Nothing can be more devastating than the sudden death of a loved one, resulting in many difficult consequences for the surviving family.
Not only must they cope with their loss and grief, but they must now deal with the financial stress after the death of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligence. Turning to a Chicago wrongful death lawyer could give them the needed support.
There is a loss of income with additional funeral costs and other expenses related to the victim’s death. Knowing where to turn or what to do can be hard when the unthinkable and wrongful death occurs.
When a family member is killed in a motor vehicle accident or due to medical malpractice, an experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can offer professional legal assistance. Surviving family members deserve fair compensation for their financial and emotional loss.
Speak With A Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Call (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for a free legal consultation to facilitate legal representation or file a wrongful death claim. We can help surviving family members pursue compensation for their tragic loss through wrongful death suits or survival claims.
Filing A Civil Lawsuit with A Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer
The next of kin can file a preventable death claim against any responsible party for the life-threatening injuries that claimed their loved one’s life.
In Illinois law, the appointed personal representative of a deceased’s estate is the only one who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Usually, the spouse or adult child of the deceased person can file a preventable death lawsuit seeking compensation to recover damages against the negligent party.
In addition, parents of a child killed through a preventable death action can file lawsuits against any individual or entity that took their child’s life.
An Illinois wrongful death lawsuit is based on the defendant’s negligence, illegal or wrongful act, or fault that led to their loved one’s preventable death.
We endeavor to hold responsible parties accountable if your loved one succumbs to their injuries.
Therefore, you will not have to deal with fees unless you recover compensation.
The Steps in Wrongful Death Cases
As the deceased person’s representative, the spouse can file a wrongful death suit against any individual or entity causing a victim’s death to recover monetary compensation.
The seven crucial steps to filing a wrongful death claim include:
- Consult with experienced Chicago attorneys to resolve the preventable death case
- Obtain a death certificate copy of the deceased
- Appoint an administrator or personal representative for the wrongful death victim
- Identify all survivors with the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- File all the necessary paperwork to take preventable death action before the expiration of the statute of limitations (Illinois state law upholds the discovery rule), which is two years from the date of the death
- Review the insurance coverage of all insurance companies involved in the case
- Identify the costs of medical treatment for their injuries, funeral costs, loss of income, and other claims to determine financial compensation.
Proving A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois
Once a wrongful death claim has been filed, the onus lies on the plaintiff or personal representative of the deceased’s estate to prove or establish the claim. This burden of proof must be overcome for the surviving family to receive compensation.
Four elements are used to confirm a wrongful death claim, just as with a personal injury case-
- Duty: The defendant, a private citizen, company, or government agency, had a duty or responsibility towards the deceased victim and failed in their duty.
For example: In a vehicle accident, the person who caused the car accident was responsible for driving safely and preventing harm to other road users or pedestrians.
- Breach: The defendant, who can be a private citizen, company, or government agency, failed to meet the legally established duty.
For example: In the vehicle accident, the defendant drove under the influence of alcohol and caused a motor vehicle accident. The defendant failed to fulfill their duty to keep others safe on the road.
- Causation: The defendant’s conduct directly led to the victim’s death. The defendant’s wrongful conduct caused the decedent’s death.
For example: If the defendant had not driven under alcohol, the victim would not have died from injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident.
You can recover damages through a survival action or a preventable death lawsuit –
- Survival action lawsuit – The motor vehicle accident victim suffered medical costs, loss of earnings, pain, and suffering for the period from the car accident and sustained injuries until their death.
- Wrongful death lawsuit – The survivors suffered the loss of benefits with a fiscal value such as income, physical goods, and services, and they also suffered the trauma of grief and sorrow.
How Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
Some personal law firms are experienced in resolving complicated wrongful death suits, helping those being left behind, and holding those responsible for the death legally and financially accountable.
A legal representative at our law firm will investigate the wrongful death claim, identify responsibility, and prove negligence to resolve the personal injury claim that identifies the financial support needed to move forward.
Wrongful death lawyers can represent clients filing a civil suit against others responsible for medical malpractice cases, motor vehicle accidents, nursing facility abuse, negligence, or wrongful death actions to seek compensation.
When head-on motor vehicle accidents or medical malpractice lead to wrongful death victims, it is time to consider contacting a lawyer who understands Chicago’s wrongful death laws.
The Right to File Wrongful Death Claims
We provide a free wrongful death case evaluation to determine whether the defendant’s negligence led to the death of your loved one.
A seasoned wrongful death attorney will discuss your legal right to recover damages and assist you with all your questions regarding Chicago wrongful death laws.
If you need urgent help, call us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.
The information here provides essential elements of an Illinois wrongful death claim, including who has the right to file Illinois wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations, and how long a legal claim can take to resolve.
Most Common Wrongful Death Suits in Illinois
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 566 wrongful deaths in the state in 2018.
This number has been steadily increasing since 2014 and is an alarming statistic.
Of these injury deaths, 75% were caused by motor vehicle accidents, and slips and falls caused 16%. In addition, firearm-related incidents accounted for 6% of all wrongful deaths in 2018.
These statistics show how important it is for individuals to protect themselves from potential risks that could lead to severe injury or a wrongful death act.
Illinois’ most common wrongful death lawsuits involve victims who sustained life-threatening injuries in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, medication errors, defective products, and work accidents.
The Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have experience prosecuting severe injury cases and helping injured victims seek justice.
When we go to a doctor or hospital, we expect them to treat us with competence and care.
Unfortunately, medical errors account for an estimated 210,000 to 440,000 premature deaths each year, leading to medical malpractice, according to the Journal of Patient Safety.
If a person dies through the negligence of a medical professional, they can be held liable for the preventable death of a loved one.
A wrongful death claim based on medical malpractice might involve:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Necessary medical treatment not provided
- Surgical error
- Medication error
- Anesthesia mistake
- Defective medical devices
- The use of dangerous drugs
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective product design
Wrongful death cases are never easy. You can file a premature death suit with an experienced lawyer if you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence.
Many cases involve medication injury deaths resulting from dosage errors, medication interactions, dangerous drugs, and wrong medications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than forty-eight percent of Americans have taken some form of prescription medication within the past thirty days.
A surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent can file a premature death claim, citing a medical mistake as their loved one’s cause of death.
Wrongful Death Statistics Involving Workplace Accidents
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois had 4,764 work-related fatal accidents in 2020. These accidents might include –
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Chemical burns
- Exposure to harmful materials
Contact a preventable death lawyer to assist you in dealing with the employer’s insurance coverage carrier and to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Severe abuse and neglect can lead to the nursing home resident’s death. In some cases, this abuse might be intentional, while in other cases, it might result from the negligence of the nursing home staff.
Abusive behavior leading to a loved one’s death might involve physical assault, negligence, mistreatment, or sexual abuse.
Nursing home staff might not provide the necessary care and attention to elderly residents, including malnutrition, dehydration, lack of supervision, and elopement (wandering away), leading to their death.
A wrongful death lawyer could help you file a lawsuit civilly if your loved one died due to medical malpractice.
All property owners and managers are legally responsible for providing each invitee, vendor, resident, or guest with a safe environment when on the premises.
Any breach of that duty of care could create a liability issue when someone is injured or killed. Premises liability cases come down to the presence of a hazard. Temporary hazards like liquid spills are harder to prove negligence because of the amount of time the hazard has existed.
On the other hand, the presence of permanent hazards like an uneven walking surface may be easier to prove negligence since the owner was likely aware of the danger but had not taken action to fix it.
If you have lost a loved one after their death on another person’s property, contact our attorneys to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Even with advancements in medical technology, avoidable deaths still occur during and after the labor and delivery of a newborn.
Sadly, legal drugs prescribed by the mother’s doctor during pregnancy, failure to diagnose a problem with the baby, and mistakes made by the medical staff can all lead to the newborn’s death.
When a child or unborn fetus dies due to a birth defect or other preventable cause, the parents or blood relatives might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2019. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
Most pedestrian accidents resulting in severe fatal injuries affect children and adults in rural and urban areas.
Studies show that illegal activities, such as driving under the influence and distracted driving, are the leading causes of pedestrian accidents.
If the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care and breached that duty, causing the victim’s death, the defendant may be liable in a preventable death claim.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,260 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2020. This number has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The leading cause of bike accidents is drivers failing to see bicyclists due to many factors, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, or driver fatigue.
Bicyclists are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash if they do not wear helmets.
Was your loved one killed in a bicycle accident? If so, our Cook County attorneys can review legal issues and file a wrongful death claim for victims.
In a preventable death through a bicycle crash, litigation can be complicated, and legal representation is advisable.
Victims may be entitled to a wrongful death settlement for their loved one’s injuries and death.
In some cases, a defective product could lead to the death of a loved one in Chicago, IL. It could result from a manufacturing error, poor design, or insufficient warning labels on the product.
If this item causes serious injuries or wrongful death, victims can file a lawsuit for the injury or wrongful death act.
The burden of proof, as with all injury cases, lies with the victims, who must demonstrate that the error was not caused by the product’s user but by the manufacturer or producer.
Examples of products that could be involved in a product liability suit include children’s toys, furniture, medical devices, drugs, motor vehicles, fireworks, pool drains, and electronic devices.
In the rare circumstances where a dog attack happens, and a wrongful death occurs, the surviving family members could hold the pet’s owner accountable for damages with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Dog bites can lead to infections, permanent disfigurement, or premature death, depending on the severity of the attack.
If victims or surviving families can prove negligence on the owner’s part, such as failing to restrain their dog in public, they could be awarded compensation for medical bills, lost income, funeral costs, and other damages.
Damages Available Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act
Our Chicago, Illinois, law firm evaluates legal action details to determine a fair value of the damages sought by wrongful death victims for the premature death of a loved one.
Under wrongful death action, the jury might award monetary damages in a wrongful death lawsuit deemed fair compensation for your loved one’s death to the surviving spouse or family.
For example, the award could include “damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, to the surviving spouse, surviving children or other next of kin of such deceased person.” (740 ILCS 180/2.)
Preventable Death Damages
Victims often ask, “How much is a wrongful death case worth?”. It is challenging to estimate and depends on many factors. Non-monetary and monetary damages paid to immediate family members might include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of your loved one’s medical expenses and emergency care for their injuries before their passing
- Funeral expenses, including the cost of providing funeral/burial services
- Pain and suffering, including financial compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering before his or her death
- Loss of consortium, which includes the close family members’ emotional anguish that accompanies the loss of a valued member of the family and the community during the grieving process
- Lost wages and future income, such as the value of the deceased’s financial contribution to the family, including the loss of benefits and income
- Punitive damages are awarded to punish the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s passing if the wrongful act or behavior is considered extraordinarily reckless.
Illinois recently struck down the state’s damage caps for medical malpractice claims resulting in no caps or limits on the amount of recovery available from most civil claims in Illinois.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The clock starts ticking on the date of the negligent act, and if you don’t file before the deadline, you lose your right to sue.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Chicago is two years.
Statute Of Limitations Exceptions
There are exceptions to the rule, such as –
- With a child, the deadline is two years after they reach the age of maturity (age of 18).
- With medical malpractice suits, the survivors of a deceased victim have two years from the date they knew or reasonably could have known about the injury, according to the ‘discovery rule.’ Survivors can file no claim four years after the act or omission occurred.
- The surviving family must file the claim within one year with wrongful death, where a government agency in Illinois is being sued. Special notice requirements also have to be met.
It is essential to contact a Chicago wrongful death attorney on our legal team to review your case to determine if particular time limits do apply.
Wrongful Death Claim and A Survival Action
There is often confusion in the minds of potential plaintiffs between wrongful death cases and survival actions. Neither one is a criminal case but rather a civil lawsuit.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased person’s estate can recover compensation for damages to the estate’s beneficiaries.
According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, damages are paid by those directly or indirectly responsible for the preventable death.
With a survival action, claimants are compensated for the damages the deceased would have received if they survived. The Illinois Surviving Act provides legal redress.
It may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost earnings incurred between their final injury or illness and when their death occurred.
Hire a Seasoned Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer, Ensuring You Receive the Compensation You Deserve
Many wrongful death claims are never filed because a surviving family member believed they had a slim chance of success or was wary of attorneys who did not prioritize their interest as a victim, resulting in them never taking legal action.
The skilled attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have fought on behalf of families across Illinois to help them seek justice.
We recover damages and seek just compensation for surviving family members after losing a loved one and suffering a loss of companionship.
Contingency Fee Basis
Our law firm offers a free consultation with our Chicago wrongful death attorneys and works on a contingency fee basis.
This legal agreement ensures you pay us nothing until your Illinois legal team resolves your wrongful death case through a negotiated agreement or jury award.
Contact our personal injury law firm today to speak to a Chicago wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through this online intake form to schedule a free consultation.
We can provide legal and emotional support as we seek compensation to recover damages.