When your loved one passes away because of the act—or failure to act—of another person, the loss can be particularly devastating. Deaths from unintentional injuries are the third most common for death in the United States, with 161,374 occurring annually.
Wrongful death laws are enacted by individual states, and different localities allow for recovery of varying types of damages. An Evergreen Park wrongful death lawyer could provide further information on Illinois laws in this area of personal injury litigation, as well as what you could request compensation for on behalf of yourself, your loved ones, and your deceased loved one. If you are eligible to seek damages, a compassionate personal injury attorney could be your strongest ally.
When someone suffers a death considered to be “wrongful” under Illinois civil law, their loved ones may be able to sue the person whom they believe is responsible for the death. A widow, widower, or next-of-kin, or a personal representative on their behalf, can file a claim under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act.
The claimant can seek compensation for pecuniary injuries, which entails payment for lost money and services that would have been provided by the person who died. If there are children of the deceased, the court may award damages for loss of consortium. An Evergreen Park lawyer who is familiar with the Wrongful Death Act could discuss these and other available remedies.
Under Illinois’ Family Expense Statute, codified in 750 ILCS 65/15, a surviving parent or spouse could be required to pay for medical or funeral expenses. However, these costs might also be recovered via a separate cause of action.
Moreover, the 1963 Illinois Appellate Court case Eggimann v. Wise established that administrators of an estate may file an independent claim for funeral and medical expenses when a wrongful death has occurred. A seasoned attorney may have the knowledge required to file under these categories of suits as well.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death cause of action is the period of time within which surviving loved ones can file a lawsuit. In Illinois, this time period is two years from the date of death under 740 ILCS 180/1(c).
Recently, in 2015 the Illinois Appellate Court reiterated and explained this limit in the case of Moon v. Rhode. In this case, the claimant argued that the term of the statute of limitations should begin upon the date that the claimant discovered that the deceased had passed, which was referred to as the discovery rule.
However, the Third District Appellate Court was clear that the beginning of the two years is fixed at the date of the wrongful death. An Evergreen Park negligent death lawyer who is familiar with Illinois filings might be able to assist with determining the date limit for a particular lawsuit.
Your wrongful death cause of action should be treated delicately and with a focus on protecting the best interests of you and your family. If you would like to pursue a civil have a claim in this area of law, contact an Evergreen Park wrongful death lawyer.