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Understanding wrongful death causes and wrongful death claims in Wisconsin

Some of the most difficult types of cases we have encountered in our personal injury law firm practice in Wisconsin are wrongful death cases. It’s so difficult to lose someone you care about due to age or disease, but a loss is made even more tragic when a loved one’s life is suddenly and unexpectedly cut short due to someone’s negligence and carelessness.


Although many wrongful deaths are due to accidents (and negligence), it is still important for many of our clients that justice be accorded to their lost loved one’s and that the guilty party be held legally responsible. Those that can file a wrongful death claim include family members, dependents and/or beneficiaries.


Types of wrongful death

There are many scenarios in which a wrongful death can occur.

  • Car, trucking, motorcycle, boating, train, airplane, and sporting accidents: In 2016, the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration estimates the following number of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists were killed in an accident: 5,286 motorcyclists, 5,987 pedestrians and 840 bicyclists.

  • Defective products: Such produces can include defective children’s products such as car seats, apparel, cosmetics, firearms, medical devices, tools, machinery and more.

  • Defective drugs: These drugs can be prescription or over-the-counter medications that caused a wrongful death. Fatalities can occur because of incomplete labeling or insufficient warnings.

  • Defective vehicles and their components: A prime example is the recall on Takata airbags that spew shrapnel when deployed.

  • Contaminated food: The most dangerous foods are raw or under-cooked meat and fish, infected by salmonella. Salmonella poisoning is more likely to be fatal than other types of food poisoning.

  • Workplace deaths: The most common types of workplace deaths occur as a result of falls, being caught in or between machinery, being struck by an object, and electrocution.

  • Medical malpractice: Wrongful deaths can occur from a misdiagnosis, delayed or incorrect medical treatment, a birth injury, a lack of informed consent, pharmaceutical mistakes, surgical errors, defective equipment and devices, and doctor, nurse or hospital negligence.

Determining if someone has a legitimate wrongful death claim

The law requires that certain criteria be met, in order to file a wrongful death claim.

There must be evidence that the third party causing the accident was negligent.Evidence must show that the death was caused in whole or in part, by the negligence of the third party.There must be surviving family members (children, spouse, and parents) dependents, or beneficiaries.Evidence must show financial losses due to the death (e.g., loss of income) affecting the survivor(s) or beneficiary.


It is difficult enough to deal with the grief of losing someone you love, much less having to deal with the legalities involved. If you have lost someone in a wrongful death situation, we can help guide you and your family through the process and try to make it as easy as possible for you.


If you think a loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. As experienced Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys, we can assist you in obtaining compensation and justice. Call us and let’s talk about it.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.


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The content of this blog was prepared by Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC -client relationships can only be created by written contract.

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