Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if my Family Member was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident?
Yes. After a pedestrian accident death, Illinois law allows the decedent’s next of kin to pursue a wrongful death claim for damages including medical and burial expenses, lost financial support, and loss of companionship. The law generally applies to immediate family members such as spouses, parents or children.
Pedestrians are seriously hurt in many different kinds of accidents throughout Illinois almost every day, including automobile, construction site, and bicycle accidents, and even dog attacks. Tragically, not all of them make it. At Rosenfeld Injuries Lawyers LLC, we work with families that have lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents. We help them understand how the legal system can protect their rights and provide financial compensation for their losses.
Essentially, the rule is that if the deceased person could have brought an action for their injuries against the responsible party had they survived the accident, then state law allows their next of kin to bring a wrongful death claim for harms that the death caused them.
To see if you can pursue a wrongful death case in Illinois, consider the following questions:
- What was your relationship to the pedestrian who died?
- What was the nature of the defendant’s (at-fault driver) involvement in the accident?
- Did the driver’s conduct cause your loved one’s death?
- How did the loss of your loved one affect you both financially and emotionally?
You need to have clear and concrete answers to all these questions in order to bring—and more importantly, win—an Illinois wrongful death case. Specifically, you must show that the deceased was a spouse or other close relative of yours, that the defendant actually caused his or her death, and that you suffered real losses because of the death.
What can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you bring a wrongful death case in Illinois after your spouse or loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you have various forms of relief available to you.
First, you can recover the costs of the deceased person’s medical care (if applicable), their burial or funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that resulted from the death.
Second, the law allows plaintiffs to recover for the financial support they would have received but for the death. This usually applies to spouses or minor children of the decedent. For instance, if the decedent was working at the time of the accident or had investments, plaintiffs can be compensated for expected future income that is lost.
Third, the law allows plaintiffs to plead and prove that the death caused them intangible injury in the form of emotional distress and loss of companionship.
In some situations, families can obtain additional damages for pedestrian accidents including punitive damages, but these three categories are the main sources of relief.
How Long do I Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Illinois, a claim for personal injury or wrongful death must be brought within two years of the date of the accident. Further, a wrongful death case must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is no named representative at the time of death, the court will appoint one. It will usually be the next of kin: spouse, parent or adult child of the deceased.
Do You Have More Concerns About Illinois Pedestrian Accidents?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is dedicated to helping families that have lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents across Illinois. We understand this is a financially vulnerable time for your family and can represent you in a wrongful death case with no up-front charges or costs to you because we work on contingency. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about paying us for our services until the dispute is resolved and you receive compensation. Call our offices today so we can put your family on the road to financial recovery.