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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  • How should I deal with insurance companies after my loved one’s wrongful death?

    Do not expect sympathy from the insurance adjuster for your wrongful death claim

    You have suffered the most significant loss possible—the death of your loved one—but to the insurance company your claim is just another personal injury case and the insurance company’s goal is the same as it is in every personal injury case. That goal is to pay you as little as possible for the accident that took your loved one’s life.

    Be Careful With Insurance Adjusters

    Since your goal is at odds with the goal of the insurance adjuster, it is important to be careful about what you say to them. The insurance adjuster is calling you now because the insurance company is hoping that you will settle your case quickly and for less than you would if you found out more about your legal rights or if you were represented by a wrongful death lawyer. While the adjuster may sound sympathetic about your loss, it is important to know that the insurance company is not on your side and may use anything that you say against you during the settlement process.

    You Don’t Need This Stress as You Grieve

    We understand that you have no interest in speaking with an insurance adjuster, and we believe that you shouldn’t have to talk directly with an insurance adjuster. You do not have to play the insurance company’s game. Instead, you can protect your legal rights and avoid talking directly with the insurance adjuster by contacting a wrongful death attorney. Once you are represented by a lawyer the insurance company must direct communications to your lawyer rather than to you. That means that you will not have to talk to the insurance adjuster anymore and that you can be confident that your rights are being protected by your lawyer.

    To learn more about how a wrongful death lawyer can help you with the insurance company, we encourage you to contact us any time via this website or by phone. We would be pleased to provide you with a free consultation and with more tips about protecting your wrongful death claim.

  • Do I need expert witnesses for a wrongful death case?

    Securing the right expert witness may be key to your wrongful death lawsuit

    Some wrongful death lawsuits benefit from the knowledge and testimony of expert witnesses and others do not require experts. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can advise you about whether experts are needed for your case and can help you find the experts that you need.

    Three Benefits of Expert Witnesses

    Generally, expert witnesses are used to prove one of the following:

    • The facts of the case. It can be difficult to know what happened that caused the horrific accident that took your loved one’s life. Experts who work in the field may be able to review the evidence and provide credible testimony about the facts of the incident that led to your loved one’s death.
    • Liability. It isn’t enough to prove what happened. You must also prove that those facts result in a legal cause of action upon which the court can grant you relief. In other words, you have to prove that the facts make the person who caused your loved one’s death liable. In many cases, this means that the person who caused your loved one’s death was negligent and an expert witness may help prove that the person who caused your loved one’s death failed to act like a reasonable person and that that his actions or inactions caused your loved one’s death.
    • Damages. Evidence will need to be presented about the full value of damages. This includes anticipating future lost compensation, pain, and suffering. Expert witnesses may provide important testimony about these and other losses.

    Each of these things is important to your claim.

    Different Kinds of Experts May Help

    Depending on the unique circumstances of your loved one’s death, the following kinds of experts may be important to your recovery:

    • Accident reconstructionists.
    • Engineers.
    • Doctors.
    • Coroner.
    • Economists.
    • Accountants.
    • Vocational experts.
    • Psychologists.

    In some cases, other experts may also be important.

    While some expert witnesses may have high fees, it is important to consider their value to your case. As with any decision in any lawsuit, it is important to conduct a cost benefit analysis to determine whether the expert may provide more value to your case than it costs to hire her.

    For more information about expert witnesses specifically or how a wrongful death case works generally, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and empathetic attorneys. We are available 24 hours a day via this website or by phone, and we would be pleased to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with you at your convenience.

  • My loved one was killed in an accident. Who will pay for the medical care he received from the time of the accident until his death?

    A wrongful death claim can recover the medical expenses from a fatal accident

    If your loved one had survived the motor vehicle crash, slip and fall accident, or other negligent or intentional action that led to his death, then he may have been able to recover his medical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit. His estate should not be left with the burden of those medical expenses if the crash or accident was so significant that it led to his death.

    Don’t Let the Medical Bills Become a Problem

    If your loved one did not die right away, then he likely incurred medical expenses between the time of his accident and the time of his death. These medical expenses were a direct result of the accident and were incurred because doctors had the intent to either help him survive or relieve his pain. Your loved one’s medical insurance may have covered some of these costs. However, your loved one may have had outstanding copayments or deductibles, things that were simply not covered by his plan, or he may have not been insured at the time of his death. Accordingly, his estate is now stuck with the bills.

    A wrongful death lawsuit can help protect the value of the estate and the ultimate payment to the estate’s beneficiaries. If you file a wrongful death case, then the other driver’s insurance company may be responsible for paying your loved one’s medical costs that were directly related to his accident injuries including, but not limited to:

    • Surgeries.
    • Medications.
    • Hospitalizations.
    • Doctors’ visits.
    • Rehabilitation therapies.

    The recovery of medical expenses, like all wrongful death damages, is going to require you to submit evidence of the cost. Medical bills, proof of payment, and other documentation will be important and should be shared with your wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. If you need an experienced and empathetic attorney to help you through this difficult time, please feel free to contact us at any time via this website or by phone.

  • Is it possible to make a financial recovery for pain and suffering in a Wisconsin wrongful death case?

    You can recover pain and suffering damages through a wrongful death lawsuit

    Yes, Wisconsin law allows you to recover for pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. Your loved one’s physical pain and emotional suffering from the time of the accident until death and your family’s emotional suffering since your loved one’s death are the most personal and among the most important types of damages that you can recover.

    What Wisconsin Law Allows

    In Wisconsin, it is possible to pursue a full recovery of monetary damages and also damages for:

    • Loss of society and companionship to the spouse, children, or siblings (if they are minors) of the person who died. The law caps these damages at $500,000 for the death of a child and $350,000 for the death of an adult.
    • The pain and suffering of the person who died. This is known as a survivorship claim and it may include compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering that the person suffered from the time of the accident until the time of death. There are no statutory caps on survivorship damages.

    If you are pursuing a survivorship claim or seeking damages for loss of society and companionship, then you are going to have to prove the amount of these significant, personal, and hard-to-value damages.

    Don’t Do This Alone

    The defendant’s attorney is going to work hard to minimize your recovery of these non-economic damages. The lawyer may try to frame your relationship with the person who died in an unflattering way and make little of the emotional suffering you are feeling now or the pain that your loved one suffered prior to death.

    As with any type of damages, you are going to need evidence to get the compensation that you deserve. While there aren’t bills to submit or invoices to point to, there are ways to prove loss of society and companionship and survivorship claims.

    Our experienced Wisconsin wrongful death lawyers will fight hard for your fair recovery of all damages related to your loved one’s death. We will gather the relevant evidence and make strong arguments so that you can be compensated in court or through a settlement agreement. To learn more, we encourage you to contact us at any time to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

  • I’m scared to testify about the wrongful death accident that killed my spouse. What can a lawyer do about this for me?

    Don’t let fear keep you from pursuing a fair wrongful death recoveryWhether or not you are someone who is comfortable with public speaking, the thought of getting on the witness stand and testifying about the loss of your spouse may be intimidating. How will you ever describe your loss? How can you make others understand what your spouse’s death really means while you are on the witness stand?

    Don’t Let This Fear Keep You From Pursuing Justice

    While your fear is completely understandable, there are at least three reasons why you should not let it keep you from filing a wrongful death case. Specifically,

    • You may never have to testify. You may file a case and recover damages, and you may never have to get on the witness stand. Most cases settle before trial.
    • If you do need to testify, you will be well prepared. Your attorney is not going to let you take the stand unprepared. Instead, your lawyer will work with you so that you can know what kind of questions to expect, so that you can answer those questions comfortably, and so that you are familiar with courtroom protocol.
    • Your family’s recovery is too important. Testifying may be difficult, but it may be worth the potential recovery that you can make in a wrongful death case.

    If you have questions about taking the stand, about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, or about pursuing a settlement after your spouse’s death, then please contact us today via this website. We would be pleased to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with you so that we can answer your questions and so that you can make an informed decision about what to do next.

  • Can I sue if my girlfriend dies in a car accident?

    Someone else’s decision to drive distracted or to drive drunk has ended your girlfriend’s life and has ruined yours. When your girlfriend died from her car accident injuries your dreams for the future died with her. The future that you had planned together ended.

    What Now?

    As you grieve, you may wonder about your legal rights. You may have lived together and you may have been planning to get married in the future, but you were not married when your girlfriend died. That said, whether you have standing to sue for wrongful death in this situation depends on whether your girlfriend had a valid will at the time of her death and on what the will said.

    The person with standing to sue for wrongful death will be the executor of your girlfriend’s estate. That person:

    • May have been named in her will. If it is you, then you may file the wrongful death claim on behalf of your girlfriend’s estate.
    • May be appointed by a court. Generally, it will be a close relative such as a parent or adult child if the person who died was not married at the time of her death.

    Any damages recovered in a wrongful death claim belong to your girlfriend’s estate and should be distributed according to the terms of the estate.

    Now is a time when you can work together with your girlfriend’s immediate family. Please feel free to share this article with them or to encourage them to contact us directly with any questions. We would be happy to answer any questions that the executor of your girlfriend’s estate might have about the wrongful death legal process.

  • As a grandparent, do I have the right to file a wrongful death case after my grandchild’s death if my own child is too grief-stricken to act?

    Generally, grandparents do not have legal standing to sue for the wrongful death of their grandchildren unless they are appointed as the executors of their grandchildren’s estates. As a grandparent, you are in a terrible situation that no one should ever have to face. Not only have you lost your beloved grandchild, but you are also watching your own child suffer what is arguably the worst possible type of loss: the death of a child.

    You Are Not Helpless

    While you might not have legal standing to pursue a wrongful death claim, you can:

    • Support your child. Your child may not know what to do now. Why should she think about a wrongful death case when it won’t bring her own child back? Let your child know that you support her and that you will help her make the difficult decisions that she faces.
    • Educate your child. Do some research and let your child know what the potential benefits of a wrongful death case are for your family. You can start by watching the free videos and searching the extensive free library on this website.
    • Help your child do the legwork. Help your child find an attorney that can protect your family’s rights and honor your grandchild’s memory.


    You have an important role regardless of whether you can file a wrongful death case on your own. To find out more about you can do to help your family, please contact us today.

  • I know motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of death, but how common are other accidental deaths in Wisconsin?

    You are right. You can pick up a copy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or read the Madison Capital Times online and many days you will read about a car or truck crash that killed someone. These accidents are tragic, but they are not the only cause of accidental wrongful deaths in Wisconsin.

    Other Accidental Deaths Also Occur

    According to the latest statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, accidental deaths that were not related to motor vehicle crashes caused more deaths than fatal motor vehicle accidents. More specifically, in 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) motor vehicle accidents were the underlying cause of 604 deaths in Wisconsin and other accidents were the underlying cause of 2,036 deaths. Accidents were the leading cause of death for people between the age of 1 and 44.

    These accidental deaths include anything that was not intentional, but yet resulted in a fatal injury. It could for example include a medical misdiagnosis, surgical mistake, dog bite, slip and fall, or other form of negligence that resulted in someone’s life being cut short.

    Has This Happened to Your Loved One?

    If your loved one died after a dog bite in Town of Lake, a slip and fall in Murray Hill or any other type of accident in the City of Milwaukee then we encourage you to learn more about your legal rights. You may never be able to undo the harm that has been done to your loved one, or to you, but you may be able to honor your loved one and take care of your family. Please browse our free videos today for more information and please contact us via our online contact form to schedule a 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.