Many times, families are left devastated after the death of a loved one. Pain, anguish, and regret may dominate their thoughts and they may find coping with loss difficult due to the key role their loved one played in their emotional lives. This is without considering the financial hardship a loved one’s lost income and potential future earnings have on the family finances. For some, this difficult time is only exacerbated by a lack of funds. It is often doubly or more true when death is a consequence of the negligence or recklessness of another. The knowledge that this death was preventable arguably hurts families even more.
What can I do about my loved one’s preventable death?
The death of a loved one is a serious matter and each family has its own process for grieving their loved one. At the finality of that process, the family should evaluate if the relative’s death was 1) preventable and 2) due to the recklessness or negligence of another person. If so, this is what is referred to as wrongful death and you can receive compensation from the guilty party or parties for the death of your loved one. You should engage, as soon as possible, a Milwaukee Wrongful Death attorney who specializes in wrongful death lawsuits to get the recovery you need.
What compensation can I recover for a relative’s wrongful death that is not subject to a cap?
There is a multitude of ways you can recover compensation in Wisconsin for a relative’s wrongful death that is not subject to a cap. They are correlated to the costs incurred as a consequence of the manner of death and thus fall into a few distinct categories:
- Out-of-pocket costs: These costs have likely been immediately incurred. They include deductibles for hospital stays or other medical procedures that were deemed necessary to try and save the life of your relative, perhaps funeral or other end-of-life costs, and any other costs associated with your relative’s death which you or other family members may have incurred.
- Medical expenses: these expenses are often the largest and take the lion’s share of a family’s bills if not covered by insurance. Even then, there may be substantial medical expenses and other legal obligations a family is on the proverbial hook for.
- Lost or unrealized wages: many times, a relative who dies is one of the family’s primary means of financial support. Other times, that person is the family’s only means of financial support. Especially if that family member was slated to earn more overtime or there was a reasonable expectation that there would be substantial future earnings, recovering lost earnings for wrongful death is a question for your Wisconsin wrongful death attorney to work to address.
What kind of damages are capped in a Wisconsin wrongful death case?
In a Wisconsin wrongful death case, emotional pain and suffering are capped at a certain amount. While the amount of money needed to fully compensate for a loved one is incalculable, the law caps recovery based on pain and suffering at $350,000 for an adult and $500,000 for a child.
How are damages as a result of a wrongful death suit distributed in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin law proscribes how damages as a result of a wrongful death case are calculated. The spouse of the deceased person is the “first in line” to receive any damages. However, children can receive up to 50% of the damages as a result of their parent’s wrongful death. Additionally, there are some damages such as loss of consortium that only a spouse is entitled to no matter what a child’s potential share may be.
Contact our office today for assistance with your wrongful death claim
Our firm has experience fighting for you in wrongful death cases. Let our attorneys help you get your fair share so your family doesn’t have to experience further pain at the loss of a loved one. Contact us at (414) 455-6981 for a free evaluation today.