Did you lose a loved one because of a negligent or intentional act by another party? That person could face criminal charges, but you also may be able to file a civil lawsuit, known as a wrongful death claim, to obtain damages for your losses. If you have questions about filing such a case, contact our wrongful death lawyers in Rockford at Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. for more information.
What Is Wrongful Death In Illinois?
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states that a wrongful death action may be warranted if your loved one’s death was due to someone’s neglect, default, or wrongful act. Many events can be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit, including motor vehicle accidents, medical errors, or intentional acts like murder.
Who May File An Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Many states authorize the decedent’s close family members to file suit. However, Illinois law requires the decedent’s personal representative to file a lawsuit, who may or may not be named in the will. The Illinois court could name the person if the decedent passed without a personal representative. The person named the representative is in charge of pursuing the claim and executing tasks related to the estate.
What Damages Can You Obtain In A Wrongful Death Claim In Illinois?
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states that if the claim is successful, the civil court will provide damages to the decedent’s survivors or estate. Additionally, the laws of Illinois provide that monetary damages shall be paid to the surviving spouse and next of kin, per their degree of dependence on the decedent.
In Illinois, compensatory damages are supposed to pay the decedent’s survivors not merely for the monetary losses related to the death but for intangible losses. For example, you could receive some or all of the following damages in a successful wrongful death claim:
- Loss of companionship, society, and sexual relationship with the deceased, also called loss of consortium
- Loss of financial support the decedent would have given to the family, including lost earnings and benefits
- Loss of moral training, education, and instruction the decedent would have given the surviving children
- The family’s sorrow, grief, and mental suffering
Many states cap the damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, Illinois has no such caps.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations To File A Wrongful Death Claim?
If the death was caused by negligence, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. However, if the death was because of violent intentional conduct, a wrongful death action can be filed within five years of the death. Or, the action may be filed within one year after the criminal case is resolved for charges that include:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Reckless homicide of an unborn child
- Voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child
- Drug-induced homicide
Speak To Our Wrongful Death Lawyers In Rockford
If you lost a loved one recently in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation if someone’s negligence or wrongful act caused the tragedy. If you need help with your wrongful death case, please contact our wrongful death lawyers in Rockford at Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. at (815) 962-0044 for a consultation.