Wrongful death laws can be confusing during the best of times. Trying to make sense of them while you are mourning the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. An understanding of the basics of wrongful death laws can help you and your family know what to expect. Of course, the Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys of Boller & Vaughan LLC are here to answer any questions you may have.
The term “wrongful death” is often used loosely to refer to two very different actions arising out of someone’s death. The first is called a survival action. A survival action is brought by the estate of the decedent and seeks compensation for the decedent’s damages incurred before death. The decedent’s estate can recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
The survival action is the lawsuit that the decedent could pursue if still alive. In some cases a survival action is the continuation of an existing personal injury lawsuit that the decedent started by did not live to see completed.
A wrongful death action is the type of lawsuit that loved ones bring to obtain compensation for their own losses caused by the death.
Pecuniary injury is the financial harm you have suffered due to the death of a loved one including the loss of their income and an estimated dollar value of the household services and other services that they would have provided. The spouse or domestic partner, children, parents, siblings, and other heirs of the decedent may sue for pecuniary damages.
The state of Wisconsin puts much stricter limitations on damages for loss of society and companionship. Damages for these emotional losses are limited to a maximum of $500,000 if the deceased was a minor child and $350,000 if the deceased was an adult. They are only available to the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased and siblings who were minor children when the death occurred.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct, please contact the Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys at Boller & Vaughan LLC at 608-268-0268 or submit an online questionnaire. Your initial consultation with our Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys is free of charge and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.