Madison Wrongful Death Lawyer – Helping Families Repair their Lives After the Death of a Loved One
My sincerest condolences on the death of your family member.
When a family member is killed, in addition to the grief and emotional loss, there are often significant financial issues that must be immediately addressed. This is especially true if the loved one was a family breadwinner.
In a wrongful death case, I will work tirelessly to determine all those who share liability, seek to prove liability against those responsible, and demand full compensation for clients.
I accept wrongful death cases arising in the Madison area and throughout Wisconsin.
Getting full and fair compensation for your loved one’s loss is important, as there will be only one opportunity to seek full compensation. Here is how I and my firm can serve clients in a wrongful death case.
Identifying All those who may be Liable, and Seeking Full Compensation From them for Their Role
Often, more than one person may be responsible for a wrongful death. As an example, in addition to a driver that caused a vehicle accident, other possible defendants might include:
- Those responsible for road conditions, such as cities and municipalities, if the design, upkeep, or traffic signals played a role in the accident,
- The company that employed the driver causing the accident, if the driver was driving as part of their work (such as a commercial truck driver),
- Construction companies, if the accident occurred in a construction zone and such operations or traffic diversions contributed to the accident,
- Bars and restaurants, if the other driver was intoxicated and those at the bar or restaurant were found to have over-served the driver when they should have realized the driver was intoxicated,
- Vehicle manufacturers, if the vehicle failed to perform properly in an accident (such as if the air bags failed to properly inflate).
Each accident will be unique. In a wrongful death case arising from an accident, it’s important to conduct a full investigation of the accident scene as soon as possible before the scene itself changes. Accident investigators and reconstructionists are often very helpful in proving accident causation.
After conducting a thorough accident investigation, the next step is to bring a lawsuit against all who may have contributed to the accident. This is the only way to obtain full and fair compensation.
What Damages are Due in a Wrongful Death Case?
The damages that may be recoverable in a Wisconsin wrongful death case will vary depending upon many factors, such as whether your loved one was employed at the time of death, how old your loved one was, whether your loved one was married or had children (and the ages of the children), and many other factors. The following are general types of damages for which compensation may be applicable:
Damages Sustained by the Decedent (which go to the Decedent’s Estate)
The following damages may be recoverable by the estate of the decedent:
- Pain and suffering sustained prior to death, which could include the fear of imminent death
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical bills
Ultimately, when a decedent’s estate is settled, any amounts left in the estate are then distributed according to the decedent’s will (if there is one), or according to intestate law (if the decedent died without a will).
Damages Sustained by Survivors (which are paid directly to the survivors)
The damages that survivors are entitled to fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages (such as loss damages for emotional loss).
Economic damages are those damages that dependent survivors (such as a spouse and minor children) are deprived of because of the family member’s death.
- Lost Wages. If a breadwinner dies, the breadwinner’s spouse and minor children will be deprived of the income that the breadwinner would have provided through work. In general, this amount is determined by computing the present value of the wages or salary the breadwinner would have made over the remainder of their work life. There are many factors that must be considered in this calculation, such how long the person likely would have worked and what salary or wage increases likely would have occurred.
- Burial and related costs. The reasonable costs of a funeral and burial are recoverable.
- Value of household services. If the decedent provided many household services that the surviving spouse must now pay to have undertaken, such future expenses may be compensable.
Non-Economic Damages – Loss of Consortium and Companionship
Wisconsin law recognizes that family survivors will be greatly affected by the loss of their loved one. A spouse will not have the other spouse to share the rest of their life, young children will lose out on valuable parenting time and advice, and the parents of a minor child will be deprived of the opportunity to see their child grow into adulthood.
Unlike many other states, Wisconsin has placed a cap on the award of loss of consortium and the loss of companionship to $350,000 for the death of an adult, and $500,000 for the death of a child.
IMPORTANT NOTE – the information contained above is a summary of information related to wrongful death in Wisconsin. The facts and circumstances of your case may dramatically affect the compensation to which you may be entitled, so you should not rely on this information for your matter. Once I learn about the facts and circumstances of your case, I can advise you as to the nature and scope of the possible damages that may apply to your case.
Please Call Me To Learn More
I offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and contingency fee representation. This means that I and my firm are only entitled to a fee if you obtain compensation through a settlement or trial verdict. I can meet with you at whatever time and day might be convenient with your schedule (including at night or on weekends), at the firm’s office or at your home.