The days and weeks following the unexpected loss of a family member can be difficult enough without the responsibility of legal action being involved. However, if someone else’s actions directly led to your loved one’s death, civil litigation may be necessary to protect not only your future, but that of your family as well.
Experience matters a great deal when it comes to protecting your best interests, so you should not hesitate to contact a seasoned Hazel Crest wrongful death lawyer if you would like to pursue compensation from someone you believe to be responsible for your loss. With assistance from a compassionate personal injury attorney, you could have a much easier time cataloguing your losses and effectively proceeding with your case during this time of grief.
Wrongful death cases are different from more typical personal injury cases in a number of ways, and most of these unique elements stem from the precise nature of the former type of claim. Rather than filing suit over their own physical injury, a person filing a wrongful death suit is instead filing on behalf of a person whose death caused the filing party and their family to suffer economic and non-economic losses.
In light of this, Hazel Crest wrongful death attorneys pursue different damages on behalf of claimants than they would under other circumstances. According to 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes §180/2, a wrongful death claim may seek compensation for the emotional suffering of the decedent’s family members, any loss of financial support they experienced or will experience in the future, loss of companionship, and expenses related to the decedent’s funeral and burial or cremation.
It should be noted that these damages may be distributed to different parties rather than just the one filing suit. For example, since expenses for funeral proceedings are usually taken out of a deceased person’s estate, any compensation recovered through a wrongful death suit for those expenses would typically be paid back to the estate. Likewise, damages for loss of consortium would be paid to the decedent’s spouse, as they would be the party directly affected by that loss.
Illinois state law establishes several restrictions on wrongful death cases that do not apply to other types of civil litigation, the most important of which is likely the limitations on who can file such a case in the first place. Specifically, the filing party must be the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, a position which may be taken by a court-appointed substitute or by a surviving immediate family member such as a spouse, adult child, or parent.
More in line with other civil cases is the statutory deadline applicable to wrongful death claims. According to 735 ILCS 5/13-209, a decedent’s personal representative or their Hazel Crest wrongful death lawyer must file their claim by the later of two dates: two years after the incident which caused the decedent’s death, or one year after the decedent actually passes away. Either of these regulations may trip up someone unfamiliar with Illinois civil law, making skilled legal representation potentially crucial.
In the uncertain and emotionally exhausting time following a loved one’s death, you should not have to add the stress of managing a civil lawsuit to your already overflowing plate. Instead, let a dedicated Hazel Crest wrongful death lawyer take the lead on your case and work tirelessly to provide you with compassionate guidance and support. Whenever you are ready to take action, call to schedule a confidential meeting.