Wrongful Death Attorney Chicago
Nothing can be more devastating than the sudden death of a loved one with many consequences for the surviving family. They must find ways to cope with their loss and grief, but they also must deal with financial stress after a death caused by someone else's negligence or wrongful conduct.
They may have lost work time or income from the deceased's job and now must pay funeral costs and other expenses related to their death. When the unthinkable happens, and a wrongful death occurs, it can be hard to know where to turn or what to do.
When a family member is killed in a motor vehicle accident or due to medical malpractice in Illinois, it is time to consider contacting a personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC.
Call our wrongful death legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for a free legal consultation to facilitate a legal action or file a wrongful death claim.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Under Illinois Law
Typically, the immediate surviving family members can file a preventable wrongful death claim against any individual or entity responsible for the accident that claimed their loved one's life.
These lawsuits are based on others' negligence or illegal act that led to their loved one's wrongful death.
Usually, the deceased person's spouse or an adult child can file a premature death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. In addition, parents of a child killed through a wrongful death action can file lawsuits against any individual or entity that took their child's life.
We endeavor to hold responsible parties accountable if your loved one succumbed to his or her injuries. Therefore, you will not have to deal with fees unless you receive compensation.
The Steps in a Wrongful Death Suit
The surviving spouse can file a civil suit against any individual or entity causing a victim's death.
The seven crucial steps to filing a wrongful death claim include:
- Consult with experienced wrongful death attorneys to resolve the wrongful death case
- Obtain a death certificate copy of the deceased victim
- Appoint an administrator or personal representative
- Identify all survivors with the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- File all the necessary paperwork to take wrongful death action before the expiration of the statute of limitations (Illinois state law upholds the discovery rule)
- Identify the extent of medical expenses, funeral costs, and wrongful death claims
Resolving Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The deceased's estate may sue for damages resulting from the death. These untimely death lawsuits are civil suits, not criminal charges brought against individuals or entities liable for the wrongful death.
However, an investigation into the unique circumstances will typically identify those responsible for paying the negotiated wrongful death settlement or court-mandated jury award.
Typically, the defendants' insurance carrier will compensate the wrongful death victims (plaintiffs).
The plaintiff's wrongful death attorneys resolving a wrongful death case will usually recover damages up to the insured's policy limits.
How Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
Some personal law firms are experienced in resolving complicated wrongful death claims, helping those left behind hold those responsible for the death legally and financially accountable.
A personal representative at our law firm will investigate the wrongful death claim, identify responsibility and prove negligence to resolve the personal injury claim that identifies the financial support needed to move forward.
A Chicago wrongful death lawyer can represent clients filing a civil suit against others responsible for medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, nursing facility abuse, negligence, or wrongful death actions.
When an accident or medical negligence causes the death of a loved one, it is time to consider contacting a Chicago wrongful death attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim
To help you, we provide a free case evaluation. A seasoned wrongful death lawyer will contact you to discuss your legal right to recover damages.
If you need urgent help, call us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. The information here provides essential elements of an Illinois wrongful death claim, including who has the right to file wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations, and how long cases take to resolve.
We will walk you through a 'wrongful death' lawsuit and who can sue for a preventable wrongful death. Next, we will discuss some more common Illinois premature death lawsuits and available damages.
Most Common Wrongful Death Suits in Illinois
The wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have experience prosecuting all types of severe personal injury cases and can assist you with your situation.
Car Accident & Motor Vehicle Collisions
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 35,000 people suffer an untimely death in highway accidents every year.
CDC statistics show that teenage drivers are more than three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than drivers over twenty years of age.
The Illinois Department of Transportation records, in Illinois, indicate 1103 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 alone.
These accidents included car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, boating, and drunk driving accidents. Regarding injury deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2018, there were 146,571 such fatalities in the U.S. Of these, 61.6% were due to unintentional injuries, while 28.5% were attributed to intentional injuries (e.g., homicide).
A head-on collision can be one of the most devastating car accidents. The impact of two vehicles colliding at high speeds is often fatal. Motorcycle accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents on the road. They often result in serious injuries or death.
When we go to a doctor or hospital, we expect them to treat us with competence and care. Unfortunately, mistakes made in the medical field account for an estimated 210,000 to 440,000 premature deaths each year, leading to medical malpractice, according to the Journal of Patient Safety.
Illinois law allows the loved ones of a person killed due to medical malpractice to file medical malpractice claims against the professionals where the treatment occurred.
A wrongful death case based on medical malpractice might involve:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Necessary medical treatment not provided
- Surgical error
- Medication error
- Anesthesia mistake
- Defective medical devices
- The use of dangerous drugs
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective product design
Wrongful death cases are never easy. If you've lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence you can file a premature death suit.
Many personal injury cases involve medication deaths resulting from dosage errors, medication interactions, dangerous drugs, and wrong medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than forty-eight percent of Americans have taken some form of prescription medication within the past thirty days.
More than four billion prescriptions are given out each year to patients during visits to the doctor or hospital admission. Unfortunately, most prescription medications at the wrong dosage can be dangerous, including analgesics, antidiabetic drugs, and antihyperlipidemic agents.
A surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent can file a premature death claim, citing a medical mistake as their loved one's cause of death.
In Illinois, there were 407 work-related fatalities in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These accidents might include construction accidents, industrial accidents, trucking accidents, slips, and falls, chemical burns, and exposure to harmful materials.
The most dangerous occupations in the United States, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are as follows:
- Fishers and related fishing workers
- Logging workers
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Structural iron and steelworkers
- Refuse and recyclers
- Electrical linemen
- Cable installers
- Exposure to harmful materials, including asbestos, can also lead to premature death.
Nursing Home Abuse that Leads to Wrongful Death
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), "nursing home residents should receive quality care that meets their needs and respects their rights." Unfortunately, not all nursing homes adhere to these standards, often leading to neglect and abuse.
In egregious cases, severe abuse and neglect can lead to the nursing home resident's death. In some cases, this abuse might be intentional, while in other cases, it might be the result of the negligence of the nursing home staff.
Abusive behavior toward the elderly resident might involve physical assault, verbal abuse, or sexual abuse.
In some cases, nursing home staff might not provide the necessary care and attention to elderly residents, leading to malnutrition, dehydration, lack of supervision, elopement (wandering away), and even death.
Chicago medical malpractice lawyers could help you file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died due to medical malpractice.
Premises Liability and Wrongful Death
All property owners and managers are legally responsible for providing each invitee, vendor, resident, or guest a safe environment when on the premises. Any breach in that duty of care could create a liability issue, especially if someone is injured or killed.
In these cases, illegal activities on the property, such as drug dealing or prostitution, could increase the property owner's liability if someone is injured or killed due to those activities.
If you have lost a loved one after death occurred on another person's property, contact our attorneys to discuss his or her death during a free consultation.
Birth Defects and Wrongful Death
Even with advancements in medical technology, wrongful deaths still occur during and after the labor and delivery of a newborn. Sadly, legal drugs prescribed by the mother's doctor during pregnancy, failure to diagnose a problem with the baby, and mistakes made by the medical staff can all lead to the death of a newborn.
When a child dies due to a birth defect or other preventable cause, the parents might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accidents Leading to Wrongful Death
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2019. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
Most pedestrian accidents resulting in severe fatal injuries affect children and adults in rural and urban areas. Studies show that illegal activities, such as drinking and driving or texting while driving, are the leading causes of pedestrian accidents.
When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they often suffer serious injuries, including:
Most pedestrian fatalities happen almost immediately following a collision. The accident scene is chaotic, and it is often difficult to accurately assess what happened. In some wrongful death cases, it is clear that the driver was at fault. However, it can be more complicated to determine who is at fault in other cases.
If the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care and breached that duty, causing the death of the victim, then the defendant may be held liable in a preventable death claim.
Bicycle Crashes and Wrongful Death
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 783 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2019. This number has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The leading cause of bike accidents is drivers failing to see bicyclists due to many factors, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, or driver fatigue. Bicyclists are also more likely to be injured or killed in a crash if they are not wearing a helmet.
Children and older adults are the most vulnerable to bicycle accidents. Children are more likely to be hit by a car because they are smaller, and the driver may not see them. Older adults are more likely to be injured or killed because their reflexes may not be as quick as younger adults, and they may not have the strength to recover from a crash.
A bike fatality is more likely to occur in a rural area than in an urban area. However, densely populated areas in major metropolitan areas can create dangerous conditions that make it challenging for bikers to remain safe when sharing the road with passenger vehicles and large commercial trucks.
Was your loved one killed in a bicycle accident? If so, hire legal representation. A bicycle crash can be complicated to litigate, and you may be entitled to a wrongful death settlement for your loved one's injuries and death.
Damages Available in Illinois Wrongful Death Act
Our Chicago, IL personal injury lawyers evaluate the details of each wrongful death claim to determine a fair value of the damages sought from the responsible party that caused your loved one's premature death.
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the jury might award damages in a civil lawsuit deemed to be fair compensation for your loved one's death.
For example, the award could include "damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, to the surviving spouse and next of kin of such deceased person." 740 ILCS 180/2.
According to wrongful death statistics, the damages paid to immediate family members might include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of your loved one's medical bills and emergency care for their injuries before their passing
- Funeral expenses, including the cost of providing funeral/burial services
- Pain and suffering, including financial compensation for the deceased's pain and suffering before the loved one's death
- Loss of consortium, which includes the close family members' emotional anguish that accompanies the loss of a valued family member and member of the community during the grieving process
- Lost wages, such as the value of the deceased's financial contribution to the family, including the loss of benefits and income
- Punitive damages are awarded to punish the party responsible for your loved one's passing; if the wrongful act or behavior is considered extraordinarily reckless.
Statute of Limitations Regarding Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. The clock starts ticking on the date of the incident, and if you don't file before the deadline, you lose your right to sue. In Chicago, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years.
Hire Seasoned Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys to Ensure You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Many Chicago IL wrongful death claims are never filed because the family members believe they have a low chance of success. They might also be wary of attorneys who won't place their client's interests first.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has fought on behalf of families from across Illinois to help them seek justice following the loss of a loved one and suffering a loss of companionship.
We offer a free consultation with our Chicago wrongful death legal team and work on a contingency fee basis. This legal agreement ensures you pay us nothing until your Chicago wrongful death attorney resolves your compensation case through a negotiated agreement or jury award.
Contact our personal injury law firm today to speak to a Chicago wrongful death attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through this online intake form to schedule a free consultation. Our Chicago wrongful death lawyers can provide legal and emotional support while we recover compensation for your damages.
When you turn to Rosenfeld wrongful death lawyers, you will get a Chicago wrongful death lawyer with decades of experience helping families take legal action. All discussions with your wrongful death lawyer remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.