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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After the Loss of a Loved One

Posted on June 29, 2018 Wrongful Death

In the United States, the death of someone caused by another party’s negligence may be the legal basis for a wrongful death lawsuit claim. When a lawsuit is filed on behalf of a deceased victim, the plaintiff can be compensated for the accident, malpractice, or product liability leading to their loss. Depending on the court, remedies may be in the form of both economic damages, like medical bills, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of consortium.

What are the Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim?

A plaintiff has the grounds for a wrongful death claim if a victim dies as result of the intentional or unintentional negligence of another party. To be eligible for an award of damages, the courts consider how the party allegedly responsible for the accident failed to meet the “duty to a standard of reasonable care” at the time of the accident. If a wrongful death claim involves a malpractice lawsuit, in which a professional had a duty to “forewarn” the deceased party of potential risk, the court must determine if failure to meet these criteria led to harm.

Who is Responsible in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against companies, professionals, and some government agencies if a fatal accident has occurred. According to Wisconsin Statute § 895.04 Plaintiff in Wrongful Death Action, the plaintiff must provide evidence to the court that the other party was responsible for the death of the victim at the time of the accident. Wisconsin law contemplates contributory negligence within its wrongful death statute, stating that defendants must be at least 51% at-fault to be jointly and severally liable for a verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit. The law considers apportioned fault for wrongful death in accidents and medical malpractice negligence cases.

Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a family member by survivors alleging harm done to the deceased victim by the unexpected act of another. Otherwise recognized as “real parties in interest” in court, the plaintiff representing a wrongful death claim may be an estate executor previously named by the decedent. Real parties of interest are generally immediate family members or life partners, or sometimes distant family members or the parents of a deceased fetus. Any persons who can evidence resultant financial detriment from the loss of support by the deceased may also file a wrongful death lawsuit for just compensation in court.

 Get the Compensation You Deserve

Bye, Goff & Rohde is a licensed law practice serving Minnesota and Wisconsin and representing clients in accidental injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, we can get you the compensation to cover the damages associated with the loss of a family member in a wrongful death claim. Contact “The Personal Injury Trial Lawyers,” Bye, Goff & Rohde for a consultation about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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