Recovery For Wrongful Death

When death results from wrongdoing, the deceased person's estate or certain members of the deceased person's family may bring a lawsuit to recover damages for wrongful death.

What makes a death "wrongful"?

Any wrongful act that would have supported a lawsuit by the deceased person if he or she survived can support an action for wrongful death. Examples include negligent driving, medical malpractice, defective products, and criminal assault. Workers compensation cases where death occurred could also have related wrongful death claims. In addition, the death of an unborn infant can support a wrongful death action, if the death was caused by wrongdoing.

How do you sue for "wrongful death"?

Specific statutes, Wisconsin Statutes § 895.03 and 895.04, authorize recovery of damages for wrongful death in Wisconsin. These statutes state who can sue, what kinds of damages are recoverable, and limits on the amount of recovery for certain damages.

If you wonder whether your loved one's death was wrongful, and whether you may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death action, you should seek legal advice.