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Eau Claire Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Eau Claire Wrongful Death Attorneys

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.

Dedicated Team of Eau Claire Wrongful Death Lawyers - Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers

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.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

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.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

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:

  • Motor vehicle accidents - If your loved one died because of a car accident that the other driver or another party caused—such as a negligent technician who created a problem with the vehicle that led to the accident—you can seek compensation for the loss of your loved one.
  • Bicycle or pedestrian accidents - The negligence of a driver causes most bicyclist or pedestrian deaths, giving rise to wrongful death actions.
  • Motorcycle crashes - The negligence of others similarly hit motorcyclists. A motorcyclist’s total exposure makes a fatal accident more likely.
  • Truck accidents - Semi-trucks and large trucks often cause tragic accidents due to the preventable mistakes of a truck driver, truck company, or manufacturer. Given the size and weight of these trucks, they can kill the driver and occupants in any car they collide with.
  • Work accidents - Accidents on the job occur every day, some being fatal; the employer or another party responsible for the death of a worker could be held accountable to the worker’s family.
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse - Nursing home deaths can occur due to neglect or abuse by the staff and caretakers you have entrusted with your loved one’s care.
  • Animal attacks or bites - Those responsible for a dog that causes the death of a person can bear liability in a wrongful death action.
  • Intentional acts - Prosecutors can press charges against anyone who intentionally harms or kill your loved one. In addition, family members of the deceased have the right to file a claim for compensation through insurance and/or a lawsuit in civil court.

Parties That Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in Eau Claire

Eau Claire Wrongful Death Lawyer

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:

  • A domestic partner
  • A spouse
  • A child
  • The parent or guardians

Wrongful Death in Eau Claire

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.

Who Can Be Held Liable in an Eau Claire Wrongful Death Case?

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:

  • Individuals
  • Employers
  • Government agencies
  • Property owners or management companies
  • Nursing homes

Damages Available in a La Claire Wrongful Death Action

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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:

  • Medical expenses - All medical costs your loved one incurred before death are recoverable in a wrongful death action. This includes emergency care costs, subsequent treatment, surgeries, and any other medical attention they received to address their accident injuries.
  • Burial and funeral expenses - All costs related to the funeral and burial, or cremation, of your loved one.
  • Loss of financial support - Often, the deceased is a primary breadwinner for their family. A family can recover compensation for the lost future wages of the financial provider. These damages can be a significant portion of the compensation package, as they account for the income the provider could have brought in for the family throughout their lifetime.
  • Loss of society and companionship - These damages account for the emotional loss and impact of the passing of the loved one on the surviving members of the family. This compensation accounts for the loss of companionship of the deceased family member and the distress and trauma experienced associated with it. Wisconsin law limits the compensation an Eau Claire family may recover for this specific damage. If the deceased loved one was a minor, Wisconsin caps these damages at $500,000. If the deceased loved one was an adult, the state caps these damages at $350,000.

Wrongful Death Versus a Survival Action

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.

How Can Our Lawyers Help You After an Eau Claire Wrongful Death?

Russell Nicolet
Wrongful Death Attorney, Russell Nicolet

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.

You shouldn’t delay a wrongful death action. If you think you may have a claim, contact an Eau Claire wrongful death lawyer at (715) 226-6149 to explore your recovery options.

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Phone: 715-226-6149



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