We’re Here When You Need Help with an Illinois Wrongful Death Claim
While we all know that death is a part of life, no one is prepared to deal with an unexpected death—and when we lose a loved one due to the fault of another person or entity, the sorrow is especially bitter. A Northern Illinois wrongful death can occur almost anywhere at any time. A car accident, medical mistake, workplace accident, or poorly made product can suddenly turn our world upside down and leave families emotionally and financially drained.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Whenever a person dies and it is someone else’s fault, the survivors have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim. Simply put, this is a civil lawsuit against the person or entity that is at fault. This lawsuit seeks damages—compensation for the loss including lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, and personal loss.
Wrongful death statutes have been created in the last century, which makes this type of legal action comparatively new. Illinois and every other state in the nation now have this kind of legal recourse for survivors.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act appears as part of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, which tell us:
Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages . . . the person or company or corporation which would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable to an action for damages . . .
In other words, the same rules apply for wrongful death as apply for any other personal injury lawsuit. The difference is that the plaintiff has died and his or her survivors must file it.
What Are the Rules for an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Illinois, the statutes include specific rules for our state. Some of these rules are:
- Someone who represents the survivors, usually the executor of the estate, must file this type of action.
- Illinois allows the amount recovered to go directly to the “surviving spouse and next of kin.” This can include an adoptive parent or adopted child.
- In a successful suit, the court distributes the settlement and determines what proportion will go to each family member.
- A wrongful death action must begin within two years of the death.
Who Are the Likely Defendants in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The number of likely defendants is huge; almost anyone can be at fault for an untimely death. Here are some examples of the most common defendants:
- In a car accident: The driver of another vehicle, the persons responsible for a faulty road, the government agency that failed to warn of a hazardous road condition, the company responsible for a vehicle defect, the person(s) who served alcohol to someone who caused the accident.
- In medical malpractice: Doctors, nurses, support staff, hospitals, nursing homes, drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers are all potential defendants.
- In workplace accidents like slip and falls, burns, explosions, and equipment malfunction, everyone from the employer to the companies supplying the business may be liable.
- Product liability suits generally include manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and distributors, all of who may have had a hand in the wrongful death due to a product malfunction.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you even suspect that the death of a loved one was someone else’s fault, you should contact an Illinois wrongful death attorney. There is no charge for this; personal injury consultations are free and you won’t pay anything until your case is settled.
As soon as you contact the Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm in Rockford, we will go to work. We can take the burden off your shoulders by providing:
- The kind of caring, personal attention you need at a time like this.
- A lawyer, not a paralegal or assistant.
- Quick filing of your case.
- A complete investigation of the facts of your case.
- Help with your immediate needs.
Call us at the Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm today toll-free at 815-962-0044 for a free case consultation. Put your troubles into our hands so you can begin to heal without worries about the future.