If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it can be hard to cope with the loss.
But unfortunately, grieving is not always enough for victims or their families, who are forced to cover medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and burial expenses because they don’t recover compensation from the liable party responsible for the wrongful death action.
Reach out to a personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, who can help answer important questions and guide you through the legal process of filing a claim on behalf of your deceased loved one. Our law firm has been assisting families in recovering financial damages for years.
Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Aurora wrongful death lawyer.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term based on civil tort law that describes the legal responsibility of one person or entity for the death of another human being.
Wrongful deaths are caused by the negligent, careless, intentional acts of individuals and companies involved in:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle crashes
- Medical malpractice at hospitals and surgical centers
- On-the-job accidents in construction or transportation fields
- Defective products that cause injury
- Wrongful death to those exposed to hazardous materials and chemicals
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to file a claim with the help of a wrongful death attorney.
An experienced lawyer can advise you on what legal steps should be taken next and represent your interests in court if necessary.
Why Some Fatalities Are Classified as Wrongful Death
Legally, wrongful death cases typically involve a fatality caused by intentional or negligent actions that could include people, entities, and corporations.
Sometimes, wrongful death results from a defective product with faulty design, manufacturing, or used components.
Other times, the wrongful death results from a catastrophic accident on the road, at work, or in public places.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
In many cases, families are entitled to recover compensation when the reckless actions of others cause the death of a loved one.
Unfortunately, these burdens are even more significant for low-income families struggling to make ends meet.
Some wrongful death victims can include:
- Parents who have lost a child now face emotional trauma, loss of companionship, and the financial burden of funeral expenses and past medical bills.
- Children who have lost a parent now face emotional trauma, loss of guidance and support, and potential financial hardship.
- Siblings who have lost a brother or sister now face emotional trauma, loss of companionship, and potential financial hardship if they previously depended financially on the deceased.
- Domestic partners who have lost a significant other now face emotional trauma, loss of companionship, and potential financial hardship if they were financially dependent on the deceased.
- Grandparents who have lost a grandchild now face emotional trauma, loss of companionship, and potential financial hardship if they had previously financially supported the deceased.
If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation. We can provide you with more information about your legal options and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Wrongful Death and a Family’s Legal Rights
In Illinois, families of a decedent who lost their lives to recklessness or negligence have legal rights. In addition, the law provides legal remedies for compensation under the Wrongful Death Act for survivors of those who died due to an individual’s recklessness or negligence.
Surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the following individuals (and their insurance company) if they were responsible for an accident that led to another person’s death:
- Truck drivers
- Taxi drivers
- Bus drivers
- Bicycle riders
- Drunk/impaired drivers
To receive monetary compensation under the Wrongful Death Act, a family must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the accident that led to the death.
Surviving family members can miss financial compensation if they do not file within the appropriate time limit.
Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer Who Fights for You
Has someone you love passed away because of reckless, intentional, or negligent actions? If so, discussing your legal options with an experienced Aurora wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible is vital.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight for your family’s legal rights and seek compensation, including economic and non-economic damages.
Do not hesitate to call an Aurora wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 or request a free case evaluation online if someone you loved died due to another person’s recklessness or negligence.
Accidents Among Top Causes of Death in the United States
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) , data, fatal accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. Recent statistics show over 33,000 deaths in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2019.
Additionally, approximately 2.3 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
Deadly Car Accidents are Especially Devastating for Victims and Grieving Family Members
Car accidents are especially tragic. Often, the death caused by the recklessness or negligence of another could have been prevented had they acted responsibly.
A person does not have to intend to hurt someone for their conduct to be reckless or negligent. If drivers are distracted, speeding, under the influence, etc., they can still cause an accident leading to fatal injuries.
Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Our law firm has handled and reviewed hundreds of lawsuits throughout Illinois. These cases have been especially egregious in Aurora and DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, and Will County.
Preventable death occurs by many factors, including the following:
- Motorcycle crashes
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Pedestrian fatalities
- Bicycle accident
- Construction site accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical negligence fatalities
- Dog bites
- Premises liability from slip and fall cases
- Animal attacks
- Workplace injuries
Wrongful deaths are especially devastating to loved ones who are left behind. They are emotionally challenging cases that involve dealing with the loss of a family member and finding someone or some entity accountable for their passing.
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed to hold the responsible party or parties legally accountable for their negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Claims
Statistically, a high percentage of wrongful death cases involve medical negligence or a doctor, nurse, health care provider, or facility taking the life of someone through a medical error or negligence.
These cases often involve some wrongful death action of the following:
- Birth injuries resulting in death (SIDS, Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s palsy, etc.)
- The failure to diagnose or treat medical conditions
- Medication adverse effects
- Nursing home negligence causing injury or death
- Failure to provide proper care in a health facility
- Misdiagnosis or misapplication of medical condition
- Implanting a defective medical device
- Untreated conditions
- Infections, including sepsis (blood infection) and osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Bedsores (pressure sores, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers)
Many families receive fair settlements by filing medical malpractice cases when their attorney can prove that the responsible party’s negligence caused the fatal injury.
Deciding Who Should File Your Wrongful Death Claim
Nearly all close relatives of a decedent who died by someone else’s negligence or reckless action have the legal right to file a wrongful death suit seeking compensation. But how does the family decide who should file a wrongful death claim?
An Aurora wrongful death attorney can provide legal representation and advice on how to best initiate a wrongful death lawsuit seeking substantial compensation so that every survivor is helped financially through their hardship.
Who Can Settle Familial Disputes Over Benefits?
When there are familial disputes over the extent or amount of monetary recovery or worker’s comp benefits each survivor can receive, these cases are typically resolved in steps to help determine who gets what and when.
The first step is determining the legal priority for filing under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. Once that is established, many other factors can be examined to set financial priorities for survivors.
Sometimes, all potential beneficiaries sign a contract agreeing to equally divide a monetary award for the wrongful act that led to a preventable death.
In cases where there are contentious family disputes over who should get what, a personal injury attorney can help sort through the issues to determine which parties deserve compensation from the wrongful death funds.
Pursuing Maximum Compensation After a Wrongful Death
In most cases, a wrongful death claim is only settled after a civil lawsuit against the parties are deemed responsible for the accident.
It usually takes months to resolve these cases, and they can take even longer when there are disputes between clients over how much each one should receive from the wrongful death funds.
Our wrongful death attorneys have experience helping families file lawsuits seeking substantial awards in wrongful deaths throughout Illinois. As a result, most preventable death cases are settled through negotiation.
However, some lawsuits are resolved through verdicts, and jury awards are not uncommon to reach seven figures in egregious cases.
Our wrongful death lawyers have represented many clients whose loved one was killed by drunk drivers or reckless motorists who did not follow traffic laws.
Legal Representation Is Often Necessary
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not a quick road to financial recovery. To successfully resolve the wrongful death case, the plaintiff (injured party) must prove negligence or intentional actions of one person/entity (responsible party) that took another person’s life.
In civil tort law, proving negligence includes:
- Establishing the existence of a duty to conform one’s conduct to a certain standard of care
- Determining whether this duty was breached
- Proving causation, i.e., that the defendant’s breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages
- The plaintiff’s injuries, damages, or death can be proven in court
Aurora Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You File Your Claim
The civil wrongful death claims process is no easy task. An experienced Aurora personal injury lawyer can help determine whether you have legal grounds for filing a civil claim.
They will also assemble the necessary evidence to prove the defendant’s negligence and request compensation on the family’s behalf.
Much of the evidence and documented proof needed to resolve a wrongful death claim successfully include:
- Gathering evidence from the accident scene
- Obtaining police reports and medical records
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Determining economic damages (i.e., medical expenses) and noneconomic damages (i.e., pain and suffering)
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the defendant’s background
An Aurora wrongful death lawyer can ensure the loved one’s death is not in vain by ensuring the family receives fair compensation.
A passionate lawyer will investigate how the accident happened and take appropriate action to ensure their client gets what they deserve by filing a wrongful death claim.
What Compensation to Expect from a Wrongful Death Case
According to data, possibly 95% of all personal injury cases involving a preventable death are resolved out of court through a negotiated settlement. Only a few remaining cases are heard before a judge and jury.
Typically, Aurora personal injury lawyers resolving claims will seek substantial compensation to pay for various economic and noneconomic damages, including:
- Hospitalization costs and medical expenses before the decedent passed away
- The dead person’s pain and suffering before they died
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Loss familial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The family’s pain, sorrow, emotional distress, and grief after losing a loved one
Personal injury claims tend to be resolved within one to two years after the accident or wrongful act occurred. However, should both sides fail to reach a negotiated agreement to resolve the wrongful death case, an attorney working for the plaintiff (injured parties) will file a civil lawsuit to take the case to trial.
At that point, the judge will preside over the wrongful death case, allowing the jurors to determine who is at fault for causing the untimely death. Jurors will decide who must pay should they agree with the plaintiff’s wrongful death claim.
Usually, a wrongful death attorney will take a higher percentage of the amount obtained from putting on a trial because of the additional costs and time involved in pursuing compensation.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Qualified Aurora Wrongful Death Lawyer
Have you recently lost a loved one through the negligence of others? Are you seeking compensation to move past your financial burdens while you grieve?
An Aurora wrongful death attorney from our law offices can work on your behalf to ensure you receive maximum monetary recovery from all parties responsible.
Contact an Aurora wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free legal consultation.
Our law firm accepts all wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your Aurora wrongful death attorney resolves your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Resources:  NHTSA