It's hard to imagine a more difficult experience in life than losing a loved one due to an accident caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, and the Wisconsin wrongful death lawyers at Hupy and Abraham understand this.
At Hupy and Abraham, we are prepared to provide you and your family with the tough, aggressive, and compassionate representation that you deserve.
If you've lost a loved one as a result of an accident, our wrongful death attorneys understand that no amount of money can replace your loss, and that this can be an extremely emotional and stressful time. Additionally, your financial concerns are real. You must figure out how to make up for lost income, how to pay for funeral expenses, and how to pay medical bills from your loved one's final days.
We’ve gained the respect of defense attorneys and insurance companies to benefit our clients with greater settlements in their cases and to help each and every family get the recoveries they deserve.
Types of Accidents That May Result in Wrongful Death
We represent clients when wrongful deaths occur because of…
- Car accidents. Car accidents can result in driver and passenger deaths. Accidents that occur at higher speeds or with great force may make fatalities more likely.
- Motorcycle accidents. The force from a bigger vehicle, such as a car, can result in fatal injuries and take the life of a motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger.
- Dog bites. Dog bite deaths may occur if the animal pierces an artery, causes the victim to fall, or if the wound becomes infected.
- Dangerous drugs and medical devices. The very drugs and medical devices that are used to control pain or help improve medical conditions may have unintended side effects that result in death.
- Negligent security. A property owner or manager who fails to provide adequate security may allow a fatal attack to occur.
- Nursing home abuse and negligence. When nursing home staff are intentionally abusive or they are negligent, then a nursing home resident may suffer fatal injuries.
- Slip and fall accidents. While most slip and fall accidents do not result in death, a slip and fall that causes a brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other serious injury could result in a fatality.
- Other accidents. These accidents may include electrical fires and swimming accidents, for example.
If you’ve lost a loved one in any of these tragic ways then you need to know how to protect your rights and begin a claim.
How a Wrongful Case Works in Wisconsin
A wrongful death recovery often includes settlement negotiations with the insurance company and court proceedings. Before you file a wrongful death claim, it is important to know more about how a case works and some tips protecting your fair recovery. This includes knowing about:
- The Wisconsin wrongful death statute. Wisconsin statutes define when a wrongful death case is possible, who may bring a wrongful death case, and how damages will be distributed after a settlement or court verdict.
- How to deal with insurance companies. Even in cases of death, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible in claims so that they can maximize their profits. Accordingly, you need to know how to talk to insurance adjusters so that you can protect your rights.
- What evidence you need to build a strong case. You will need to persuade the insurance company or court that the defendant’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. Evidence including medical records, interrogatories, depositions, witness testimony, and evidence from the scene of the accident may all be important.
- The benefits of filing a wrongful death claim. Generally, there are two reasons to file a wrongful death claim. The first is to make a fair recovery of damages, and the second is to hold the person who caused your loved one’s death accountable.
- How long you have to file a wrongful death claim. The Wisconsin statute of limitations allows you three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit; however, some exceptions do apply that could shorten or lengthen that general time frame.
- Whether you have the legal authority to file a wrongful death case. In most cases, the personal representative of the estate has authority, or standing, to bring a lawful death lawsuit assuming that there is a wrongful death cause of action.
- What kind of expert witnesses you may need. Expert witnesses may include doctors, economists and others who can testify about what happened or about the value of damages.
- Whether you need an attorney. It is possible to file a wrongful death case without an attorney. However, attorneys can remove the stress of a lawsuit from you and fight for your fair recovery of damages.
- How insurance settlements work. You will likely need to demand a fair settlement from the insurance company and engage in ongoing negotiations to get the settlement you deserve.
- How to start a lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit begins when a complaint, that meets all of the court requirements, is filed with the court.
It is also important to know what kind of compensation you may receive in a settlement or in court.
What You May Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death damages may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses. A wrongful death recovery may include compensation for any medical expenses your loved one incurred as a result of his injuries from the time of the accident until the time of death.
- Lost income. Any income that your loved one would reasonably have earned from the time of the accident until his likely time of death had an accident not occurred may be recoverable. Thus, future lost income may be included in your recovery.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of the accident or your loved one’s loss may be included in your recovery. This may include funeral expenses.
- Loss of companionship and support. A spouse, children, parents or in some cases siblings of the deceased may be able to recover for loss of society and companionship. These damages are, however, limited by statute.
- Pain and suffering. If your loved one experienced physical pain or emotional suffering because of the accident and prior to his death then the estate may be able to recover damages for that pain and suffering.
Nothing can bring back your loved one or undo the pain your family is experiencing. However, the pain does not need to be made worse by financial hardship. Wisconsin law allows you to protect your rights and your experienced, empathetic wrongful death lawyers can help you do just that. Please call us today at 1-800-800-5678 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.