A Wrongful Death Lawsuit: The Basics

The pain of losing a spouse, parent, or child in a motor vehicle accident is unimaginable—especially when the other driver could have prevented the accident. Whether you lost a loved one in a car crash on Spring Creek Road in Rockford, a truck wreck on I-39, or a motorcycle accident on Illinois Route 2 near Byron, you are struggling emotionally and financially to cope with the terrible loss.

You may also be trying to learn more about wrongful death suits, but the whole thing just seems overwhelming. Following is a brief overview to give you the basic information you need to get started:

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your family member died in a motor vehicle accident because of the careless acts of another driver, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death suit to obtain compensation for your tragic loss. Before you can recover any money, however, you must prove that the other party was legally to blame for your loved one’s death.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

You might think that any family member could file a wrongful death suit. However, in Illinois, the executor of your loved one’s estate or a court-appointed administrator must file the lawsuit on behalf of your family.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Damages, or money to compensate you for your loss, typically come from the insurance coverage carried by the negligent party. A wrongful death lawsuit may recover money for medical bills, funeral costs, and your loved one’s conscious pain and suffering in addition to loss of companionship, loss of economic support, and grief.

What Is My Case Worth?

A wrongful death case can be worth a significant amount of money depending on how much insurance coverage is available, the facts of the accident, and the cost of your loved one’s medical care. In addition, the number and relationship of surviving family members, your loved one’s earnings history and future earnings potential, life expectancy, and contributions to the household factor into the equation.

How Long Do I Have to File?

You must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death. However, when filing a lawsuit, it is best to file as soon as possible while evidence is fresh and witnesses are readily available.

If you are struggling after the death of a beloved family member, contact us today to discuss your situation during a free case evaluation.