A truck collision can happen anytime, anywhere. In serious cases, these accidents can lead to injuries or even loss of life. In a Kenosha truck accident case, a wrongful death is when a person is killed due to another’s negligence or wrongful act on the road. The surviving families or relatives of the deceased can file a suit to receive compensation for the loss against the person or company involved.
Below are common types of wrongful death cases:
- Vehicular accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Construction site accidents
- Accidents at work
- Product liability cases
- Fatal medication errors
Vehicular accidents are among the most common incidents that can lead to wrongful death. Each year, approximately 1.35 million people die from road accidents. In the US, road accidents are a leading cause of death for individuals aged 1-54.
From 2013 to 2018, the state of Wisconsin has seen an average of 7,333 road accidents and 72 deaths involving large trucks, according to the data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. In Kenosha, road accidents involving trucks have remained a primary public safety concern.
The contributing factors in accidents involving trucks are:
- Distracted driving (texting while driving)
- Driving under the influence (alcohol/drugs/prescription drugs)
- Driver fatigue (lack of sleep)
- Reckless driving or speeding
- Inexperienced driver
- Vehicle issues (truck manufacturing defects, defective brakes)
- Poor weather conditions
- Unsafe road infrastructure
Because trucks are huge and weigh 20-30 times more than an ordinary car, accidents involving these large vehicles can lead to serious injuries or death. Some of the most fatal vehicular accident injuries are:
- Whiplash – a sudden impact can lead to the head and neck snapping back and forth. This movement can damage the spine. In most cases, the symptoms do not occur until hours after the accident. Unfortunately, serious cases of whiplash can lead to death.
- Internal bleeding – considered as a leading cause of trauma-associated fatality, hemorrhage or internal bleeding is a traumatic injury that can be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – there are two types of TBI: open head injuries and closed head injuries. Patients with mild TBI may recover completely and quickly. Severe cases may lead to coma and, unfortunately, death.
- Spinal cord injury – injuries to the spinal cord may develop days following the accident. The injury can lead to loss of motor and sensory functions. Damage to the spinal cord can be severe and lead to permanent injury.
- Multiple organ failure – blunt force trauma to the body can damage the internal organs including the spleen, liver, and kidneys. These injuries sometimes do not develop for hours or even days after the accident.
- Broken ribs – the ribs protect the heart and lungs. An impact to the chest can lead to life-threatening injuries such as collapsed lungs, trauma to the blood vessels and aorta, and spleen rupture.
- Septic shock – when an accident occurs, the body may respond to the infection at an overwhelming rate. This is called sepsis. When sepsis leads to a life-threatening low blood pressure, the body can go into shock, which can be fatal.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim:
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. In a wrongful death claim, the family or estate of the deceased files for monetary damages from the individual responsible for the death. In a criminal case, the state or the government files the case and penalties for the guilty party include prison time and fines among others.
Every state has its own wrongful death statute, which establishes the procedures on wrongful death claims. In Wisconsin, a wrongful death claim may be filed by the following:
- the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate
- the deceased person’s surviving spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling, or guardian
If the victim dies without an appointed personal representative, the court will appoint a representative.
When to File a Claim:
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Wisconsin is within three years. Failure to file the case within the time limit may lead to the court dismissing it permanently. The start of the time limit depends on when the injury that led to the death was discovered or occurred. The three-year limit applies to cases against a private individual, a company, or a government entity.
If you have questions on how the Wisconsin filing deadline applies to your specific wrongful death case, it may be time to speak to an experienced, Kenosha wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. Our law firm will be able to discuss this matter with you and help you with your case. Contact our local wrongful death legal experts for a free consultation today.
Type of Damages That Can Be Recovered:
A wrongful death claim will not be able to bring the deceased person back; however, it will help ease the financial burden and emotional trauma caused by the untimely death.
In Wisconsin, the personal representative of the deceased can seek damages for the following:
- Medical expenses: amounts incurred from the negligent action that led to death
- Future earnings: wages/income that the deceased would have earned
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of love, guidance, or companionship
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Seek Help After Wrongful Death Truck Accident in Kenosha
Going through the legal processes of filing for wrongful death can be difficult for the surviving family. It is best to seek the help of an experienced Kenosha attorney if someone you love has been in a truck accident leading to their wrongful death. Our firm can review your case and help you seek the best solution possible, call today.