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

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

When a family member dies in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, coping with the unexpected loss can feel impossible. 

However, holding the at-fault party liable for the death can bring justice to your loved one and compensate you for your loss while helping prevent similar tragedies in the future.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are experienced legal professionals who help families recover after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. 

We understand how difficult this time is for you, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf to seek justice for your family member’s untimely death.

Contact our Waukegan wrongful death lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form now for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. 

Our lawyers have helped numerous families like yours get their lives back on track after suffering an enormous tragedy caused by another person’s carelessness or recklessness and could assist you too!

What is Wrongful Death?

Under Illinois law, wrongful death is a legal term identifying one person killing another through either an intentional (murder) or unintentional (accident) act. 

The victim’s family can file a legal claim for this action and recover monetary compensation for the deceased’s estate, often covering funeral expenses and lost income until their death.

These Illinois wrongful death claims are typically handled through a civil lawsuit filed by the estate’s representative against whoever may have caused or contributed to the death of their loved one.

While these claims are most commonly associated with auto accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products, wrongful death can also apply to children under age five who die due to neglect, criminal acts such as intentional assault, or improper supervision.

A Typical Wrongful Death Settlement

According to data, possibly 95% of all claims and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlements outside the courtroom. As a result, most of these complex wrongful death cases are never presented before a judge and jury.

A typical settlement negotiated between an experienced Waukegan wrongful death attorney and the lawyers working for the defendant or their insurance company might involve compensation for:

  • Hospital costs and medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings
  • Loss of familial support
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Funeral & burial costs
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before their passing
  • Pain, suffering, grief, and mental anxiety of the surviving family members

How Waukegan, IL Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help

The Waukegan wrongful death attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, prosecute claims for families who have lost loved ones in accidents that were entirely preventable if not for other people’s reckless or irresponsible actions.

In most of these cases, the family is forced to endure hardships due to the loss of consortium and financial contributions made by the victim to their family. 

Our Illinois wrongful death attorneys can help families determine who is best suited to bring the lawsuit and how to distribute the compensation recovered from the negligent party among the surviving family members.

To ensure fair compensation, our Waukegan wrongful death lawyers carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding your loss to see if there was a product defect, poor maintenance of a vehicle, dangerous roadway conditions, or negligent medical treatment.

In cases involving nursing home neglect or elder abuse resulting in your loved one’s death, our Waukegan attorneys will investigate whether the victim suffered unnecessarily because of a lack of appropriate staffing or a failure to provide basic nursing care or unsanitary conditions that led to their death.

Accidents Considered Leading Factors in Deaths in America

The National Safety Council assessed the most common causes of death in the United States. It determined that accidents were the main contributing factor in most deaths among those under 43. 

Accidents were also the fifth leading cause of death among all Americans, regardless of age. Examples of incidents resulting in death include explosions, poisoning, drowning, falls, workplace accidents, car accidents, medical errors, choking, and fires.

Should we can determine whether your loved one’s death was due to the negligence of others, we can help you recover the fair compensation you need to replace their income, cover the cost of a memorial, and make up for the pain and suffering your loved one, you, and your family has endured. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim against an employer, business, or individual found responsible for your loved one’s death.

Types of Waukegan Wrongful Death Civil Suits

Regardless of how your loved one died, it is always prudent to conduct a deeper investigation to see if you can claim preventable death. Some of the most common causes of avoidable death include:

  • Car accident where the victim suffered fatal injuries sustained in the collision
  • Motorcycle accidents, including those where a passenger died due to the actions of the motorcyclist
  • Truck accidents when negligent parties drive recklessly
  • Pedestrian accidents where distracted or reckless drivers were at fault
  • Faulty tires or defective auto components that led to a crash
  • Exposure to toxic, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous materials or compounds
  • Birth injuries caused by a medical mistake
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect have resulted in life-ending injuries
  • Preventable bedsores (pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers)
  • Animal attacks involving dogs or other pets at large and out of the control of their owners
  • Workplace accidents on construction or excavation sites
  • Medical malpractice results in fatal injuries
  • Product liability claims
  • Premises liability cases
  • Construction accidents where workers are severely injured or killed due to a lack of following safety protocols
  • Fires, explosions, or electrocutions caused by faulty wiring or electrical equipment
  • Slip-and-fall accidents at a property owned by a business, municipality, nonprofit organization, landlord property, or elsewhere
  • Defective medications where the pharmaceutical company knew or should have known the patient could be seriously injured or killed by taking the drug

Our law firm invites you to learn more about how our law firm can investigate your loved one’s fatal accident and determine whether negligence was a factor. Then, if our Illinois wrongful death law office feels there is solid evidence to support a case, we can pursue compensation on your behalf.

Building a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Medical Malpractice

Any family member seeking to file a claim based on medical malpractice that claims the life of a loved one should speak to wrongful death attorneys. Medical malpractice cases are often highly complex, involving one or more parties at fault for causing the death.

These cases can often be complicated to win for these reasons and because the hospital or medical practice involved with your loved one’s care may have bottomless pockets for their defense. 

Therefore, in addition to deposing the defendants to understand best what happened and reviewing the medical records, an experienced wrongful death attorney will hire expert witnesses to provide testimony at trial when necessary.

These medical experts will typically validate the victim’s claims that a medical mistake, error, or negligence led to their loved one’s death. 

Nearly all these cases will be resolved through a negotiated settlement involving the defendants’ insurance companies up to the maximum coverage on the policy limits.

Waukegan Car Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims

Any catastrophic car or truck accident occurring in the city limits on the interstate or local streets can be devastating for family members who survived the death of a loved one. Data shows that Waukegan roads are dangerous, busy, and clogged with commuters trying to get to work on time.

Roadway accidents can occur due to the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Dangerous lane changes or swerving between lanes of traffic
  • Driving under the influence of drugs, including medical marijuana or prescription medication
  • Failure to yield the right of way at intersections or merging lanes of traffic
  • Failure to obey traffic signals at intersections or elsewhere on Waukegan roads

Our law office handles wrongful death cases when the victim’s death is caused by a negligent driver operating their vehicle illegally or carelessly.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Leading to a Wrongful Death in Waukegan

Any family member seeking to file a wrongful death case in Illinois against a nursing home or assisted living center that caused the death of their loved one should consult with an experienced attorney. 

We have helped many families uncover negligence and abuse by medical professionals and nursing staff members entrusted with caring for their elderly parents.

These claims can be very challenging. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities often take advantage of an elderly resident’s poor health and vulnerability to prevent a personal injury lawsuit from going forward. 

With the help of our first-class investigative team and medical experts who review patient records, our law offices have succeeded in these avoidable death cases.

Statistics show that many nursing homes and assisted living residents are dying due to preventable accidents, infections, falls, hospitalizations for pneumonia, or other life-threatening conditions. Illinois nursing homes also have the highest level of abuse or neglect cases in the country.

Determining Who Should File Your Waukegan Wrongful Death Claim

When 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 wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased.

Usually, the surviving spouse would be the logical answer, but if the victim was not married, it could defer to the victim’s parents, children, or siblings.

Our Lake County legal team can help you determine who should file the lawsuit on behalf of your family and protect your rights if your family cannot agree on how the benefits you recover should be split.

Your claim’s value will vary depending on economic and social factors, including how much income your loved one generated, the psychological and mental distress your family must endure, and more.

Lake County Personal Injury Cases: Who Settles Disputes Between Family Members Over Benefits?

Most families can resolve disputes among themselves when determining who has a right to compensation, but there are occasions where these disagreements cannot be settled.

If that is the case, the presiding judge will meet with the family during a special hearing to decide the terms of the judgment or settlement. 

We can help you avoid taking it this far by negotiating with your family members on your behalf and protecting your interests in court.

Financial Limitations on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Under Illinois law, surviving family members filing a lawsuit are limited to when they file a compensation claim. However, the Illinois State Legislature allows injured victims to file up to two years from the time of the death or when they knew of the death of their loved one.

The laws state that the decedent’s estate can file a claim against those responsible for their death. This legal remedy allows them to recover damages they would have been entitled to had they lived, such as expenses incurred between the time of the severe harm and death.

Recovering compensation for a wrongful death claim may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of financial support from the injured party
  • Punitive damages for willful or wanton misconduct

A statute of limitations only allows two years from the death to file a claim against those responsible. This legal guidance may be helpful when attempting to determine if you should consult with a Waukegan wrongful death attorney.

If the time limit has passed and the surviving spouse, other qualifying family members, or the estate has not filed claims, those possibly responsible for the death cannot be held accountable for their negligent actions. Because of that, speaking to an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial before the statute of limitations expires.

Proving a Wrongful Death Case

The surviving family members filing a wrongful death claim must prove their case for monetary recovery. 

A successfully resolved claim will be based on the four elements of civil tort law, which include:

  • The defendant owed the victim a duty of care to ensure the safety of the loved one
  • The defendants failed in their duty of care
  • The loved one died as a result of that failure
  • The plaintiffs (qualifying family members or decedent’s estate) suffered real damages that can be proved in court

Successfully resolving a claim by proving the four elements above can be complicated. However, reputable Waukegan, IL, wrongful death attorneys with years of experience resolving these claims are immediately available for consultation.

How Much a Wrongful Death Settlement Might Be Worth

The extraordinary evidence and facts of each wrongful death case differ, making determining the exact worth of a settlement or jury award challenging. 

However, statistically, in Illinois, plaintiffs resolving a wrongful death case usually reach a negotiated settlement valued at the limits of the insurance policy paying the claim.

Typically, your Waukegan wrongful death attorney will base their claim on the liability insurance limits for the defendant. It is often a major factor when determining the value of any settlement. 

The skilled wrongful death law firm you hire will consider many factors when calculating your specific case’s worth, including:

  • The financial hardships that come with losing a loved one
  • Loss of care, love, and support to surviving family members
  • Your loss of financial support from the decedent
  • Loss of companionship
  • Punitive damages for willful or wanton misconduct
  • The age and earning potential of the decedent

If you have any questions about a loved one, it is hard enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay the bills or support your family. For this reason, you must speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney before taking any legal action against those responsible for your loss.

Fatal Car Accident Cases: Navigating the Complexities of Wrongful Death Suits

A car accident can turn lives upside down, leaving families devastated by a victim’s death. Our law offices of experienced Illinois wrongful death lawyers are here to help.

Our Illinois wrongful death law team will assist in pursuing compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and other damages.

With skilled legal representation, you can secure deserved worker’s compensation benefits or navigate workers’ compensation claims if your loved one was working when suffering their fatal injuries. Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of your grief.

Fight for justice for the victim’s estate under Illinois law. Contact a dedicated wrongful death lawyer today for a free legal consultation and reclaim control of your future.

Let an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Fight for You

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has helped thousands of families secure the compensation they were entitled to after losing a loved one in an accident.

If your loved one died in an accident and you seek answers and justice, our law offices can help you just as we have helped those before you. We want to invite you to tell us your story so we can let you know more about how we might help you.

Contact a Waukegan wrongful death attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free legal consultation. Our Waukegan, IL, wrongful death lawyers will let you know the available legal options and help you plan your strategy to move forward confidently. 

Additionally, since our experienced attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, our law offices assure you that our services will come free of charge should we not secure damages on your behalf.


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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