Waukegan Wrongful Attorneys
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 provide you with compensation 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 personal injury 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 just like yours get their lives back on track after suffering such 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 members can file a legal claim for this action and recover compensation for the deceased's estate, often covering funeral expenses and lost income until their death.
These personal injury 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 personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlements outside the courtroom. As a result, most of these 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
- The 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 on behalf of families who have lost loved ones in accidents that were completely 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 personal injury attorneys can help families determine who is best suited to press the lawsuit and how best to distribute the damages we can recover fairly 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 that resulted in your loved one's death, our Waukegan personal injury attorneys will investigate whether the victim suffered unnecessarily because of a lack of appropriate staffing, a failure to provide basic nursing care, or unsanitary conditions that led to their death.
Accidents Considered Leading Factor 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.
Suppose we can determine whether or not your loved one's death was due to the negligence of others.
In that case, we can help you recover the compensation you need to replace their income, to cover the cost of a memorial, and to make up for the pain and to suffer your loved one, you, and your family has needed to endure.
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 Cases
Regardless of how your loved one died, it is always prudent to conduct a deeper investigation to see if you can claim wrongful death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Motor vehicle accident where the victim has died due to injuries sustained in the collision
- Motorcycle accidents, including those where a passenger died due to the actions of the motorcyclist
- 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
- Nursing home abuse and neglect has 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 deadly injuries
- Product liability claims
- 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 we can investigate your loved one's fatal accident and determine whether negligence was a factor. Then, if we feel there is solid evidence to support a wrongful death claim, we can begin to build a case on your behalf.
Building a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Medical Malpractice
Any family member seeking to file a personal injury claim based on medical malpractice that claims the life of a loved one should speak to a personal injury attorney. Medical malpractice cases are often highly complex, involving one or more parties at fault for causing the death.
These cases can often be very difficult to win, both for these reasons and because the hospital or medical practice involved with your loved one's care may have incredibly deep pockets.
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 personal injury claims that a medical mistake, error, or negligence led to their loved one's death.
Nearly all of these personal injury 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 work on time.
Roadway accidents can occur due to:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Dangerous lane changes or swerving between lanes of traffic
- Driving under the influence of drugs, including medical marijuana or prescription medication
- Failure to yield right of way at intersections or merging lanes of traffic
- Failure to obey traffic signals at intersections or elsewhere on Waukegan roads
- Several other causes
We have handled many car accident cases involving wrongful death claims filed against negligent drivers operating their automobiles illegally or carelessly. The drivers and the insurance company will do whatever they can to prevent you.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Leading to a Wrongful Death in Waukegan
Any family member seeking to file a wrongful death lawsuit 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 lawsuit from going forward.
With the help of our first-class investigative team and medical experts who review patient records, we have been successful in these types of wrongful 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
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 lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
In most cases, the spouse would be the logical answer, but if the victim was not married, this could defer to the victim's parents, children, or siblings.
We 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.
The value of your claim will vary depending on economic and social factors, which may include the amount of income your loved one brought home, the psychological and mental distress your family must endure, and more.
Who Settles Disputes Between Family Members Over Benefits?
Most families can resolve disputes among themselves when it comes to 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 needing to take it this far by negotiating with your family members on your behalf and by protecting your interests in court.
Financial Limitations on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under Illinois law, surviving family members filing a wrongful death lawsuit are limited to the length of time they have to file a compensation claim. However, the Illinois State Legislature had allowed the 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 that they would have been entitled to had they lived, such as medical bills and funeral expenses incurred between the time of the serious harm and death.
The wrongful death claim may also include compensation for all medical bills, lost wages, and:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support from the injured party, and
- Even punitive damages for willful or wanton misconduct
There is a statute of limitations that only allows two years from the time of 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 no family member or the estate has filed wrongful death cases, those possibly responsible for the death cannot be held accountable for the legal issue. Because of that, it is crucial to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney before the statute of limitations expires.
Proving a Wrongful Death Case
The surviving family members filing a wrongful death claim must prove their case to receive a monetary recovery.
A successfully resolved personal injury claim will be based on the four elements of civil tort law that 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 plaintiff (qualifying family member or decedent's estate) suffered real damages that can be proved in court
Successfully resolving a personal injury 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
Every case's extraordinary evidence and facts are different, making it challenging to determine the exact worth of a wrongful death settlement or jury award.
However, statistically, in Illinois, plaintiffs resolving a wrongful death case usually reached a negotiated settlement valued at the limits of the insurance policy paying the claim.
Typically, the personal injury attorney will base their claim on the liability insurance limits for the defendant is often a major factor when determining the value of any settlement.
The skilled wrongful death attorney 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.
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 are seeking answers and justice, we can help you just as we have helped those before you. We want to invite you to tell us your story to let you know more about how we might help you.
Contact a Waukegan wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free case review. But, first, let's initiate a wrongful death claim to gather the information we need to conduct our investigation into the matter.
Our Waukegan, IL, wrongful death lawyers will then let you know what legal options are available and help you plan your strategy so that you can move forward with confidence.
Additionally, since our experienced attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, we assure you that our services will come free of charge should we not secure damages on your behalf.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with your personal injury lawyer about your loved one's accident and who might be liable remains private through an attorney-client relationship.