Nationwide Personal Injury Lawyers

Milwaukee, WI 414.276.4970

Who can sue for wrongful death in Milwaukee? +3 tips

Warshafsky’s wrongful death attorneys work hard to hold those responsible for wrongful deaths accountable. Our lawyers’ resources, preparedness and investigative skills help award more money to plaintiffs from the liable parties. But who’s eligible to file a claim in Milwaukee? Who can be compensated? Learn more and get some great tips for better outcomes below.

Who can file a wrongful death suit in Wisconsin?

Wrongful death claims are most commonly filed by a spouse, parent or child. The decedent’s estate administrator or executor is also eligible for filing. Nearly anyone with a right to compensation from wrongful death can file a lawsuit, and more than one person can take legal action—but these are often combined into a single lawsuit in Wisconsin. Not sure if you have a claim? Ask one of Warshafsky’s wrongful death attorneys.

Who can receive wrongful death compensation?

Family members eligible to claim wrongful death damages include:

  • Spouses/Domestic Partners
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Descendants

In Milwaukee, wrongful death compensation can be received by these designated beneficiaries, or classes of people specified by Wisconsin statutes. Sometimes who can be beneficiary is unclear – best bet is to consult a trial-tested lawyer at Warshafsky.

Who Survived?

How compensation is awarded for wrongful death suits will depend on who is survived by the decedent. Unique factors notwithstanding, common circumstances include:

Deceased Has:

Survivors Potentially Receive:

Surviving Parent/Domestic partner with minor children

Spouse/Partner and minor children

Courts will determine a benefit distribution to minor dependents of parent/domestic partnership, remainder to spouse/partner.*

Surviving Spouse/Domestic partner and no children

Only Spouse/Partner

Recovered benefits go to spouse or domestic partner.*

No surviving spouse/domestic partner

Only children – no spouse/partner

Benefits are disbursed to any lineal heirs according to standard intestate succession (s.852.10)*

Surviving parents – no spouse/domestic partner or children

Only parents – no spouse/partner, no children

Parents receive disbursement*

Only surviving siblings

Only siblings – no spouse/partner, no children, no parents

Siblings to receive disbursement*

No surviving Parents, children or siblings

No immediate family

Payment will be disbursed to surviving grandparents – ½ to each if both are alive*

No surviving parents, children, siblings or grandparents

Only extended family, but no grandparents

Payment to be received by aunts and uncles on maternal side*

*According to Wisconsin statute 895.04 - Actual inheritance rights may have circumstances from a which a lawyer could make claim in a wrongful death suit. Consulting with a lawyer is fast and free, and you pay no fee until you receive compensation, contact us.

INJURED? It IS About The Money.®


Wrongful death in Wisconsin - Is there a time limit for suing?

The time limit is usually 3 years. The time limit begins at the time when the injury resulting in death first occurred or is discovered.


The term “wrongful death” is commonly used to describe two different actions: survival action and wrongful death action.

These terminologies are often misused. If you think you might have a claim, your best bet is to talk to a trial tested personal injury lawyer – for free. Contact Warshafsky law now.

Survival action: brought by the decedent’s estate representative to compensate for the victim’s damages from initial injury to death; includes pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of wage.

Wrongful death action: brought by specific beneficiaries to compensate for medical and bereavement expenses, loss of companionship, financial support and inheritance.

3 TIPS for best outcomes in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

  1. Hire an experienced wrongful death attorney, and beware of lawyers who tend to settle quickly – it is about the money.
  2. Understand what you can be compensated for: Monetary compensation can extend beyond medical, funeral and burial expenses – you can receive financial loss compensation (lost wages) and loss of companionship (up to $500k) benefits in a successful claim.
  3. Act fast and keep documentation to bring a claim – there is limited time for you to file a lawsuit, and retaining medical and bereavement bills will help ensure proper wrongful death settlement.
Questions about whether you have a wrongful death claim? Contact Warshafsky today!
Back to News

Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys


Warshafsky is a based-in-Milwaukee personal injury law firm serving the injured since the 1950s.

Warshafsky has brought hundreds of successful lawsuits against auto makers, drug companies and insurance companies. Many clients choose us in part because we are able and willing to fund a case fully through trial and even appeal. Insurance companies value your claim based on the quality of your lawyer. No other Wisconsin law firms boast a board-certified accident investigator and a doctor who is also a lawyer and an attorney who represented insurance companies.

We collect NO payment until you receive compensation.
Free Case Assessment