The abrupt and unexpected death of a loved one can be devastating to your entire family. The sorrow is often even more overwhelming when someone else’s careless actions caused the accident. Losing a family member in an avoidable tragedy can change your life and leave you afraid and unsure about the future. You do not have to face this challenge alone.
When someone’s negligence causes the death of your loved one, you have every right to hold them financially accountable. A Racine wrongful death lawyer understands your loss and could help you pick up the pieces and put your life back together. After reviewing your case, a hardworking injury attorney could review your legal options and advise you on the best way to proceed.
Recovery of an Award for Damages After a Death by Wrongful Action
Wisconsin civil law defines wrongful death as negligent or unlawful actions that cause another person to sustain fatal injuries. When the defendant’s reckless act is cause for a personal injury claim, there is a reasonable basis for a wrongful death civil case.
According to the Wisconsin Statutes § 95.03, surviving family members of a deceased person have the legal right to bring an action in place of the decedent. Some examples of events leading to wrongful death lawsuits include car accidents, workplace incidents, assault or other violent acts, and medical malpractice.
Surviving Family Members Eligible to File the Wrongful Death Action
The decedent’s personal representative or specific surviving family members have the legal right to bring action against the liable party. Qualified family members of the decedent include the following:
- A spouse or domestic partner
- Children, including adopted or by marriage, or grandchildren
- Parents or grandparents
- Siblings of the deceased
When the decedent has a surviving spouse or domestic partner, or minor children, the court sets aside funds from the settlement for their care. A Racine attorney could take on the legal work of a negligent death claim, making sure to comply with relevant laws.
Damages Available to Surviving Family Members in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
After proving the defendant is liable for damages, the court may award compensation to cover the following:
- Healthcare costs to cover the medical care for injuries leading to death
- Reasonable burial expenses and funeral costs
- Financial losses the family suffers as a result of the death, including lost wages, insurance, and earning potential
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of companionship, society, and pain and suffering
The wrongful death statutes allow awards for economic damages, such as pain and suffering, of up to $350,000 for a deceased adult and $500,000 for a child. A dedicated lawyer in Racine can help collect vital evidence and documentation pertaining to someone’s wrongful death case to recover maximum compensation from the at-fault party.
Call a Capable Wrongful Death Attorney in Racine Today
When your loved one suffers fatal injuries because of another person’s negligence, a compassionate Racine wrongful death lawyer could help you through the civil court process. At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we understand the difficulties and challenges you and your family face and could take the legal work off your hands while you grieve.
While no amount of money can replace your loved one, an award for damages could cover your financial losses and help to get your life back on track. Call today to schedule an appointment and review your case when you need help with a lawsuit.