Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

April 29, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

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When a loved one is killed due to another’s negligence, the family left behind must deal with the emotional and financial consequences. 

Tragedies like this can happen to anyone. One moment of carelessness can change your life forever, whether it’s a car accident, medical malpractice, or even an on-the-job injury.

If someone else’s negligence caused your loss, they should be held responsible. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, who will fight aggressively to ensure that happens. 

Call a Rockford wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Under Illinois law, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim seeking financial compensation following the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/1).

The State Legislature enacted the Illinois Wrongful Death Act to compensate survivors for the economic losses they suffer due to the death of their loved ones. 

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against anyone or any entity that causes another to die through negligence, including car drivers, truck drivers, other motorists, medical professionals, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Though all parties who contributed to the accident are responsible for the survivor’s damages, only the party whose negligence caused the death is liable. Therefore survivors must file separate lawsuits against each negligent party to receive total financial compensation for their losses.

Family members, including spouses, children, and dependent relatives, typically pursue wrongful death claims for damages, including lost income, mental suffering, and burial costs.

Wrongful Death Statistics

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) [1], there were 33,561 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in Illinois in 2020. The organization also reported 8,879 deaths from unintentional poisoning and 1,291 accidental drowning fatalities that year.

In 2019, the CDC reported 36,216 traffic accident-related fatalities nationwide. Since 2000, there have been 355,252 fatalities from motor vehicle collisions.

Other Rockford, Illinois wrongful death cases over the last decade have involved:

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Medical Malpractice

The statistic shows that many wrongful death lawsuits involve hospital negligence where healthcare providers’ or facilities’ negligence leads to preventable death. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health [2], 17,150 deaths in Illinois were related to medical errors in 2016.

Of those fatalities:

  • Around 40% occurred among patients who died 1-6 months after being discharged from a hospital or clinic
  • About 13% occurred among patients hospitalized more than six months before their deaths

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical errors and other incidents are responsible for one in ten patients dying while undergoing treatment. 

What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The number of damages survivors can receive for their losses will depend on the deceased person’s earning capacity and how much their loss impacts their family’s financial stability. 

It also depends on the cause of death, the age and health status of the deceased, and the length of time family members must care for the person before their death.

Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Available Benefits

You may be entitled to compensation for all forms of damages in resolving your Rockford, IL, wrongful death case, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of benefits such as a pension, health insurance, etc
  • Pain and suffering or mental anguish from the loss of companionship
  • Mental suffering, emotional distress, and grief over losing a family member
  • The pain and suffering endured by your family

Receiving these benefits quickly is why hiring an attorney as soon as possible is essential to ensure you gather evidence and file this claim in civil court before the statute of limitations expires.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rockford?

According to Illinois law, only certain surviving family members can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit seeking financial compensation involving the death of a spouse, child, grandchild, or another family member.

The injured party (the decedent’s estate or surviving family member) could include anyone entitled to inherit under the rules to distribute the decedent’s property when he dies without a will.

When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years after your loved one died. Therefore, family members should quickly act if they want to file a claim. 

If your loved one left behind children when they died, their children are the rightful claimants to pursue restitution in Illinois.

Parents might file a wrongful death lawsuit if their child was killed in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

When a Wrongful Act Leads to an Unexpected Death

Surviving spouses might file a wrongful death claim if they were married to the decedent at the time of death. Alternatively, if the surviving spouse remarries after filing a claim, they may not receive compensation for wrongful death.

Surviving family members may receive compensation through the following:

  • Insurance payments if the decedent had enough coverage to compensate your family
  • The assets of the estate, which may include life insurance, property, bank accounts
  • Settlements from any available liability policy to compensate your family for their loss

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on negligence or intentional infliction of emotional distress. After meeting with you regarding your unique situation, a plaintiffs’ Rockford wrongful death attorney can tell you more about the proceeding.

Experience and Expertise Matters

The loss of a loved one can drastically impact those left behind. These survivors must adjust to life without the companionship and resources provided by the deceased.

In addition, insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying out any money on a claim, even if their insured driver caused the fatal accident that took your loved one’s life.

When you need help after losing someone close to you due to the negligence of another party, our Rockford wrongful death lawyers are here for you. We will fight tirelessly to obtain compensation and justice so that no other family has to endure what you have.

Personal Injury Lawsuit to Recover Money

Our Rockford wrongful death attorneys can help your family recover maximum compensation from the responsible party and their insurance company for those losses if your loved one died due to someone else’s actions. Call our attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation to discuss legal action to resolve your legal circumstances.

Your wrongful death attorney can resolve any disputes on your behalf regarding how benefits should be distributed among the family members left behind. 

It can allow the family to finally begin to move forward with their life without wondering how they will make ends meet without their loved one’s financial contributions.

Types of Rockford Wrongful Death Claims

If you have lost a loved one in any accident, it is worth looking into the case to determine whether you have a claim. Following are some examples of claims we may be able to recover compensation on your behalf:

  • Truck crash fatal injuries
  • Auto accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Poisoning due to hazardous materials
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical negligence leading to deadly injuries
  • Product liability claims resulting from defective devices or machinery
  • Vicious dog bites that lead to deadly injuries
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse
  • Medication errors at a medical facility
  • Workplace injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Electrocution, explosions, or fires

You should always investigate if a loved one has been killed in an accident to understand why and whether another person or company contributed. 

If you can prove negligence, you might be able to exercise your legal rights and recoup the potential lost wages your loved one would have brought home over a lifetime, the cost of funeral services, and more.

Determining Who Should File Your Rockford Wrongful Death Claim

If there is confusion over who has the legal right to bring a lawsuit or a disagreement over who has the right to certain benefits, it may not always be easy to determine who is best suited to file the claim on behalf of the deceased. 

For example, the spouse would be the logical answer in most wrongful death cases, but if the victim was not married, this could defer to the victim’s parents, children, or siblings. The court might require a personal representative for the deceased and their estate.

Family members often disagree on legal strategies or how the benefits recovered should be split.

Since wrongful death claims are valued based on economic factors, emotional or mental anguish, and the victim’s pain and suffering, it could be possible to recover a considerable amount of damages. 

Plenty would be available for everyone’s needs when all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.

Review Your Rockford Wrongful Death Claim for Free with a Proficient Lawyer

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is Illinois’s leading personal injury law firm. It has helped thousands of families secure the compensation they needed to make ends meet after losing a loved one.

Could your loved one’s death have been prevented? Our wrongful death attorneys would like to help you. Call our Rockford, IL personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

We work solely on a contingency fee basis, so you are guaranteed your Rockford wrongful death lawyer will never charge you upfront for our services. 

Our law firms only accept payment once your Rockford wrongful death attorney has secured compensation on your behalf.

Resources: [1] CDC, [2] Illinois Department of Public Health

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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