly more people died between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.) and Saturdays (when the same number of people died in the 2 to 10 p.m. time period and the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. time period).

    In 2010, as in other years, there was no time period on any day of the week that did not see a Wisconsin motor vehicle fatality. People died in the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. windows.

    Thus, our Milwaukee fatal accident lawyers encourage you to always be careful on the roads and to know that an accident could take your life—or the life or a loved one—at any time.

    If you have lost a loved one then it is important to know your rights. Please contact an experienced Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer today at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800 and please request a FREE copy of our DVD, Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know, to learn more.

  • Can suicide ever be considered a wrongful death in Wisconsin?

    A wrongful death refers to any death that is the result of the willful or negligent act of another person or entity. When a wrongful death occurs, the family of the victim may legally seek financial compensation for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Wrongful deaths include car accident deaths, slip and falls, dog bite deaths, medical malpractice deaths, deaths from crimes, and any other death that is the direct result of another person’s wrongful or reckless behavior. We think of suicide as the result of an individual’s wrongful behavior towards himself. It would seem that suicide, an individual’s choice to take his own life, could not be considered a wrongful death, but this is not always true.

    Last year, suicide surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. About 90 percent of these deaths were associated with mental illness. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with proper mental health care. In fact, some of these victims were receiving care, but not the care they needed. A medical professional may be held accountable for a suicide if:

    • The doctor misdiagnosed or failed to properly identify the risk of suicide
    • The doctor knew the patient was suicidal, but failed or refused to take measures to prevent suicide, including involuntary commitment to a mental health facility
    • The doctor knew that a minor patient was suicidal, but failed to notify the patient’s parents or guardians of the suicide risk
    • A patient in crisis was not able to get an appointment or speak to his therapist
    • The doctor prescribed a medication that increases the risk of suicide
    • The doctor prescribed an improper dose of a medication linked to suicide

    Like doctors, if a counselor, teacher, or caregiver knows that a person is considering suicide, he or she has a legal duty to act to prevent that suicide. If a teen tells a teacher that he just wants to die, or even writes an essay indicating suicidal thoughts, that teacher has a duty to alert the parents and the school. The school should have procedures in place for dealing with mental health emergencies.

    Unfortunately many recent suicides have been linked to school bullying. Schools should have a no-tolerance attitude to the bullying of students. If a child commits suicide because bullying has made attending school intolerable, schools can be held accountable.

    Sometimes no one is liable for a suicide, but sometimes a suicide is a wrongful death. To learn more about Wisconsin wrongful death claims, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 and ask to speak with a Milwaukee wrongful death attorney. The initial consultation is free.

  • My loved one had a pre-existing condition at the time of the accident that killed him. Does my family still have a potential Milwaukee wrongful death lawsuit?

    Yes. If the accident, or resulting accident injuries, were the cause of your loved one’s death then you may be able to 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, it is possible that the pre-existing condition may be relevant to the amount of damages that you are able to 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 order to determine how your loved one’s pre-existing condition will factor into your recovery, we encourage you to contact an experienced Wisconsin wrongful death attorney today. Our Milwaukee wrongful death lawyers are sympathetic to what your family is going through and we want to help you during this difficult time.

    Please do not rely on the information provided by insurance companies, which may or may not be accurate. Instead, please call our Milwaukee wrongful death law firm directly at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800 and request a copy of our DVD, Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know, for FREE on our website.