Champaign Wrongful Death Attorneys
Losing a loved one is always difficult, but the more sudden and unexpected the death, the more painful this experience can be.
When someone else's negligence contributes to your loved one's untimely passing, you may have legal recourse through a wrongful death lawsuit.
You may also be eligible for compensation if your family member had life insurance coverage that names you as a beneficiary of their policy.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys, are legal advocates for surviving family members who lost a loved one through a preventable death.
Call our Champaign personal injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
It is always a tragedy when someone is killed in an accident that could have been prevented if not for the irresponsible and negligent actions of others.
Also, the victim's family has the right to recover compensation for the loss of wages, loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering that result.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Illinois law defines wrongful death as a legal term when someone dies due to another individual or entity's wrongful act, default, or neglect.
A wrongful death claim is a civil court process that compensates survivors, including spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, or other close relatives, for losing financial support and companionship.
The family members can file a Champaign, IL personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused their loved one's death even if that party cannot be criminally prosecuted.
Wrongful death cases where a death occurs due to intentional and not accidental acts, like murder and manslaughter, are different from personal injury cases.
Surviving family members must file a civil lawsuit against negligent parties. In addition, they must have evidence that negligence led to their loved one's death. This proof is necessary to overcome the liability that comes with a wrongful death case.
This evidence may include the involvement of an intoxicated driver, medical malpractice, or failure to render adequate CPR, among countless other causes of action.
If you are looking for legal representation after losing a loved one due to another's negligent actions, contact our Chicago estate lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
The goal of the Champaign personal injury lawyers of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is to ensure that all of our clients are able to find the justice they seek and the compensation they need to be able to move forward with their lives after the loss of a loved one.
We can also help families decide how best to proceed with legal action and distribute the damages they recover.
What Is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of your wrongful death claim will be dependent on many factors, including but not limited to:
- The age and health status of your loved one when they passed
- The number of dependents left behind
- A pre-death medical condition
It is also necessary to consider the victim's future earning potential and life expectancy, especially if your loved one was young or still working well into their senior years.
Wrongful death cases are usually settled at mediation with a personal injury lawyer present.
Therefore, it is important to have legal representation on your side when it comes to negotiating the settlement of your personal injury claim so you can be compensated for all losses associated with your loved one's death, including medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of income due to the untimely passing.
Do You Need an Experienced Champaign Wrongful Death Lawyer?
You are not legally required to have Champaign wrongful death attorneys during the settlement negotiation process.
However, having a personal injury lawyer on your side is always wise since they can assist you in getting compensation for medical costs and loss of income resulting from the death of your loved one.
If your personal injury case goes to trial, our Champaign wrongful death lawyers will be by your side every step of the way.
Contact our central Illinois law offices today by calling (888) 424-5757 or fill out our free online case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC.
Wrongful Death is A Leading Factor in Premature Deaths Across the Country
The National Safety Council released a report detailing the most common causes of death in the United States, and accidents made the top five for all age groups.
For those between the ages of one and 42, accidents were the leading cause of death, with motor vehicle accidents, fires, drowning, and workplace accidents among the most common fatal accidents.
If it is determined that negligence was a contributing factor in a death, the victim's family has the right to file a lawsuit against the people responsible. Responsible parties can be individuals, businesses, contractors, manufacturers, and employers.
There are many instances where more than one party is deemed responsible and made to provide compensation to victims following an accident.
What Can I Recover?
There is no financial cap on the damages that can be recovered after a wrongful death claim.
If you have concerns about what you could potentially recover from your case, contact our Champaign area law offices to discuss what injury victims should expect to receive from the defendant's insurance company.
Types of Champaign Wrongful Death Lawsuits
You should always launch an investigation following the loss of a loved one to recover the answers you need to put the matter to rest.
Investigating a loved one's death can also help you determine whether legal action is warranted or necessary to ensure that justice is served.
Some of the forms of Champaign, IL accidents that may result in wrongful death include the following.
- Automobile accidents: Driver distraction is increasing at an alarming rate with the introduction of mobile technology. Fatigue and controlled substances’ influence factors can place a driver at fault if another is killed in an accident due to these influences.
- Motorists or motorcycle operators cause motorcycle accidents. There may be a wrongful death claim for the passenger killed in an accident caused by the cyclist in some instances.
- Commercial truck accidents: The size and weight of a commercial truck can cause serious injuries or fatalities. In addition, a negligent driver can result in a wrongful death claim if the victim was killed due to someone else's negligence.
- Negligent motorists cause pedestrian accidents.
- Poisoning is due to exposure to chemicals or metals such as lead, asbestos, and other hazardous substances. Exposure can occur while on the job or at home.
- Neglectful or abusive nursing home care results in life-ending injuries to the victims.
- Dog attacks that result in deadly wounds: If the animals were running large or uncontrolled, the owners might be held liable.
- Explosions, electrocution, or fires: These accidents often have catastrophic endings, and numerous workers or bystanders can be fatally injured.
- Product liability due to defective product design or manufacturer error: It is very commonplace for products to reach consumers with errors, but when these errors cause the products to injure workers or consumers, the manufacturers are responsible.
- Medical malpractice: Such wrongful death cases are not covered by no-fault insurance because they result from medical errors.
- Slips and falls in public places are still considered preventable accidents that can cause serious injury or death.
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress could involve a perpetrator making false claims about the victim, resulting in mental or psychological injury. For example, if a negligent employer provides repeated exposure to a hazardous environment and causes the victim's death, intentional infliction of emotional distress claim may be possible.
- Workplace accidents where the employer was negligent, including auto accidents in company cars and trucks: Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe place of employment for the accident victims. If they fail in this duty, they may be the subject of a lawsuit.
- Choking deaths are caused by food ingestion or medical malpractice.
- Asphyxia is due to submersion in water, exposure to hazardous materials, or defective products.
- Electrocution and explosions.
- Occupational accidents occurred, such as falls, collisions, and exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Regardless of how your loved one died, you are entitled to answers and compensation if it is determined that negligence was a factor in their life-ending accident.
We can help you recover damages from the defendants' insurance companies that can be used to cover the cost of medical expenses, burial, lost financial contributions, loss of consortium, and the pain and suffering endured by your loved one and family.
Deciding Who Should File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of a Deceased Loved one
One of the more confusing aspects of filing a wrongful death claim is deciding who should take legal action with multiple possible beneficiaries.
For example, if the deceased was not married, their parents, siblings, and children may all have the right to file a lawsuit, but only one person can do so on their loved one's behalf.
We suggest working together with your family members to remain on the same page and work out your legal strategy with a qualified wrongful death lawyer.
Suppose your family has difficulty agreeing on how to proceed or split the recovery among the surviving family members. In that case, we can assist you in protecting your interests from those seeking to dilute your share.
The Judge Might Appoint a Legal Representative
If the decedent did not name a personal representative in their will, the court might select their one to handle their legal matters. When this occurs, A family member is most likely to be named as the deceased person's estate guardian.
If a personal representative is chosen, they will be in charge of filing a wrongful death claim and make all of the decisions concerning resolving the case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial.
Why Juries Award Punitive Damages
All personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits that are successfully resolved through negotiated settlements pay the victim's compensatory damages to recover financially.
Legally, compensatory damages are intended to compensate the victim or their family for out-of-pocket costs incurred from the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs.
When a jury finds that the defendant or defendants acted egregiously, beyond reasonableness, disregarding anyone's life, they are likely to award punitive damages intended to punish the liable party.
The availability of punitive damages varies by state law. The purpose of awarding punitive damages is to create a deterrent against wrongful conduct and to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their actions.
Based on Illinois laws, jurors award punitive damages only after they find the act of wrongdoing was committed with malice, aggravated battery, or willful and wanton conduct.
The goal of compensatory and punitive damages is to compensate the victim and their loved ones for all costs incurred from a fatal accident. Negligence, faulty products, and unsafe work conditions are only a few examples of the grounds on which a victim could file a wrongful death claim.
A Champaign Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Ensure You're Entitled to Full Compensation
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful actions, your family may be entitled to financial restitution. The monetary amount paid by the liable party will be based on a personal injury attorney's evaluation of your case. It will vary depending on the unique circumstances of your loss.
Illinois laws dictate that a wrongful death case must be filed within two years of your loved one's death. After two years, your family will be unable to pursue financial restitution for their loss.
A personal injury attorney will build a case on laws governed by 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 180/2 that states:
"Every action for damages arising out of any death shall be brought within two years after the death."
If you are ready to move forward with a wrongful death claim, we invite you to contact us at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your case's merits.
Our experienced wrongful death lawyers are knowledgeable about all of the laws surrounding the state's wrongful death statutes.
Loss of Companionship is the Most Common Reason for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The majority of wrongful death lawsuits are not tied to an economic loss but rather to a family's loss of companionship due to the untimely death of their loved one. In our state, a person who files a claim can sue for loss of companionship if the deceased was their spouse or minor child.
If the decedent is not a parent or a spouse, then a civil action can be brought against the party who caused death if they were related by blood or marriage and had been in a long-term relationship before the accident.
In a loss of companionship lawsuit, the family can recover for their pain and suffering in addition to any funeral expenses incurred. Illinois law states that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of your loved one's death. After two years, your family will be unable to pursue financial restitution for their loss.
Wrongful Death Compensation
In the event of a loved one's tragic death, sudden expenses and charges may quickly overwhelm you.
However, you may be eligible for compensation if you file a wrongful death lawsuit to recoup expenses, as well as compensate for your pain and suffering.
Your monetary recovery might include:
- Hospitalization expenses in medical bills
- Lost income
- Future lost earnings
- Loss of familial support
- Loss of emotional support
- Mental anguish
- Funeral & burial expenses
- The pain-and-suffering the deceased person experienced before dying
- The family survivors’ pain, suffering, and grief
Based on data, the typical length of time it takes for surviving family members to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit in the Champaign-Urbana area is one year.
If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, your case will likely be settled outside of court. A settlement is the most common resolution in these types of lawsuits because parties involved are given more control over their outcome and how much value to place on each claim.
The Impact of Emotional and Financial Loss
When making a settlement decision, family members must consider the victim's earning potential, the impact the loss of their loved one will have on each family member, and if a decision was made to file a wrongful death lawsuit against more than one party.
In some wrongful death cases, a jury will decide how much compensation is owed for a person's tragic death. To receive payment from the jury, you must present your evidence for their consideration.
A jury could decide to compensate you in the form of damages, which means that they award a monetary amount without specifying how much each person will receive.
On the other hand, a jury can also decide to compensate you based on what is called the "distribution of wrongful death funds." In this scenario, the court specifies how much each person should receive as payment for their loss.
Our Personal Injury Law Firm Will Review Your Champaign Wrongful Death Claim for Free
If your loved one died in an accident and you believe that someone else's negligence was a contributing factor, you may be entitled to compensation.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped thousands of families secure the maximum amount of compensation the law provides, and we are prepared to fight on your behalf.
To learn more about how we can help, call (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free initial consultation for legal advice and a case evaluation by a Champaign County lawyer at our law firm.
Our Champaign, IL law office can gather the information needed to investigate your loved one's death and inform you of your legal rights and options. If we cannot secure financial compensation on your behalf, you are assured that our services will come completely free of charge.