The prospect of pursuing civil litigation after suddenly losing a loved one to a fatal accident can seem like a lot to take on during an already stressful time. However, effectively enforcing your legal rights and those of your deceased family member can be crucial to ensuring your family does not bear the brunt of the financial repercussions that stem from someone else’s misconduct.
State law establishes various rules governing who is eligible to pursue this type of claim and the dates by which they must start the litigation process. If you want to simplify the process of filing a Kenosha wrongful death action, retaining a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer may be a necessity.
Who Has Grounds to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kenosha?
State law sets restrictions on the parties who can file a wrongful death case in after a fatal accident in our area. According to Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations §895.04, the decedent’s personal representative, their surviving spouse or partner, child, parent or guardian, or another party eligible to recover based on intestacy laws may file a wrongful death action.
A personal representative is generally nominated in the decedent’s will and/or estate plan, provided that plan is a valid and legally enforceable document drafted in accordance with state law. In the absence of an acceptable will, the court may nominate someone to serve in this capacity, generally a close family member of the decedent.
Deadlines for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim after a Fatal Accident
Regardless of who takes the lead on filing a wrongful death action in Kenosha, strict filing deadlines apply that may limit a plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation if they wait too long to initiate the litigation process. According to WI Stat. & Ann. §893.54, most wrongful death actions have an effective filing deadline of three years after the date of the person’s untimely passing.
However, this is not the case in every situation. For example, if a victim of a serious accident remains alive for several months afterwards but eventually passes away as a direct consequence of injuries sustained in that incident, the filing period for a wrongful death claim might begin on the date of the accident rather than the date of death. Additionally, if someone passes away in a motor vehicle accident, the filing deadline is reduced to two years.
Because this deadline can vary from case to case, it is advisable to consult with a Kenosha attorney before filing a wrongful death claim. A member of our team could advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights and obtain justice for your family.
Let a Kenosha Attorney Help with Filing a Wrongful Death Action
Even if you have strong and compelling grounds for civil recovery following the sudden loss of a family member, the process of effectively pursuing compensation can still be a long and frustrating one.
Filing a Kenosha wrongful death action could be made easier with the professional help and guidance of a seasoned lawyer. Call the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd today for a consultation.