The unexpected death of a loved one is a devastating experience, especially when a preventable accident caused the death. If a negligent party causes an accident that results in fatal injuries to a family member, you may be able to bring wrongful death action against the responsible parties.
Understanding what constitutes a wrongful death may require guidance from a Calumet City wrongful death lawyer. A compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury attorney could review your case and help address the financial concerns that often accompany a sudden death, so you may recover financially and hopefully find some peace of mind.
In a wrongful death case, a representative of the deceased person’s estate—typically an immediate family member—may bring a claim against the parties whose negligent, reckless or intentional acts led to the unexpected death. In a Calumet City legal case, the plaintiffs or their wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate that:
As per 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180/1, when a wrongful act, neglect, or default leads to death, the responsible individuals are liable for an action for damages. An accidental wrongful death action is also valid if the deceased person would have been eligible to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party had they survived.
Typically, all damages awarded in a wrongful death suit benefit the surviving spouse and next of kin. In the event the deceased person has no surviving spouse or next of kin, an attorney with experience handling wrongful death claims in Calumet City could outline the priority of individuals who may receive damages.
There are various damages or types of compensation that estate representatives can seek on behalf of surviving family members. The most common type are pecuniary damages, which compensate direct financial losses from the death such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and loss of income.
Other types of compensation may also be available depending on the circumstances. For example, representatives of the estate could seek compensation for a deceased person’s pain and suffering, lost support and services, and loss of companionship or parental guidance. Certain additional damages may be appropriate when an individual survives for a period of time between their initial injuries and their passing.
Illinois maintains a statute of limitations in both personal injury and wrongful death claims. Under 740 ILCS 180/2, representatives of the estate must bring a claim alleging wrongful death within two years of the date of death or settle privately. Individuals who fail to meet this statute of limitations may lose their ability to pursue any compensation.
When you lose a loved one due to another person’s negligent actions, you may have a claim for damages against all responsible parties. A seasoned attorney could help guide you through the complex process of bringing a civil claim.
Seeking damages through this type of claim may not only bring your family some measure of financial security, but also can allow you to seek justice for the loss of your loved one. Contact a Calumet City wrongful death lawyer today to discuss whether you have grounds for a valid wrongful death claim.