Madison Wrongful Death

Have you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence? Although no sum of money can undo the profound loss of a cherished family member, you are entitled to demand justice and accountability for their death. We at LawtonCates can help recover compensation from the responsible party, which can provide you and your family with a semblance of closure.

For over 60 years, our firm has represented South Central Wisconsin families who have tragically lost loved ones due to the wrongful actions of others. With a wealth of experience and substantial resources, we support you with legal representation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Our goal is to support you in obtaining the compensation your family needs for a more financially stable future now that your loved one has passed.

Let a Madison wrongful death attorney at LawtonCates help you understand your legal rights and how to assert them during this difficult time. Call us today for a free consultation about your wrongful death case.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney in Madison, WI, Can Help You

wrongful death claim arises when the negligence, wrongful act, or default of another person or entity causes a person’s death. This legal claim can provide compensation to the surviving family members who have suffered financially and emotionally due to the death.

LawtonCates has been helping Wisconsinites who’ve been harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others since 1958. Generations of families have turned to us for help seeking wrongful death compensation because:

  • We Prioritize Client Needs – LawtonCates has the resources to handle even the most complex cases, but we combine that with a genuine commitment to the needs of our clients. We consider it an honor to fight for those harmed by someone’s misdeeds.
  • We Dig Deep for Evidence – Building a robust wrongful death lawsuit requires evidence to support a negligence, intentional wrongdoing, or other form of liability claim. Our investigative prowess includes reviewing medical documents, police reports, witness statements, physical evidence, digital evidence, and more.
  • We Are Skillful Negotiators – The first source for potential compensation is usually a payout from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. We are tough, experienced negotiators who fight for every dollar because we know what it means for you and your family.
  • We Are Also Skilled Litigators – Some insurance companies or defendants simply will not offer fair compensation for the harm they’ve caused. If necessary, LawtonCates will take your case to trial to achieve justice on your behalf.
  • We Get Results – Our experienced legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation across many personal injury actions, including wrongful death cases. In some instances, the money we recover for clients also serves as a warning to other would-be wrongdoers, thereby preventing another family’s suffering.
  • We Know Wisconsin Law – Working with a wrongful death lawyer in Madison gives your case in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin’s wrongful death statutes, procedural rules, and case law. With nearly 70 years of serving South Central Wisconsin, our lawyers also have an excellent reputation with the court, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies.

What Compensation Is Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?

You may pursue compensation from the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s untimely death under the Wisconsin wrongful death statute. This compensation might include:

  • Medical Expenses – These are the costs incurred for medical treatment and care resulting from the injury that caused or contributed to the victim’s death, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and other medically necessary services.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses –These expenses account for funerals, burial plot, cremation, casket, urn, and relevant costs associated with final arrangements.
  • Lost Income and Inheritance – This is the financial support that surviving family members lost when the victim’s life ended abruptly, including lost income, inheritance, financial contributions, assets, and benefits had they lived a full life
  • Loss of Companionship, Support, and Guidance – These emotional and relational losses are of incalculable value, as they account for a spouse losing their partner, children growing up without a parent, and so on.

At LawtonCates, we have experience in negotiating vigorously for fair and just compensation in wrongful death claims.

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

The at-fault party’s insurance company typically pays out wrongful death settlements to the surviving family members. The compensation can come in one of three forms:

  • Lump Sum Payment – Just like it sounds, a lump sum payment means the family receives the total agreed-upon compensation in a single payment. Lump sum settlements provide immediate access to the funds, allowing the family to address financial needs promptly. However, lump sum payments also require careful financial planning.
  • Structured Payments – Structured payments involve dividing the total settlement amount into a series of periodic payments over a specified period: monthly, annually, or another schedule. Structured payments can be beneficial for long-term financial planning, ensuring a consistent source of funds.
  • Trust Arrangement –Another option is to establish a trust to manage and disburse the settlement funds. A trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee holds and administers the funds for the benefit of the designated beneficiaries for ongoing financial support.

Your Madison wrongful death attorney can advise you on potential tax implications from each type of payout.

What Do You Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?

A wrongful death case requires proof that the victim’s death was the result of another party’s default, neglect, or wrongful act. Proving a wrongful death case requires establishing certain elements, such as negligence or intentional misconduct. Here’s what those mean in practice:

  • Negligence – In a wrongful death claim involving negligence, you must show how the other party failed to take reasonable measures to avoid the accident or injury. For example, a driver who runs a red light and causes a fatal crash is negligent for failing to obey the traffic signal. The driver might not have meant to cause the crash, but they are still responsible for it.
  • Intentional Misconduct –A wrongful death case involving intentional misconduct must show a purposeful action that led to the victim’s death. An example of intentional misconduct includes assault with a clear intention to cause harm.

Whether accidental or intentional, a strong wrongful death lawsuit includes evidence to support the underlying claim. You must also show that the death causes your family financial and emotional loss to establish a value for your claim.

The evidence needed for your case is specific to the cause of death and other factors, but might include:

  • Medical records that document the cause and extent of injuries, including an autopsy when the cause of death is not immediately clear
  • Visual evidence, such as photographs or videos, that represent the scene of the incident, injuries, or conditions that lead to the death
  • Police reports that include details for the accident, witness statements, and any subsequent criminal legal actions, such as arrest, citation, or conviction
  • Witnesses who were present at the incident and report what they saw and heard
  • Expert testimony from professionals who offer their insight on the cause of death, such as medical professionals or accident reconstructionists
  • Financial and employment records to establish the victim’s income, assets, and potential future earnings had they lived
  • Relevant documentation for the type of accident, such as workplace safety violations or a previous record of assault

As a wrongful death law firm, LawtonCates can research and recover the evidence you and your family need to build a compelling case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Wisconsin?

Potential wrongful death beneficiaries in Wisconsin are typically those who have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which might include the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Adopted or biological children
  • Siblings
  • Appointed estate representative

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the time limit set by statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the type of incident that caused the death. For wrongful death cases related to motor vehicle crashes, the statute of limitations is generally two years. For other incidents, it is generally three years. An attorney at LawtonCates can let you know the filing date specific to your case.

However, the time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit can move quickly. If you fail to file your lawsuit during this window, the court may dismiss your claim and prevent you from seeking compensation. This is why it’s important to contact a lawyer from LawtonCates as soon as possible. They will know how to manage your lawsuit and file all the necessary paperwork on time.

What Are the Common Wrongful Death Cases?

Wrongful death cases can stem from several incidents, including:

  • Car, motorcycle, or truck crashes
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Workplace and industrial accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Assault or other acts of violence

Contact a Madison, WI, Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Navigating the complexities of any legal action is already daunting. Pursuing a wrongful death case while mourning is emotionally overwhelming. A Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance during these challenging times.

LawtonCates has proudly served South Central Wisconsin for six decades with the highest standards of legal, professional, and personal conduct. We also know the profound pain and suffering that accompanies the death of a loved one — and the anger and frustration of knowing that the cause was someone else’s carelessness.

If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, contact a Wisconsin wrongful death attorney with our firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us fight for the justice and compensation you deserve so you may honor the memory of your loved one.