Rockford Wrongful Death Attorneys
When a loved one is killed due to another's negligence, the family left behind must deal with the emotional and financial consequences.
But, unfortunately, tragedies like this can happen to anyone. Whether it's a car accident, medical malpractice, or even an on-the-job injury, one moment of carelessness can change your life forever.
If someone else's negligence caused your loss, then they should pay for it. It would help if you had an experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, who will fight aggressively on your behalf to make sure that happens.
Our attorneys have helped many people like you recover millions in damages after a fatal accident or wrongful death claim, and we can help you too!
Call a Rockford personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today 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.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Under Illinois law, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim seeking financial compensation following the Illinois 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 full financial compensation for their losses.
Wrongful death claims are typically pursued by family members, including spouses, children, and dependent relatives. They can also be brought on behalf of any minor child who was financially dependent upon the deceased.
Wrongful Death Statistics
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 33,561 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in Illinois during 2020. The organization also reports 8,879 deaths from unintentional poisoning and 1,291 accidental drowning fatalities that same year.
In 2019, the CDC reported a total of 36,216 traffic accident-related fatalities nationwide. Since 2000, there have been a total of 355,252 fatalities from motor vehicle collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal motor vehicle accidents in Illinois increased by 1.8% between January and March 2013 compared to statistics recorded during the same three-month period of 2012.
As a result, there were 905 fatal car crashes reported in Illinois during that time, which resulted in the deaths of 143 people.
According to the NHTSA, there were 127 fatalities in auto accidents on Illinois roadways in January 2013. In addition, there were 33 traffic accident fatalities on other roadways and two fatal crashes on other roadways within Illinois during the same month. Many motor vehicle accident victims were involved in catastrophic crashes and succumbed to their life-threatening injuries.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), even though traffic collisions are declining every year, accidents remain a leading cause of death. In 2012, there were a total of 34,600 fatalities from traffic crashes.
Other Rockford, Illinois wrongful death cases over the last decade have involved:
- Workplace accidents
- Birth injuries (congenital disabilities)
- Construction site accidents
- Pedestrian deaths
- Bicycle/car accident cases
Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Medical Malpractice
The statistic shows that many wrongful death lawsuits involve hospital negligence where healthcare providers' or facilities' negligence led to a preventable death. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 17,150 deaths in Illinois were related to medical errors in 2016.
Of those fatalities:
- About 9% occurred while the patient was hospitalized
- Nearly 27% occurred among patients who had been discharged from a hospital or clinic within the past 30 days
- Around 40% occurred among patients who died 1-6 months after being discharged from a hospital or clinic
- About 13% occurred among patients who had been 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.
The healthcare industry is one of the most dangerous places to work due to the high number of injuries and fatalities that occur each year.
What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The number of damages that survivors can receive for their losses will depend on the deceased person's earning capacity and how much their loss impacts your 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 are required to care for the deceased person before their death.
Survivors can recover damages for economic losses, including funeral costs, past medical expenses, loss of support, pain, suffering, and financial contributions made by the deceased to benefit survivors or their dependents emotionally or financially after his death.
The Wrongful Death Act provides the recovery of all damages to be compensated by either or both parties, not just economic losses.
Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Available Benefits
Are you the surviving spouse or parent of someone who died in a car crash, medical negligence incident, on-the-job accident, or accident caused by another person's negligence through no fault of your own?
If so, 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 like 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
- Future lost earnings when calculating wrongful death damages in future medical expenses for a minor child who was financially dependent upon your loved one
- Loss of household services and comfort
- Property damage
- The pain and suffering endured by your family concerning what happened could have been prevented if there was an appropriate level of care involved in the incident causing death
Receiving these benefits quickly is why it's so important to hire an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you file this claim 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 of intestacy, which is the method used for distributing the decedent's property when he died without a will.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years after your loved one died. Therefore, siblings should quickly act if they want to file a claim.
Surviving parents should act quickly, too. If your loved one left behind children when he died, his 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. A parent has every right to file this claim for his child, even out of turn compared with the children's siblings.
If one child is filing the claim against another defendant, he must prove that their parent would have approved of him suing before proceeding with the wrongful death lawsuit on his deceased sibling's behalf.
Surviving spouses might file a wrongful death claim if they were married to the decedent at the time of death. However, if they remain unmarried at the time of death, they have two years from that date to file a claim.
Alternatively, if the surviving spouse remarries after filing a claim, he may not receive any compensation for wrongful death.
A surviving child can file a wrongful death lawsuit even if their sibling is still alive. For example, if your brother or sister was killed in a car crash and you survived, the grandchild may pursue restitution for their loss.
Accepting payments from all available legal means must come first before filing this claim.
Surviving family members may receive compensation through:
- 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
If you are filing a claim as the surviving spouse or child of an accident victim, make sure you meet all the qualifications before filing against another party. You must be able to prove that the now-deceased party would have provided financial support, and the loss of that care and assistance is what has created a financial need.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed based on two legal claims: negligence or intentional infliction of emotional distress. A plaintiffs' Rockford wrongful death attorney can tell you more about proceeding after meeting with you regarding your unique situation.
Experience and Expertise Matters
The loss of a loved one can have a drastic impact on those left behind. These survivors must adjust to life without the companionship and resources provided by the deceased. Unfortunately, the legal process can be frustratingly slow and difficult to understand for surviving family members.
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 Northern Illinois wrongful death lawyers are here for you. We will fight tirelessly to obtain compensation and justice so that no other family has to go through what yours has had to endure.
The Rockford wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC could 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 us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation
Your wrongful death attorney can resolve any disputes on your behalf regarding how benefits should be distributed among the family members left behind.
This help can allow the family to finally begin to move forward with your life without wondering how you will make ends meet without your loved one's financial contributions.
Accidents among Top Causes of Death in the United States
According to the National Safety Council, Americans under 42 years old are more likely to die from an accident than any other cause of death. However, of all age groups, accidents are still among the top five causes of death.
When irresponsible behavior contributes to an accident, it is reasonable to expect the person or company responsible for being held accountable. Some accidents that may result from negligence include medical and hospital negligence, car accidents, drowning, fires, prescription errors, choking, and poisoning.
Suppose we can show that your loved one's death was due to the negligence of others. In that case, we may also be able to help you recover the compensation you need to replace their income, cover the cost of a funeral, and cover the value of the pain and suffering your loved one, you, and your family has needed to endure.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to file a claim against an employer, business or individual found responsible for your loved one's death. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable.
Types of Rockford Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one in any form of 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 for on your behalf:
- Fatal injuries caused by car or truck wrecks involving distracted or reckless drivers
- Motorcycle accidents, including where a passenger was killed due to the actions of another motorist or the person controlling the bike
- Poisoning due to hazardous materials such as lead, corrosive chemicals, or toxic compounds
- Pedestrian accidents involve distracted, drunk, or reckless drivers
- Medical negligence leads to fatal injuries
- Product liability claims resulting from defective devices or machinery
- Vicious dog bites that lead to the death of the victim
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Workplace injuries while on job sites such as excavation or construction sites
- Electrocution, explosions, or fires
You should always investigate if a loved one has been killed in an accident so that you can understand exactly why they were killed 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 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
Whether 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.
There are rare occasions where family members may disagree on legal strategies or how the benefits recovered should be split. When this is the case, it is important to know your rights and have someone on your side who is qualified to protect your interests and rights.
Since wrongful death claims are valued based both 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.
It means that there would be plenty available for everyone's needs when all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.
The Settlement of Disputes Over Benefits Following a Wrongful Death Settlement
Suppose there is an extended battle over how family members should distribute compensation after a judgment or settlement. In that case, the presiding judge will decide how the benefits will be distributed after a special hearing.
Your Illinois personal injury lawyer will serve as your personal representative and help you negotiate before this becomes necessary and protect your interests if it needs to go this far.
Review Your Rockford Wrongful Death Claim for Free With a Proficient Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a leading personal injury law firm in Illinois. It has helped thousands of families secure the compensation they needed to make ends meet after losing a loved one. If your loved one was killed in an accident that could have been prevented, we would like the opportunity 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. Connect you with an award-winning Rockford wrongful death attorney who will review your personal injury claim in-depth and let you know more about your legal options.
We work solely on a contingency fee basis, so you are guaranteed we will never charge you upfront for our services and will only accept payment once we have secured compensation on your behalf. We look forward to serving your needs.