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Wrongful Death FAQ

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Wrongful death claims can be complicated and you are likely to have many legal questions along the way. Here is a look at some common questions and answers regarding these claims. You can also contact the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg if you have any other queries.

Who can pursue a wrongful death case?

Wisconsin Statute 895.04 specifies the persons who can file a wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased. These persons include the spouse, partner, children, parents, or guardians of the deceased. In the absence of these, grandparents or grandchildren can also seek damages.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

Under Wisconsin Statute 893.54, you must file a wrongful death case within 3 years of the death. If the wrongful death occurred in a traffic accident, you have two years to file the claim.

What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action?

A wrongful death lawsuit typically benefits the family members of the deceased. Damages in a survival action lawsuit, under Wisconsin Statute 895.01, are paid to the estate of the deceased instead.

Wrongful death damages also mostly pertain to the losses suffered by the family members. Survival action claims, on the other hand, only cover damages that the deceased may have recovered had he or she lived.

What if the decedent was partly at fault?

You can recover damages as a wrongful death claimant even if the decedent was the party at fault. Wisconsin follows a modified comparative negligence rule, specified in Wisconsin Statute 895.045. Under this rule, you can recover damages as long as the decedent’s fault was less than that of the defendant.

What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?

A wide range of damages in a wrongful death case. These include medical bills covering the decedent’s pre-death treatments, funeral and burial expenses, loss of society and companionship, and the total loss of financial contributions from the deceased to the survivors.

In addition, damages for loss of society and companionship can also be sought by close family members.

How are damages divided among the decedent’s heirs?

The actual distribution of the damages depends on several factors. For a given claimant, the share of damages depends on their relation to the deceased.

The primary beneficiary in a wrongful death claim is typically the partner or spouse of the deceased. The minor children of the victim also receive a substantial portion of the award.

Talk to an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Wrongful death cases can become quite complicated, especially where multiple heirs or claimants become involved. Here at the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg, we work to make things simpler, with a focus on getting results for you. Call us at 414-271-7007 or fill out the form for a free case review.