Milwaukee Wrongful Death Attorney

When a spouse, child, or other family member has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether through a car accident or some other form of negligence, the legal system may provide you with a means of recovering compensation for the loss of your loved one.

If you have lost a family member in a preventable accident, then the time to start exploring your legal options is now. At Mingo & Yankala, S.C., we understand that no amount of money could ever make up for a tragedy like this, but do believe that the financial impact of these incidents should be rectified by those responsible. Our award-winning Milwaukee personal injury lawyers have recovered millions for our clients and are ready to help you compellingly assert the gravity of your loss both in and outside the courtroom.

Reach out to us today. Use our online form to request a free case evaluation.

Help When you Need it Most

When you are dealing with the emotional and financial challenges that come with a wrongful death lawsuit, you need a trusted attorney you can rely on throughout the claims process.

  • At Mingo & Yankala, S.C., we understand how important wrongful death cases are to families and work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome.  At the same time, we understand how difficult wrongful death cases can be for families.  Our goal is to ease your burden and allow you to grieve for your loved one while we take care of the legal process.
  • Our wrongful death attorneys provide the personal attention our clients deserve and put in the resources necessary for their cases to be successful.
  • Our law firm focuses on getting the most for our clients. This means we are never afraid to bring a case to trial. We genuinely care for our clients and want them to obtain full and fair restitution for their damages. If bringing your case to trial is in your best interests, we’re ready to advocate for you.

Find out more about how we can help your family through these difficult times when you contact our office to discuss your case.

What a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Milwaukee Can Do for You

Do I Need an Attorney

A wrongful death lawyer in Milwaukee can help you and your family through every phase of this type of case – not only the legal side, which is critical for your family’s financial recovery, but the personal or emotional side, as well. Your lawyer will be an advocate and source of advice throughout a complicated and often stressful legal process. You can grieve, heal and spend quality time with your family while a wrongful death lawyer handles the following tasks for you:

  • Fatal accident investigation
  • Evidence collection and eyewitness interviewing
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Hiring qualified experts to testify
  • Obtaining copies of relevant medical records or a coroner’s report
  • The filing of a claim or lawsuit
  • Insurance settlement negotiations
  • Representation during a wrongful death trial in Milwaukee, if necessary

When a case involves something as serious as a loss of life, it is important to optimize your odds of success by hiring a lawyer. If your family is worried about the cost of a wrongful death attorney, our lawyers offer peace of mind by operating on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement means that you will only pay us out of a settlement or judgment award won for your loved one’s death, and only if we win. You will never pay us out of your own pocket for our services, win or lose.

What are Milwaukee Wrongful Death Claims?

In Wisconsin, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person that is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default. If the victim would have qualified for a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the accident, it probably qualifies for a wrongful death claim. In these cases, the surviving family members have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the individual or entity who is found to be liable for the death of their loved one. Surviving families can be awarded compensation for specific damages under the Wisconsin wrongful death statute.

Wrongful death lawsuits are much different from any criminal charges the liable party may face. If the liable party is facing criminal charges, these criminal charges will be brought forward by the state’s prosecuting attorney. Here, the prosecuting attorney will be seeking criminal penalties through a conviction. This might include fines and jail or prison time, among other penalties.

It should also be noted that the burden of proof is different in wrongful death and criminal cases. In order for the state to obtain a conviction in a criminal case, they need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the burden of proof is much less in civil cases. Instead, your attorney will need to prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is liable for the decedent’s passing.

What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Milwaukee?

Unfortunately, hundreds of people lose their lives in preventable accidents in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin every year. Fatal car accidents alone in Wisconsin took 593 lives in 2020, according to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation. At Mingo & Yankala, S.C., we are dedicated to fighting for justice for those who are wrongfully killed in avoidable accidents of all types in Milwaukee.

Our wrongful death lawyers can help your family pursue just compensation if any of the following types of accidents took your loved one’s life:

We also handle mesothelioma lawsuits in Milwaukee if your loved one passed away due to this terminal type of cancer. If you aren’t sure about your loved one’s cause of death, consult with our lawyers for free about your case in more detail. We will listen to your story, investigate further and let you know if your case has merit. If so, we will explain your family’s rights to you without any confusing legalese and make sure you understand your right to file a claim and seek compensation.

How Can You Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Most wrongful death lawsuits in Wisconsin are based on the legal doctrine of negligence. Someone is negligent if he or she fails to use an ordinary level of care, such as a driver who breaks a traffic law or a property owner who fails to maintain a safe premises. If negligence inflicts a fatal injury or illness on another person, the negligent party can be made to pay for the death through a wrongful death civil action.

Negligence consists of four elements of proof:

  1. Duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a certain way based on the circumstances. Different duties of care exist for different defendants and situations.
  2. Breach of the duty of care. A breach of the duty of care can refer to any action or omission that falls short of what was expected of the defendant at the time of the incident.
  3. Causation for the death. Causation means that the decedent’s death would not have happened but for the defendant’s breach of duty.
  4. Damages suffered. Damages refer to compensable losses suffered by surviving family members or the estate because of the decedent’s death.

Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim requires clear and convincing evidence (known as a preponderance of the evidence). You or your lawyer must provide enough evidence to support the argument that the defendant is more at fault for the fatal accident than not at fault, such as expert testimony, eyewitness statements, pictures and videos, medical records, and/or accident reconstruction evidence. A lawyer can make it easier to collect and present compelling evidence to support your wrongful death case in Milwaukee.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Milwaukee?

In Wisconsin, only certain people are allowed to file a claim on behalf of the deceased. Under WI Stat § 895.04, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file the claim. This could be a surviving family member based on the relationship to the decedent, or it could be anyone the decedent named to represent their estate in their will. Family members who may have the right to pursue a Milwaukee wrongful death claim include, in the following order:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s children or grandchildren
  • The decedent’s parents
  • The decedent’s grandparents
  • The decedent’s siblings

If you have concerns surrounding whether you have the authority to pursue the wrongful death claim of your loved one, contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Time Limit for Milwaukee Wrongful Death Claims

The deadlines for filing wrongful death claims in Milwaukee are strict. Under the Wisconsin statute of limitations statute WI Stat § 893.54, the vast majority of wrongful death claims will need to be filed before the three-year statute of limitations expires. However, this deadline can be cut short to as few as two years if the decedent in question passed away due to a car accident injury.

Since the statute of limitations and time limits can often be confusing and different for every person’s case, it is critical that you get an experienced wrongful death attorney to handle your case so that issues of this nature do not become a problem in your wrongful death claim.

What Damages Are Available for Wrongful Death Cases in Milwaukee?

Under WI Stat § 895.03, The State of Wisconsin allows the court to award compensation in these cases to address a number of different damages and losses. This is good news for plaintiffs who are not only emotionally devastated by the loss of their loved one but have also had their financial future threatened by the death, as well.

Damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Any pain and suffering the victim experienced before death

We recently recovered a very favorable settlement for four minor children whose father was killed in a motorcycle accident. All four children will be provided with periodic payments over the course of their lifetime. Each case, of course, is different and must be evaluated on the basis of its own unique facts.

There are two major points surrounding damages that it is important to note for family members who may be seeking compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. The first is that there are caps on the amount of damages you can recover for loss of society and companionship— up to $350,000 for an adult decedent, and up to $500,000 for a minor decedent.

You should also keep in mind that wrongful death lawsuits in the state of Wisconsin do not allow for the award of punitive damages. These are often awarded in cases where the actions of the defendants are found to be reprehensible or abhorrent. However, they are not available in wrongful death claims.

Any compensation that is awarded will be subject to the decedent’s surviving family. This means if the decedent had a surviving spouse or children, a certain amount of damages will be set aside to care for the decedent’s minor children.

milwaukee wrongful death

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Milwaukee

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy.  However, hiring an attorney can help you get justice for your family member. At Mingo & Yankala, S.C. , our Milwaukee wrongful death attorneys are here for you.  We are ready to listen and to begin work on your behalf. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation at 414-273-7400.