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How do families recover from a wrongful death?

When someone close to us dies unexpectedly, it's impossible to know what to expect other than sadness and solitude. Strong families and communities help us get over losses, but sometimes, the end of a life has a cost too great to bear. The legal system in Wisconsin allows the survivors of people killed by other people's actions or inactions to help with recovery.

Who can sue for wrongful death in Wisconsin?

Section 895 of the Badger State's code specifies that a personal representative of the deceased may bring a legal action for wrongful death. This could be the widow, parent, son or daughter of the deceased, based on the circumstances. The representative will also be the recipient of any damages recovered in the action.

What damages may be recovered in a wrongful death suit?

There are generally two types of damages at stake. The first is the estimated value of a lost life, as calculated by lost income and companionship after the death. The second is the actual expenses related to death, including medical expenses in attempts to save a life and funerary or memorial expenses.

Are there limits to these damages?

Actual expenses are generally not restricted, while the pecuniary loss related with the loss of a life is limited based on the age or family situation of the deceased. Judges may reduce jury awards that exceed these limits.

Do I need a lawyer to sue for wrongful death?

Individuals and families struggling after an unexpected loss should consider legal representation. An attorney can help prepare cases and advise on the best way forward.

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