If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence or wrongful acts of another person, you and your family may be eligible to file a Wisconsin wrongful death claim. In Wisconsin, wrongful death actions are governed under the wrongful death statute, Wisconsin Statute §895.04. In this article, our Milwaukee wrongful death attorneys translate the statute into plain, easy-to-understand English.

Who can file a Wisconsin wrongful death claim?

A Wisconsin wrongful death claim may be filed by the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased or by any person who has a right to the damages recovered in the wrongful death action—usually a spouse, child or parent.

Who is eligible to recover damages from a Wisconsin wrongful death claim? 

It depends on the situation. If the deceased was a minor child, the recovery would go to the child’s parents. If the deceased was married, the recovery is given to the spouse unless there are children under age 18. In that case, up to half of the recovery may be designated to support the children. The rest belongs to the spouse. If there is no spouse and no minor children, any recovery belongs to the deceased heirs. These may include parents, adult children, grandchildren or even siblings.

Can more than one person file a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit?

It is possible for more than one legal actions could be filed for the same wrongful death; however, under Wisconsin law, these actions may be consolidated.

What are the damages that may be awarded in a Wisconsin wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim may seek damages for pecuniary injuries, including:

  • Loss of support
  • Loss of services
  • Lost prospect of inheritance
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses

An additional $350,000 may be awarded for the loss of society and companionship to the spouse, children, parents or minor siblings of a deceased adult; $500,000 if the deceased is a child. 

Do you have additional questions? Contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.