It is inevitable that people have to deal with the coming end of life. It always feels unfair, but nothing feels more so than the unexpected death of a loved one. Many families have a chance to discuss estate plans and say their goodbyes. It feels like a double tragedy when someone departs without giving survivors that chance.

What if someone’s death was another person’s fault?

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may deal with any criminal aspect of the incident that involved or led to a person’s death, but criminal proceedings are focused on punishing the offender for the good of a community. Civil law deals with the business of replacing the value lost to someone. Although it is impossible to put a dollar value on a life, the insecurity caused by death can be rectified by financial damages.

Who can bring a civil suit for wrongful death?

Wisconsin law allows a close family member such as a widow, widower, child or parents of the person in question to bring a claim for damages related to the death. A personal representative identified by or administering the estate may also bring a suit on the estate’s behalf.

Who can receive financial damages for wrongful death?

Children below the age of 18 may receive up to half the settlement as ordered by the court. Otherwise, surviving spouses or siblings may claim the benefits. An attorney can help advise people dealing with an unexpected loss on their rights in civil court and the best way to claim the financial damages they need to recover.