Joliet Wrongful Death Attorneys
When someone you love is suddenly taken from this world, the pain and suffering can be immeasurable.
Yet, while we grieve their loss, we must also face the reality that a loved one's death was not natural; another's negligence caused it.
Seeking legal help after losing a loved one can seem overwhelming, each personal injury lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is here for you every step of the way.
We have been helping families like yours get through this difficult time since 1978 and understand how important it is to fight for their rights.
Call our Joliet personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
In addition, you can share confidential or sensitive information with our legal team through an attorney-client relationship and can feel confident about our ability to help you pursue the maximum compensation from those responsible for your loss.
What is Wrongful Death?
According to Illinois law, wrongful death is "death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another or by some accident happening through the negligence of another."
The law states that a party injured, either in person or property, may recover monetary damages from one who wrongfully injures another. In addition, if the injury is accompanied by death, there may be a recovery for loss of society and services and expenses.
Many wrongful death cases involve vehicle accidents, motorcycles, truck crashes, or drunk driving.
How to Prove Wrongful Death?
When proving the elements of wrongful death, one must provide evidence that another person was responsible for causing your family member's death.
In addition, to recover financial damages in a personal injury case, there has to be proof that you suffered some injury or damages due to the negligent actions of another party.
To prove wrongful death, you must understand how liability for causing a person's accident is determined under Illinois law. Liability means "the legal responsibility for an act or omission which results in harm to another, regardless of criminal or civil intent or negligence, which is based upon the following principles:
A person who negligently causes injury to another is subject to liability for harm resulting to that other person.
The Act of one person injuring another will make the actor liable if the offense was committed:
- by accident or mistake;
- through inadvertence, surprise, or negligence;
- by a child who was incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness of the Act.
The fact that an injured person had some contributory negligence does not relieve the party causing his death from liability for all damages resulting in the family. It could appear that such injury would have resulted in death even if the decedent had not been guilty of contributory negligence.
A person who intentionally inflicts injury on another is always liable for all damage to the person, feelings, or property. Damages may also be recovered upon proof that the Act causing the injury was accompanied by a willful, wanton refusal to mitigate further damage.
The rights of the husband and wife to recover damages resulting from death are identical. Still, damages may be recovered by one or both, except that if either is guilty of contributory negligence, recovery shall not be held against them."
For a claim to succeed, you must prove that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care.
A duty is a legal obligation that the defendant must abide by when performing his professional duties.
Once you demonstrate that there was a duty and it was breached, you can prove causation, proving that your loved one's death was directly linked to the defendant's breach in their duty of care.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help your surviving family members establish liability and causation, assess your damages, and maximize your compensation.
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at our personal injury law firm understand how to prosecute a case effectively, and we will be by your side every step of the way.
Auto Accidents, Medical Malpractice, and Product Liability
These cases often hold the person at fault totally or partially responsible for paying compensation to resolve a wrongful death suit.
These legal issues are quite complicated because of the large numbers of individuals and liable parties involved. Therefore, we will investigate your loved one's wrongful death case in-depth to uncover negligence, product defects, medical errors, or hazardous conditions.
We are prepared to negotiate with insurance companies and their legal teams to minimize your financial burden throughout this difficult time.
But if settlement talks prove unsuccessful, we are prepared to take your Joliet, IL personal injury lawsuit to trial, where we will fight aggressively for you and other surviving family members.
We are devoted to protecting the legal rights of individuals killed in tragic accidents. We know how much it hurts to lose a loved one at no fault of their own, which is why we're committed to helping your family recover after such a devastating loss.
Some of these cases involving a catastrophic injury occur from:
- Car accidents
- Truck crashes
- Pedestrian deaths
- Construction accidents
- Workplace exposure
- Medical malpractice
- Defective drugs
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Premises liability, including slips and falls
- Exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals
- Preventable birth injuries (congenital disabilities)
Surviving families can seek financial compensation that includes hospital costs, medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, funeral expenses, and non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, grief, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
Surviving Family Members: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Joliet?
Joliet residents can file a claim against the party who caused their family member's death if they have a right to do so under state law.
A wrongful death claim can be filed by immediate family members, spouses, or legal representatives on behalf of the estate. If you are filing a wrongful death claim in Joliet, you will need to know the following:
An individual who has suffered damages due to the death of another may maintain an action for damages against the wrongdoer.
If the death is caused under such circumstances, it would have entitled the one killed to a remedy had it resulted from natural causes or accidents. To act if death had not ensued, the same right of action continues to the surviving spouse and family.
Should a person die from an injury received from another when they were in justifiable reliance on a benefit or contract made with them by that other person which might have been expected to induce such reliance, their personal representatives may maintain an action against the wrongdoer for damages arising out of the injury.
An action for wrongful death may be brought by a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or brothers and sisters.
However, only a person who would have been entitled to recover damages on behalf of the deceased had they survived can take action under this Act. Wrongful death claims must be brought within two years from the date of death.
The action shall not be commenced after two years from the time when the person entitled to maintain an action has or should have first discovered that a right of action existed for the damages or the person against whom the cause of action exists but in no event more than three years after the time of death.
A wrongful death claim can be filed by immediate family members, spouses, or legal representatives if the decedent has a right to do so under Illinois law.
"Wrongful death" is defined as the action that may be brought by a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or brothers and sisters of the deceased person to recover damages if they died as a result of someone else's negligence or misconduct.
Wrongful death claims must be brought against the party responsible for avoiding causing harm and failing miserably at it.
Contact a Joliet wrongful death lawyer from our firm today if you have a right to file an action for wrongful death.
How a Joliet Wrongful Death Law Firm Can Help
The loss of a loved one in a preventable accident can have a devastating impact on those left behind and need to adjust to life without the companionship and resources provided by the deceased.
Initiating a wrongful death suit can be difficult. However, using an experienced wrongful death attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure you receive maximum compensation. The attorneys at our law firm serve Joliet, IL, by holding all parties totally or partially responsible for the death financially accountable.
We know how hard it is to lose a family member, friend, or other loved one in such an unexpected manner.
It doesn't matter if your loss occurred due to a car accident or medical malpractice. Our Joliet wrongful death attorneys will help you through every step of the legal process so that you can get justice for your loss and hold those responsible accountable for what they did.
The Joliet wrongful death attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help your family recover fair compensation for your losses and to resolve any disputes regarding how benefits should be distributed among the family members left behind so that you can finally begin to move forward with your life without wondering how you are going to make ends meet without your loved one's financial contributions.
Determining Contributory Fault
Working to the devastation of a catastrophic loss of a loved one can be challenging. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family's rights hinge on determining contributory fault and who should file the lawsuit on behalf of all family members.
A contributory fault is a concept in Illinois law that allows the court and jury to reduce the compensation you receive by the percentage of liability attributed to your actions or inaction.
For example, if someone files a wrongful death lawsuit alleging their child died due to medical malpractice where surgery was performed with improper equipment caused by faulty physician training, a contributory fault could limit recovery to 50% of the total damages allowed.
The percentage of contributory fault attributed to each plaintiff may differ due to their actions or inaction at the time of death that ultimately contributed to the loss.
Therefore, the final amount you receive as compensation for your loss will depend on the proportion of legal liability attributed to you and all other parties with a legal right to file a wrongful death suit.
In Illinois, the total damages allowed in a wrongful death lawsuit include all economic and non-economic losses associated with your loved one's death.
For example, economic losses include medical bills related to treating injuries that lead to the death of your family member. In contrast, non-economic losses encompass non-economic factors such as loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, and support.
In a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a family member or loved one in Joliet, your damages award could include a combination of all legally allowable items, including:
- Loss of financial contributions from your loved one
- Loss of services provided by your loved one
- Losses associated with future financial contributions from your loved one
- Loss of consortium, including loss of companionship from a spouse or parent and loss of parenting contribution from a parent who brought up a child
You can receive full compensation for all losses related to the wrongful death of your loved one without any reduction in damages due to contributory negligence.
The only exception is the monetary limit on the loss of financial contributions that can be attributed to you or any other plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit involving wrongful death.
Joliet Wrongful Death Lawyers
The best way to start moving forward from a catastrophic loss is by consulting with an experienced Joliet wrongful death attorney that can help you move through the process of filing a claim and ensure that you recover the full amount of compensation for your loss.
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have years of experience litigating personal injury claims, including wrongful death suits, against some of the largest companies in Illinois and throughout the United States.
Call (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free initial consultation with our Joliet wrongful death attorneys today if you lost a loved one due to an accident or injury.
Our personal injury lawyers serve clients throughout Will County and the surrounding areas, including Homer Glen, Lockport, Lemont, New Lenox, and Channahon.
Accidents are a Leading Factor in Deaths across the United States
The National Safety Council has reported that accidents are ranked in the top five leading causes of death in our country. For those under 42, accidents are the leading cause of death, and many of these accidents result from another person's negligent behavior.
Examples include auto accidents, workplace injuries, fires, trips or falls, drowning, medical malpractice, drug overdoses, choking, or death due to contact with hazardous materials.
When it is determined that an accident that led to one or more persons’ death was caused by another's action or inaction, which is deemed negligent, the families of those killed have the right to a claim for wrongful death.
There are several scenarios under which wrongful death may be applied.
For example, the surviving family members might seek compensation from negligent equipment manufacturers, businesses, employers, employees, or the individuals responsible for an accident.
Types of Joliet Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one in any form of accident, it is worth looking into the personal injury case to determine whether you have a claim.
Following are some examples of claims we may be able to recover compensation for on your behalf.
- Car or truck accidents have resulted in fatal injuries
- Motorcycle accidents, including where a passenger was killed due to the actions of another motorist or the person controlling the bike
- Pedestrian accidents involving negligent motorists
- Poisoning due to hazardous materials such as lead, corrosive chemicals, or toxic compounds
- Nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Vicious animal attacks result in deadly injuries.
- Workplace injuries often occur on construction or excavation sites
- Electrocution, fires, or explosions result in fatalities
- Medical malpractice leads to the death of the patient
- Product liability claims where the injured died of their injuries
If your loved one died due to an accident, we suggest that you launch an investigation to determine whether another person or company was responsible.
It may allow you to recover the damages that you need to replace your loved one's wages and continue to meet your financial obligations for the funeral, out-of-pocket expenses, and ongoing cost of living without their contributions.
In cases where another's negligence or mistreatment was egregious, the judge and jury might award punitive damages to survivors.
How to Determine Which Family Member Should File a Joliet Wrongful Death Lawsuit
It may be possible for the family members of someone who has died in an accident to be confused over who has the right or ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
While in most personal injury cases, the spouse would file such a claim, if the deceased was not married, their parents, children, or siblings may file the claim instead.
It is very easy for things to get out of hand when the family argues over who has the right to benefits following a death.
We can help determine who has the legal right and option to file a lawsuit and to help you protect your claim if multiple family members are in dispute over who has the right to compensation.
Since wrongful death claims are valued based on economic factors and emotional or mental anguish, and the victim's pain and suffering, it could be possible to recover a considerable amount of damages.
Who Determines the Beneficiaries of a Joliet Wrongful Death Settlement?
While most families discuss how the benefits will be dispersed, we have seen some families fight on occasion over who should receive what.
When this is the case, the presiding judge will ultimately determine which family members are entitled to different assets and compensation after a special hearing.
We can assist you in settling these disputes beforehand and representing your interests to ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Put a Joliet Wrongful Death Lawyer to Work on Your Behalf
Did you lose a loved one in an accident? If so, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you recover the compensation you need to provide for your family while making a statement that the negligent actions resulting in your loved one's death will not be tolerated.
Our personal injury law firm has extensive experience helping families file these claims and have recovered our clients' millions of dollars of compensation.
Contact our wrongful death law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to arrange a free case evaluation.
Please speak with one of our award-winning Joliet wrongful death attorneys so that we can review the details of your case, perform a thorough investigation, and discuss your legal options and strategy in greater detail.
Since our Joliet, IL personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, we can represent clients, regardless of their financial status. Therefore, we can assure you that we will never be required to pay attorney's fees until we can secure compensation on your behalf.
We accept cases throughout Chicago, IL, including Grundy County, Kendall County, Will County, Lake County, and surrounding cities.