Wrongful Death in Wisconsin: Definition, Examples & Laws
Wrongful death in Wisconsin is the death of a person resulting from the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. A wrongful death action allows a living person with legal “standing” to recover damages on the deceased person’s behalf through a personal injury lawsuit.
In other words, a living person is permitted by law to “stand in” for the deceased person who would have been able to file a lawsuit had they lived.
Is Wrongful Death Punishable in Criminal Court?
A wrongful death action is a civil court action typically filed by the representative of the deceased’s estate against an insurance company or an at-fault party. Criminal charges are filed against individuals by the state.
Wrongful death actions seek compensation through monetary damages for the death of a loved one. These damages are usually paid to the spouse and other heirs of the deceased.
Criminal charges are filed and pursued by the state to punish an individual for breaking the law. Criminal infractions are punishable by jail or prison time, fines paid to the state, community service, or restitution.
While wrongful death is separate from criminal charges like manslaughter, the two cases may be pursued separately in civil and criminal court. They may even share witnesses and evidence.
Often a civil wrongful death case is put on hold until any related criminal case is resolved.
What Accidents Can Result in Wrongful Death in Wisconsin?
Some personal injury accidents are more likely than others to result in a wrongful death claim.
These are as follows:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Construction site and dangerous workplace accidents; and
- Dangerous drugs and defective products.
Regardless of how a loved one died, wrongful death claims are available to help families face unexpected expenses and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Who is Liable for Wrongful Death in Wisconsin?
A wrongful death claim can be filed against any individual, organization, or government entity in Wisconsin. Often, the at-fault party in a wrongful death claim is the driver of a car, truck, or another motor vehicle.
However, any of the following, or any other negligent party, may be liable in a wrongful death claim:
- A doctor, hospital, or nursing home;
- A property owner;
- An independent contractor;
- A business; and
- A product manufacturer or distributor.
More than one party can share liability in a wrongful death claim. If you are unsure who is liable for your loved one’s death and need your claim reviewed, contact an experienced Milwaukee wrongful death attorney.
Contact an Experienced Milwaukee Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, do not wait to speak with a Wisconsin wrongful death attorney. At Mingo & Yankala, S.C., we believe in an individualized, compassionate approach to families who are facing the wrongful death of their loved ones.
Meet with a successful, skilled, wrongful death attorney in our Milwaukee office at no cost when you schedule a free consultation. It is vital you understand your legal rights moving forward and get the recognition and justice your lost family member deserves.