Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and challenging experiences in life. If your loved one has died as the result of a car accident he or she did not cause, medical malpractice, or another negligent act, it can be even more difficult.
Contact our law firm to understand your family’s options if you suspect wrongful death. If you lost a loved one due to an act of negligence, you and your family may be able to recover compensation for any physical, financial, and emotional losses resulting from the wrongful death. A Chicago wrongful death attorney at Clifford Law Offices can help you file a lawsuit and take back control. We are an award-winning, nationally recognized law firm with decades of personal injury and wrongful death experience. We have obtained over $4 billion in settlements for our clients.
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- What Is Wrongful Death?
- Illinois Rules for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
- Contact a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer at Clifford Law Offices Today
What Is Wrongful Death?
According to 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180, wrongful death is:
- A death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default.
- If death had not occurred, the deceased would have been eligible for damages through a personal injury lawsuit because of the injuries resulting from the wrongful act, neglect, or default.
You can hold the person or entity responsible for the death liable through a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits allow the spouse of the deceased or the next of kin to claim financial compensation for losses resulting from the wrongful death.
What Are Illinois’ Rules for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
In Illinois, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased’s will or estate plan usually names this individual. If these documents do not name a representative or the deceased did not leave a will behind, the court can appoint one. This representative can be:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The deceased’s adult child
- The parent of a deceased minor
A wrongful death lawsuit is subject to a statute of limitations, based on either the death date or the type of incident. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is either:
- One year from the death date
- Based on the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of death
The court bases the statute of limitations on whichever date is later. For example, if the cause of death would fall under a personal injury lawsuit if death had not occurred, the statute of limitations is two years. The jury awards damages in wrongful death cases for the benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin. Damages that you can recover from a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses for the deceased if he or she did not die immediately and had to seek medical care for his or her injuries
- Loss of services that the deceased would have provided for his or her spouse and children, including education and instruction for the children
- Loss of consortium, which refers to the value of the deceased’s relationship with his or her spouse and children
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income, benefits, pensions, or Social Security income that the deceased would have provided for his or her family
- Emotional damages for the family, also known as pain and suffering
Contact a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer at Clifford Law Offices Today
If you lost a loved one due to an accident, medical malpractice, or another form of wrongful death, you and your family deserve fair compensation for your financial losses and emotional distress. Contact us today to schedule a free case review at our Chicago offices.