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The unexpected and sudden death of a loved one can leave a family in emotional turmoil, financial difficulties, and many unknowns about the future. If your loved one lost their life in Eau Claire due to the wrongdoing of an individual or entity, you may seek compensation under the wrongful death laws of Eau Claire. Contact our Eau Claire wrongful death lawyers to learn about your legal options today.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand many of the challenges your family will face after the loss of a loved one in a wrongful death case. In many cases, family and loved ones are not prepared for the emotional or financial burdens that arise.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Attorneys can help. Our firm is passionate about representing Eau Claire families who find themselves in desperate circumstances and are just trying to move on with their lives the best they can. Contact us to talk about your wrongful death case, and read below to learn the fundamentals of wrongful death cases.
A wrongful death is a death that would not have happened but for the intentional, reckless, or negligent actions or inactions of another. While many people can accidentally lose their lives, if someone else was at fault for the accident’s occurrence, the law provides a way for survivors to claim compensation in a wrongful death action.
The at-fault party in a wrongful death case may be charged criminally for their actions. That does not prevent a family from bringing a wrongful death action, which is a separate matter under civil law.
Unlike a criminal action, which punishes a defendant and administers criminal consequences, a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit recovers compensation from the responsible party for the victim’s surviving family.
Victims of car accidents, slips and falls, or any other personal injury resulting in injury may bring a compensation claim. But if the accident has fatal consequences, they clearly cannot recover damages. A fatal accident, however, causes separate injuries and damages the victim’s family.
An Eau Claire wrongful death case may arise in an indeterminate number of scenarios. While some of the most common causes can involve car accidents or medical malpractice, many other situations commonly result in an individual dying due to the fault of another.
An Eau Claire wrongful death action may follow:
Can anyone who knew a wrongful death victim bring a claim? No. In Eau Claire, only certain family members may recover in a wrongful death action. Furthermore, multiple parties may not bring wrongful death actions in separate cases; rather, all the interested parties must come together to file a suit or claim. A representative, the executor of the deceased’s estate, files on behalf of the surviving family.
The following individuals can recover a claim or lawsuit for wrongful death in Wisconsin:
Someone might experience an unexpected fatal accident in Eau Claire in any situation. On the daily commute, while at work, or during any other normal activities, we’re all unfortunately at risk of being victims of an accident caused by another’s wrongdoing and resulting in death. Wrongful deaths are particularly hard for families because ordinary care could have prevented them.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 170,000 people die each year due to unintentional injuries. In many of these cases in Eau Claire, another party in the accident could have avoided the injuries but for their negligence. If you believe your loved one died because of the actions or inaction of another party, you may have a case for wrongful death against the at-fault party. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Eau Claire to discuss your case and your options for legal recourse.
You may hold a party whose wrongdoing led to another’s death liable, or legally responsible, in a wrongful death action. Sometimes the at-fault party is clear. Other times, the facts of the case make identifying liable parties more complex. The liability of a party depends greatly on their relationship to the individual who suffered a fatal injury and the duty of care that the party owed the individual. The law considers one’s duty of care as the standard of conduct they must provide to avoid harming others. Plaintiffs can bring a claim or lawsuit for wrongful death against individuals or entities. In some cases, more than one party can face liability for the death of your loved one.
Examples of potentially liable parties in an Eau Claire wrongful death action include:
As the loved one of a La Claire wrongful death victim, you may seek compensation. The monetary damages you may recover differs based on the relationship between you and the deceased and the extent of the impacts and expenses you bear as a result of the wrongful death. A plaintiff in a wrongful death action may recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include actual monetary losses that can be objectively verified, such as a medical bill. Non-economic damages are not so financially specific, as they encompass personal impacts. These damages compensate an individual for losses such as the companionship of the deceased.
Damages in a wrongful death action may include:
Wrongful death claims and survival actions are often confused but are separate legal claims.
Only the personal representative of the estate can bring a survival action for the deceased individual. This action benefits the deceased and applies to the damages sustained by the individual from the moment of injury until the time of their death. Not all wrongful deaths cause the immediate death of an individual. In many cases, an individual can survive day, weeks, or months after the initial injury occurred but ultimately succumb to their injuries.
A survival action allows the representative of the estate to file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the individual who could have filed a personal injury claim or suit for their damages before their death. A survival action allows for the recovery of damages specific to the deceased individual, and which were not suffered by their family, such as the individual’s pain and suffering before death.
A wrongful death action benefits and accounts for the losses suffered by the loved ones of the deceased, not for the losses of the deceased themselves. The claim for damages in a wrongful death suit is the financial and emotional burdens that befall the surviving family member of the loved one lost.
A wrongful death action is complicated, and its success depends upon the skills and resources you have in bringing it. That is where an experienced Eau Claire wrongful death lawyer can help. A wrongful death lawyer can advise you about your options and help initiate and carry forward your claim to pursue the damages you deserve.
Proving wrongful death actions can require a dedicated professional who understands the legal process and the requirements to establish wrongful death under the law.
An Eau Claire wrongful death attorney will act on your behalf to gather evidence and investigate your claim; manage communications and negotiations with the other party, their attorney, and their insurer; and handle all of the complexities that arise in bringing a lawsuit in court, should that be necessary.
The Wisconsin statute of limitations requires a claimant to file a lawsuit within three years of the wrongful death. Any responsible party you do not bring a lawsuit against within this time gets off the hook.
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