Illinois Wrongful Death Attorneys
Illinois tort law defines wrongful death as another individual or entity’s willful action, omission to act, or negligence that leads to the victim’s death. Wrongful death can happen under various circumstances. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 30,000 fatalities occur every year to driving-related incidents, including drunk driving. Statistically, more than 90,000 individuals die each year from medical malpractice, and 19,600 slip and fall incidents annually lead to wrongful death. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that unintentional poisoning causes the death of tens of thousands every year.
If you are facing the aftermath of an unexpected death of your loved one due to the reckless or willful actions of another, you are likely able to pursue financial damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The Illinois wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC know that losing a loved one can be one of the most painful experiences families go through. When the loved one dies through wrongful death, it can be even more challenging to comprehend the loss. Our attorneys know that you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation if the negligence or reckless actions of another claim the life of someone you loved.
The legal considerations of a wrongful death case can be comprehensive, mainly when more than one negligent party contributed to the unexpected death. When there are multiple defendants, some portions of the case might be settled before the lawsuit goes to trial. The evidence involving other defendants may need to be presented in front of a judge and jury to ensure a successful verdict for you and your family. Our legal team ensures that all legal avenues are pursued to ensure you receive maximum financial compensation.How Our Attorneys can Help
Our compassionate legal team will treat you and your family with dignity and respect and offer a safe place to obtain your monetary recovery goals while sharing your feelings. For many years, we have fought on behalf of our clients who are grieving over the loss of a loved one involved in a:
- Vehicle accident
- Medical malpractice case
- Premises liability case
- Train crash
- Escalator or elevator accident
- Worker’s Compensation case
- Construction site accident
- Workplace death
- Explosion and burn
- Animal attack including dog bite
- Misdiagnosed cancer
- Congenital disabilities
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
The decedent’s heirs, specifically, their spouses, children, and parents (and possibly others) can file a wrongful death lawsuit against any individual at fault for the event that claimed their loved one’s life. In some situations, where the wrongful death happened in the workplace, those filing a suit can also pursue a claim against their loved one's Workmen’s Compensation Insurance policy.Wrongful Death Special Considerations
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our Illinois personal injury law firm understands the need to thoroughly investigate and document the nuanced evidence associated with presenting a wrongful death case involving fatal accidents and errors. Many of the cases we handle are the result of the surgical mistake, vehicle accident, abuse and neglect, or another incident that requires:
- Proving Fault – Our attorneys will represent you (the plaintiff) in your wrongful death civil action suit and must prove how the negligent or reckless actions of the defendant caused the wrongful death.
- Timely Filing a Claim – In Illinois, every civil action must follow the statute of limitations, including your wrongful death suit. If the documents are not filed before the time expires, you forever lose the opportunity to bring a claim for compensation.
- Pursuing Survival Actions – Illinois law provides legal opportunities for the decedent’s estate to pursue survivor actions. This legal remedy allows the state to recover damages on behalf of the decedent and obtain financial recovery for the pain and suffering he or she felt before they passed away.
In Illinois, the family heirs have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if it can be determined that another party’s negligence directly or indirectly caused the death. Often, the courts will consider various factors to determine the amount of damages the survivor will receive. Some of these damages might include:
- The wages that the decedent might have earned had they survived
- The loss of companionship and consortium by family members and loved ones
- The decedent’s savings
- How much the survivors were financially dependent on the loved one before they died
- Services that the loved one provided the family before that now must be provided by someone else
- All expenses incurred by family members involving medical or funeral costs associated with the incident that claimed their loved one’s life
Our legal team understands that there is not a financial payment that could ever provide the family with sufficient compensation to take away the pain of losing a loved one. However, receiving the financial security required to move forward can bring a sense of justice and provide an avenue for moving forward.
Our legal team can handle every aspect of your compensation case while you and your family are still in the grieving process. However, all documentation appropriate to file a claim or lawsuit must be submitted before the statute of limitations expires.Common Wrongful Death Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions
Our attorneys have assembled answers to the most frequently asked questions involving wrongful death claims and lawsuits repeatedly raised by our clients.
How do I know if my loved one died through a wrongful death?
Most wrongful deaths occur through the careless or negligent actions of another, or murder, medical malpractice, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Family members might be hurt because they relied on their loved one for emotional or financial support before the decedent died unexpectedly.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a legal tool meant to provide financial compensation for family members and survivors who have been left behind after a fatal incident, accident, or event.
Does my case qualify for a wrongful death claim?
Qualifying for a wrongful death claim depends on numerous factors. To help you better understand the law, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation. Our experienced attorneys can assist you today in determining how best to answer if and how you can obtain financial compensation for your losses.
My loved one experienced much suffering before they died. Will that be a factor in the case?
Our legal team, working on your behalf, might be able to claim pain and suffering of your loved one’s death, citing ‘wrongful death compensable’ because your loved one did not die immediately after the event.
What should I expect to recover from my wrongful death lawsuit?
Typically, we seek out economic and non-economic damages to ensure you receive full financial compensation for your loss. Your economic damages will help you recover the money spent on:
- Medical bills
- Long-term care
- Lost current and future earnings
- Other injuries resulting in the defendant’s negligence or willful action
Additionally, we will seek out non-economic damages. These are the funds that are provided because you have endured pain, suffering, emotional loss, and mental anxiety as a result of losing your loved one. These funds might help get your life back on track in the hope that you can begin enjoying day-to-day pleasures again. In some cases, punitive damages may be available if there was a “willful or wanton disregard” for the law and safety of others that led to your loved one’s death.
I have lost my spouse’s income. What am I supposed to do?
Our legal team fights on behalf of our clients who have experienced a wrongful death in their families with damages that involve a loss of earning capacity. The event the claimed your loved one’s life destroyed the family’s earning capacity. Our law firm works with financial experts that have extensive experience in economics. Our team can calculate the present value of what your loved one would have earned throughout their lifetime had they survived the negligent or reckless act of another who claimed their life.
What is the basis of most wrongful death cases?
Many personal injury cases we have handled involved a wrongful death due from an automobile accident, motorcycle collision, medical malpractice, premises liability, slip, and fall event, train accidents, defective products, falls from heights, electrocution, medical misdiagnosis, workplace injury, fire liability, animal bite, drowning, or nursing home negligence and abuse.
If I live in one state and my loved one died in another state through wrongful death, can you help?
Yes, our attorneys help families and survivors nationwide. Our extensive affiliate of network attorneys provides expert legal representation across the United States.
Are there specific limitations on the amount of time I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Each state has its unique statute of limitations that regulates the amount of time you can file a claim for compensation. Typically, the statute of limitations limits submitting claims to usually two years from the date the victim died. However, other factors can alter the amount of time including specific state law. In Illinois, the statute of limitations restricts submitting a claim at one to two years with exceptions. Your attorney can help you best understand how long you have to submit claims or file a lawsuit based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Will my case be settled out of court or presented at trial?
Nearly all personal injury and wrongful death cases end in a financial settlement rather than going through litigation and being heard at trial. The direction of your case will likely depend on its specific unique elements. Our team of dedicated Illinois wrongful death lawyers will spend substantial time seeking out all the legal options available and assist you in making a knowledgeable decision on how best to proceed.
Ultimately, after hearing our legal advice, you will decide whether to accept the out of court settlement offer by the insurance company or tell us to begin working on a case to present in front of a judge and jury. In some cases, punitive damages might be available if our law firm can prove that there was willful or wanton conduct or conscious disregard for the safety of others.
If your loved one suffered severe injury or died as a result of negligence/willful actions of others, our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are available to discuss your case in a free consultation. Our law firm works through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement means we are paid only after we have monetarily secured your financial future through a negotiated out-of-court settlement or jury trial award.
Let us begin working on your case today. We can evaluate the merits of your claim and assist you in understanding all of your legal options to protect your interest and rights. We can help you in seeking justice, ensuring you get a sense of closure and the financial security you need to get on with living.
Click the links below for more information on wrongful death in specific Illinois cities.