Decatur, Illinois Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you or a loved one is injured in an accident, it can be hard to know where to turn, navigate the system, and get the compensation you deserve. The insurance company will try everything to deny your claim because they are not on your side. If you don't have legal representation, this could cost you dearly!
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys understand how difficult losing a family member is for everyone involved, especially children who lose parents due to someone else's negligence. As a result, we have helped many families get justice after their loss by holding negligent parties responsible for their actions through lawsuits and other means of recovery.
Contact a Decatur, IL personal injury attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/1), surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the party who caused the death of their loved ones, including their spouse, children, parents, and siblings.
If successful, they could recover compensation for medical expenses from the moment of injury through recovery at trial. These damages do not need to be economical, as you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Families and the deceased person's estate facing financial burdens can pursue legal action from all involved parties to ensure they receive fair compensation in civil court. These wrongful deaths are often the result of negligence or intentional criminal acts that lead to unexpected death.
Some of these wrongful deaths involve motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical negligence. Seeking justice for a fair settlement or jury award is the only way to hold others responsible.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death claim can be filed by surviving families or the decedent's estate to hold another party responsible for the actions that led to your loved one's death. It allows families who have lost a family member due to criminal or negligent acts to recover damages, if appropriate under the circumstances.
The same laws govern wrongful death lawsuits as any other personal injury claim where the defendant and other involved parties are held accountable.
In addition, the party who is deemed liable for a preventable death must be found to have breached a duty of care owed to the decedent, which caused the damage or loss in question.
A wrongful death claim in Illinois is also known as a Survival Action (755 ILCS 54/1). It allows the family members of the deceased party to file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages independently without appointing an administrator. The act preserves the right of action that the decedent would have had if they were still alive.
The statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death case is two years from the date of death, but it can be extended under certain circumstances.
For example, if qualifying surviving family members or attorneys for the deceased's estate fail to act before the statute expires, they forfeit their right to file suit.
Many wrongful death cases require a personal representative to protect legal rights after the defendant breached their duty of care, ending the decedent's life.
In addition, the personal representative can ensure the defendant's insurance company pays sufficient funds to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and mounting debt related to the unexpected death.
Wrongful Death Statistics
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), wrongful death claims have been on the rise in the US. In 2010, over 41,000 people died due to accidents and negligent acts.
In Illinois, there were a total of 1,964 wrongful death claims filed in 2008 alone. Of these claims:
The average wrongful death case in Illinois is worth $2.3 million. However, the total amount recovered by successful wrongful death cases between 2014-2018 amounted to a staggering $1.9 billion, according to the State of Illinois report.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Decatur wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to helping clients get justice after losing a family member due to an accident or negligent act.
We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death cases. Call (888) 424-5757 today to schedule your free legal consultation.
A Successful Outcome
Be sure that you have a Decatur Wrongful death lawyer on your side who can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your claim involving wrongful death damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Funeral costs
- Punitive damages
- Many other types of compensation
Are you filing a claim on behalf of your child or children who have lost a parent due to another party's negligent or reckless actions?
If so, please call our firm now at (888) 424-5757 to speak with an attorney regarding your compensation options. We also welcome you to fill out our online contact form, and we'll reach out to you as soon as possible.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lawyers
According to data, most wrongful death suits involve car accidents and medical malpractice. Typically, medical negligence results when a healthcare professional or facility fails to follow established protocols.
These cases can be difficult to prosecute, especially when they involve emotional issues like losing a loved one.
The following are some examples of medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits:
- Surgical errors (misdiagnosis, surgical slip-ups)
- Anesthesia errors (errors with medications)
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Birth injuries (babies)
- Birth injuries (mothers)
- Prescription medication errors
- Toxic poisonings
If you or a loved one were the victims of medical negligence, call a wrongful death attorney at our law firm now to schedule your free consultation. A skilled Decatur wrongful death lawyer will meet with you and discuss your case as soon as possible.
Your Time Is Important, So, Let Us Handle the Rest
Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for personal injury victims and wrongful death claimants, and we would like to put our experience to work for you. It does not matter what caused your accident, even if the incident was due to no fault of yours.
Your Decatur wrongful death lawyer will work hard to get you and your family the full amount of wrongful death damages you deserve for your personal injury claim.
Our Decatur wrongful death lawyers handle most cases of wrongful death accidents on a contingency fee basis. It means we only require payment if we win your case in court or negotiate a successful settlement offer from all insurance companies involved.
Your wrongful death attorney will provide comprehensive free consultation, so do not hesitate to reach out to our office today to start the legal process.
When Trial Lawyers Get Involved
Sometimes, the insurance company representing the defendant (the person responsible for causing the family member's death) failed to offer a good faith settlement. In these cases, a personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit to take the case to trial.
As the legal process continues, the plaintiff (injured party) attorneys will depose all persons involved in the case to determine exactly what happened. Trial lawyers must also review all evidence that the defense attorney provides.
This evidence may include hospital records, witness statements, police reports, and accident scene photographs. It is this process that will determine the negligent party responsible for untimely death.
Available Benefits in a Wrongful Death Claim
Surviving families can receive financial compensation for their losses. However, exactly how much do they get?
Every case is different, with unique circumstances, evidence, and negligence that led to the wrongful death incident. As a result, calculating the amount to be paid in a wrongful death case can be challenging.
However, our personal injury lawyers can closely determine the case's value based on numerous factors, including:
- The level of negligence or misconduct that led to the loved one's death immediate and future financial needs of the family
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of the death
- The lost potential lifetime income
- The life expectancy of the victim, considering the age at the time of passing
- Pain and suffering experienced by family members.
In Illinois, two types of wrongful death cases exist:
- Intentional Wrongful Death Claims could be sued under an intentional wrongful death claim if the death was caused by someone's reckless, intentional and unlawful behavior. If the death was caused by someone's reckless, intentional and unlawful behavior, they could be sued under an intentional wrongful death claim.
- Negligent Wrongful Death Claims if the victim died due to another party acting negligently, they might be able to file a negligent wrongful death case against them.
Data reveals that 95% of all wrongful death cases are resolved out-of-court through negotiated settlements. Only a tiny fraction of the remainders is ever presented in front of a judge and jury.
What Can Surviving Family Members File a Wrongful Death Case in Decatur?
According to Illinois law, only certain surviving families can file a wrongful death lawsuit under Illinois law.
These family members include:
- The decedent's spouse
- The decedent's children
- The decedent's parents (if no spouse or children)
- The decedent's grandparents (if none of the previous relatives are alive)
When filing your claim, the law requires you to provide a list of all family members who have a legal right to file a wrongful death claim.
If you do not provide this information, the judge might reject your case – making it necessary for you to re-file another one. If you need help finding out if your family member(s) have a wrongful death claim, our accident attorneys can help.
Resolving a Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Experience and Expertise Matters
The loss of a loved one can be devastating, and it can take years before you're emotionally prepared to handle the legal aspects of your case.
Our wrongful death lawyers have represented hundreds of people in similar situations, and our legal team understands that every case is different.
Our attorneys will work with you one-on-one to explain each step of the legal process as it applies to your specific wrongful death lawsuit. Our law firm will protect your rights while diligently obtaining the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law for you and your family.
Accidents Remain a Leading Cause of Death in the United States
According to the National Safety Council, More Americans die unexpectedly from accidents than from any other cause.
Every year, there are approximately 392,000 deadly accidents in the United States. That accounts for 42% of all deaths that occur in the US each year!
Data reveals that accident-related deaths are frequently due to preventable causes, including:
- Stroke caused by medical malpractice
- Falls caused by defective products
- Driving accidents due to driver negligence or impairment
Illinois Laws Providing Wrongful Death Compensation to Survivors From the Responsible Party
Illinois has created several laws that allow surviving family members to file wrongful death cases against negligent parties. The details of the following laws are listed below. Please be advised this is not an exhaustive list of all wrongful death laws in Illinois.
Laws that allow parents to file a claim:
- Under the Wrongful Death Act, if a child dies due to an accident and their parent is still living, the parent has the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their child's death.
Laws that allow spouses to file a claim:
- Under the Wrongful Death Act, if a spouse dies due to an accident and their partner is still living, the surviving spouse has the right to file a wrongful death case against those responsible for their loved one's death.
Laws that allow children to file a claim:
- If an accident takes the lives of both parents, grandparents, or spouse and leaves one child living, that surviving child has the right to file a lawsuit.
Laws that allow parents to file a claim:
- The Wrongful Death Act allows unmarried people who are financially dependent on their partner to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their partner's death.
- Under the Surviving Spouse and Children Act, if a husband or wife dies due to an accident and their spouse is still living, the surviving spouse has the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one's death.
The following survivors are allowed to file wrongful death cases under the Survival Act:
- Your children, parents, brothers, sisters, and grandparents
The surviving spouse is allowed to file a wrongful death case if no family member qualified under the Wrongful Death Act or the Survival Act survives your death. If you were not married at the time of your death or neither spouse survived you due to your accident, you may designate any of the following individuals to file a wrongful death suit on your behalf:
- Your surviving parents, brothers, and sisters
- Your grandparents, if both parents have passed away
A family member who lived with you immediately before your accident was dependent on you for support. You can also choose a family member who is dependent on you financially.
Federal Laws that Allow Close Family Members to File a Claim
If the accident resulting in your death occurred in a state other than Illinois, your close family members might be able to file a lawsuit in the state where the accident occurred. Additionally, your close family members can also file a claim with the United States District Court.
If you would like to file a claim in Illinois or any other state, please contact us for a free case evaluation. You can reach us at (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation.
Types of Decatur Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, you might be entitled to file a claim against the responsible party. There are two types of Illinois wrongful death cases:
- Negligent infliction ofemotional distress
- Survival action on behalf of those who died due to the accident
Which Surviving Family Member Should File Your Decatur Wrongful Death Claim
Sometimes, there is confusion over which family member should file the case to protect everyone's rights. In these situations, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Hence, they begin the process of finding out if anyone else has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you were married at the time of your accident, your spouse could file a claim for wrongful death on your behalf.
Your child can file a claim if they were financially dependent upon you, as adult children, grandchildren, parents, or siblings can file a claim if they were financially dependent upon you.
An Illinois personal injury attorney may be able to help your family recover wrongful death damages for the loss of your loved one in an accident that was someone else's fault. To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim or any other type of case.
The Settlement of Disputes Over Benefits Following a Wrongful Death Settlement
Suppose there is an extended battle over wrongful death benefits or an extended period before the survivors receive their share of the settlement proceeds. What happens if money is spent on court fees?
There are some cases where claims can be made against estates for legal fees that weren't necessary. However, this would only occur in very rare circumstances. Legal fees that were properly incurred to protect the interests of a wrongful death claim are likely to be reimbursed.
In cases where there is a dispute over which family member has the exclusive right to file claims under a wrongful death insurance policy, it may require court intervention to resolve issues related to whether this right should fall to another party or if another party knew about the insurance policy at the time of the accident.
The Settlement Distribution Process Following a Wrongful Death Settlement
If you file a wrongful death suit, here's what happens to your settlement proceeds:
Court costs are often recoverable so that these fees can be deducted from the settlement amount owed to you.
If there are multiple beneficiaries to the wrongful death settlement, they will receive an equal share of the settlement proceeds. Only if you file a wrongful death claim will your family receive compensation for their loss.
Your Decatur Wrongful Death Claim Free Review With a Proficient Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a leading Decatur personal injury law firm in Illinois. We could provide immediate legal representation if your loved one was killed in an accident or through medical malpractice that could have been prevented.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can discuss your claim with you for free, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures that you owe your wrongful death lawyer nothing until we win your case and collect compensation on your behalf. If we lose or cannot secure any settlement for you, you will not pay us one penny.
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Let us connect you with an award-winning Decatur wrongful death attorney who can review your personal injury claim in death and provide numerous legal options on how to proceed.