Tragic fatalities due to negligence or recklessness can lead to what the law refers to as wrongful deaths. These circumstances can bring overwhelming pain to bereaved families, leaving them with endless questions and a desire for justice.
The emotional turmoil, together with the complexities of wrongful death cases, makes it nearly impossible for many people to seek the financial compensation they deserve. That's where our Madison wrongful death attorneys can help you.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we serve the Madison community and help them recover due damages. We have built our reputation on diligence and a deep understanding of the law, and our team dedicates itself to pursuing justice for our clients. As well as having rich experience in handling wrongful death cases, we pay special attention to the emotional state of our clients and offer them as much support as we can.
Call us today for your free consultation.
- Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers?
- Understanding Wrongful Death Cases
- Wisconsin's Wrongful Death Laws
- Who Is Responsible for Wrongful Death?
- How Much Is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
- Negotiating With the Insurance Company
- What to Do After a Wrongful Death Incident
- Call an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer in Madison Today
Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers?
With our location in the heart of Madison, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has earned a reputation for excellence in dealing with wrongful death cases. With our foundation of transparency and genuine empathy toward our clients, our firm has a rich and illustrious history of pursuing justice for those who've lost a loved one due to negligence.
From its inception, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has handled hundreds of wrongful death cases, each with a unique scenario but sharing a common thread of fairness in compensation for the bereaved. Our firm's depth of experience and familiarity with Wisconsin's laws have contributed significantly to our success in securing favorable verdicts.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we strongly believe that our greatest strength lies in our people. Our dedicated team, consisting of seasoned wrongful death lawyers, negotiators, paralegals, and support staff, brings its collective experience to every case we handle.
Each team member commits to uncovering the truth, seeking fair compensation for our clients, and providing compassionate support throughout the often complicated legal processes. We work tirelessly to uphold and vindicate our clients' rights, proving that we are more than just a law firm. We are a team that devotes itself to justice.
Our office has a convenient location at 345 W. Washington Ave., office 309, just a couple of blocks from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. You can find public parking spots near the museum. If you aren't ready to commute to the office yet, our legal team can arrange a remote video consultation, or we can come to you.
Understanding Wrongful Death Cases
When the cause of such death is someone's negligence and recklessness, you can sue the at-fault party for wrongful death and receive compensation for related expenses and suffering.
According to Wisconsin Statutes § 895.03, wrongful death results from a wrongful act, neglect, or default.
A wrongful death, simply put, occurs when a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity. If the person had survived, they could have filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Since this isn't possible, their loved ones take legal action on their behalf.
Examples may include death due to car accidents because of drunk drivers, fatalities occurring from defective products, or even death during a supervised activity. The death is wrongful because it was preventable.
Wisconsin's Wrongful Death Laws
Wrongful death laws dictate who can file a claim, the types of damages you can seek, and the statute of limitations for filing such a claim. Understanding these laws and how they apply to your specific case can be complex, which is where our team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers steps in.
A wrongful death case is an intricate intersection of grief and responsibility. It's difficult to navigate these waters while dealing with the emotional aftermath of losing a loved one. That's why having a wrongful death attorney by your side is a smart choice.
As a wrongful death claimant, you generally have the right to pursue compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of earnings, loss of services and support, and loss of companionship or consortium. You also have the right to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your loved one's death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Wisconsin?
According to Wisconsin Statutes § 895.04, the decedent's surviving family members can file a claim in the following order:
- Spouse (or domestic partner).
The order is an important factor to consider. The primary right to file a wrongful death claim belongs to the spouse or domestic partner of the deceased. If the decedent didn't have a spouse or domestic partner at the time of death, their children can file a lawsuit. If the deceased didn't have children, the next in order are grandchildren, and so forth.
No matter who files the wrongful death claim, the court will dedicate a certain portion to award to the decedent's children under the age of 18, if any. This amount, however, can't be higher than 50 percent of the settlement or payout.
The Statute of Limitations
The state of Wisconsin regulates how much time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one dies. According to Wisconsin Statutes § 893.54, you have three years from the date of the person's death to file a claim.
More than 500 people die in car accidents in Wisconsin every year. Many of these crashes happen because of someone else's negligence. If a loved one died as a result of a car accident, you need to file a claim within two years of their death.
If you miss the time limit that the statute of limitations stipulates, the court can dismiss your case immediately after filing.
Who Is Responsible for Wrongful Death?
The at-fault parties in a wrongful death case range from an individual—such as a reckless driver or negligent medical practitioner—to an entity such as a negligent business or corporation. A governmental agency that failed in its duty may also be a potential defendant.
A thorough investigation into the incident is necessary to identify the liable party or parties. This challenging task requires the help of experienced attorneys. By finding at-fault parties promptly, your attorney can prevent unnecessary delays.
In some cases, people who cause wrongful death can leave a state, which can keep you from recovering damages. The faster you file a claim and serve the defendant, the more likely you are to receive compensation on time.
How Much Is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
While no amount of money will ever replace your loved one, seeking damages in a wrongful death case can help alleviate the financial burden and stress that the untimely death caused. There are various types of damages you might be eligible to claim.
In a wrongful death case in Madison, potential compensations often include:
- Costs of medical treatment before death.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of expected future earnings.
- Pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death.
- Loss of financial and emotional support for family members.
You may also recover damages for loss of companionship for the surviving spouse and children and, in some cases, punitive damages to punish a defendant's outrageously negligent actions and deter similar behavior —for example, if driving under the influence caused a fatal crash.
Factors That Affect the Amount of Compensation
Various factors affect the amount of compensation in wrongful death cases. These include the age of the deceased, their earning capacity, life expectancy, health prior to the incident, the circumstances of the beneficiaries, and the nature of the defendant's actions.
Other important factors that can influence the amount of your settlement are:
- Quality of evidence. The more high-quality evidence you can provide to back your claim, the more money you can try to recover.
- Attorney experience. An experienced attorney knows the local legal nuances and helps you negotiate a higher settlement or prove your case to a jury.
Another important factor is insurance policy limits. The at-fault party's insurance policy may cover only a part of your claim. For example, in Wisconsin, the minimal mandatory car insurance only covers $25,000 when a person dies in an accident. If your damages are higher, you would have to sue the at-fault driver directly.
In this complex process, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can navigate the legal maze for you to ensure full protection of your rights.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
One of the toughest aspects of a wrongful death case is negotiating with insurance companies. When a person dies, their loved ones are in a highly delicate emotional state. Many insurance adjusters use this opportunity to talk them into accepting a low settlement.
The at-fault party's lawyers, meanwhile, use their knowledge and experience to pressure victims into settling for a low amount, or, even worse, dropping the case.
If you have experienced wrongful death attorneys on your side, you can delegate the negotiation process to them. These professionals know exactly how to talk to insurance companies and an at-fault party's legal team. They can avert unnecessary pressure for you so you can focus on your emotional and mental health.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we are here to take the legal burden off your shoulders. Our extensive experience in wrongful death cases provides us with unique insights and strategies to protect your rights and interests. We strive relentlessly to seek the justice your loved one deserves and the compensation you need to move forward.
What to Do After a Wrongful Death Incident
After the tragic death of a loved one due to wrongful death, you need to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. The first step is to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we arrange a consultation at a time that's most convenient for you. During this consultation, our legal team evaluates your case and explains the steps to damage recovery.
You can then delegate the legal action to a team of lawyers and follow their guidance. This can include gathering evidence, getting the treatment you need for your emotional health, signing documents, and waiting for your settlement or payout.
We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we strive to offer personalized, compassionate support. Our team can thoroughly investigate your incident, identify the liable party or parties, and advise you on the best course of action for your case. We can also establish the value of your claim and navigate the often-complex legal process.
Time is of the essence in wrongful death cases. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally three years from the date of death. If you miss the filing deadline, you could lose your chance to obtain compensation.
Call an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer in Madison Today
If you're dealing with the devastating loss of a loved one who died due to someone's negligence or an intentional act, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is here for you. We invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Allow our dedicated Madison personal injury attorneys are here to guide you through this challenging process, providing the legal and emotional support you need. Let us fight for the justice your loved one deserves. Call us now at (608) 467-0429.