If you lost a loved one due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, you may be able to bring forth a wrongful death claim against the liable party and recover financial losses and suffering that resulted from the result of your loved one’s death, as well as other expenses. Our experienced Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer explains how an attorney can help with your case.
What is Considered a Wrongful Death
In Milwaukee, a wrongful death is considered a death due to another person’s wrongful act, negligence, or default. It is quite different from an accidental death since it is due to another party's negligent or intentional acts rather than non-intentional circumstances.
Examples of Wrongful Death Causes
- Slip and fall accident
- Injury on someone else’s property, such as a swimming pool drowning or fire
- Truck, car, motorcycle, or bike accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Accident due to a drunk, distracted, or drowsy driver
- Complications from a dog bite such as excessive bleeding, injury, or infection
- Negligent security incident
- Pharmaceutical injury from a prescription drug or faulty medical device
- Medical malpractice
- Accident at a job site or workplace
- Negligence or abuse at a daycare center or nursing home
- Intentional acts of violence such as crime
What is a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
A wrongful death lawyer represents plaintiffs in a wrongful death case and can be any attorney who was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin. While you can choose any attorney for a wrongful death claim, you may want to look for someone with experience in these cases.
Wrongful death cases can often be complicated, and having the right type of lawyer is essential for protecting your legal rights and interests. An attorney can determine who can file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. This is often a personal representative of the deceased’s estate—often a family member such as a spouse, adult child, or executor of the estate.
How a Milwaukee Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Your Case
A wrongful death attorney can represent your legal interests and handle your case fairly and compassionately. They will fight to prove that another party’s negligent or intentional act was the cause of your loved one’s death. To prove liability, our Milwaukee wrongful death attorney will investigate what happened to cause the death of your loved one by gathering evidence to support the case so that the defendant can be held responsible. Other ways they can help:
- Determine the value of your wrongful death claim
- Make sure you meet all required deadlines for filing a claim
- File a lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf
- Represent you if the case goes to trial
Evidence That Can Help Support a Wrongful Death Claim
- Photos or video of the accident or incident that led up to the death
- Police or accident reports
- Medical reports and records
- Physical evidence preserved from the accident scene
- Testimony from witnesses
- Death certificate
Once liability is established, an attorney will determine the value of the claim by using evidence to prove the value of the loss suffered by you and your family due to the death of your loved one. Damages may include medical bills, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, and any other expenses that resulted from the death. To recover damages, a wrongful death attorney will negotiate first with the insurance company, and if a fair settlement is not reached, they will take the case to court.
When is the Right Time to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Milwaukee
After losing a loved one, contacting a lawyer right after the death may not be the first thing you want to do. But, in Wisconsin, there is a specific period to file a wrongful death claim. The amount of time depends on the cause of the death. For deaths caused by negligence or wrongful acts not involving a motor vehicle, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of the person’s death. If the death resulted from a car accident, the statute of limitations is two years.
If the wrongful death claim is not filed within the required time frame, it could be dismissed by the court, and you would not be able to recover damages. This is why hiring a wrongful death attorney to represent your case is important. Filing a lawsuit as soon as possible can also preserve and gather the evidence needed to support your claim. This may include testimony from witnesses and anything else that can be used to prove liability. A wrongful death lawyer will ensure you meet any necessary deadlines and that your lawsuit is filed within the required timeframe for the type of death that occurred.
How to Find the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Milwaukee
Choosing the right lawyer for a wrongful death case can make a difference in the outcome of your claim and can affect the amount of compensation you receive. When looking for a wrongful death lawyer, check the law firm’s website for helpful information that can assist with your decision.
Several Factors to Consider When Selecting a Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Experience. Look for a lawyer that has the experience to win a wrongful death lawsuit and will fight for your rights.
- Testimonials. Reading testimonials from past clients can show how satisfied others have been with the lawyer for their specific cases.
- Awards. Find out how a lawyer is regarded in the community by looking at their awards and accolades.
- Case Results. Find examples of what other wrongful death clients have been awarded as settlements by looking at the lawyer’s case results.
In addition, you will want to schedule a free consultation to meet a potential Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer. During this initial meeting, be sure to ask questions. The consultation should give you a gut feeling about the lawyer and whether or not they are the right fit for you. If you do not feel that they are the right fit, look for someone else who is.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Wisconsin Statute Section 895.04, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by a personal representative of the deceased person or a person who has legal rights to recover damages from the case. There are rules as to who can recover damages from the wrongful death claim, and if the lawsuit is not filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, it must be filed by one of the following parties in the specific order stated in the statute:
- Surviving spouse and minor children under the age of 18
- Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased if no minor children are involved
- Adult children
- Parents of the deceased
- Siblings of the deceased
- Sibling’s children
- Grandparents of the deceased
If the person who files the lawsuit dies before the claim is settled, then the next person in line may continue with the lawsuit.
Only those with a legal relationship with the deceased person can bring forth a lawsuit. If you are uncertain whether or not you can bring forth a claim, an attorney can determine if you have legal standing to do so. If there is no established legal relationship, you do not have a right to bring forth a lawsuit. The case will be dismissed if a person attempts to bring forth a lawsuit without a legal relationship. Suppose you want to file a claim but do not have a legal right to do so. In that case, you can talk to the personal representative of the deceased’s estate and share your concerns, as well as provide information and evidence that can support your position so that they can decide on their own.
What Types of Damages Can You Collect in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Contact Our Proven Wrongful Death Lawyer at Hupy and Abraham
If your loved one was killed due to another party’s negligent or intentional act, contact a Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced lawyers at Hupy and Abraham are available for a free consultation to discuss your case. To set up a confidential appointment, you can fill out our convenient contact form online or call us at 1-800-800-5678.