Wrongful Death Lawyer
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.
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 an accident or due to medical malpractice in Illinois, it is time to consider contacting a personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC.
To help you, we have created this online intake form for a free case review from an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Call our wrongful death legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form for legal advice or file a wrongful death claim.
If you need urgent help, call our law offices at (888) 424-5757. We have also created this page to help guide you through some essential elements of an Illinois wrongful death claim.
First, we will walk through a "wrongful death" suit and who can sue for wrongful death. Next, we will discuss some more common Illinois wrongful death lawsuits and available damages.
Then we will wrap up with some of the most frequently asked questions about Illinois wrongful death cases. We endeavor to hold responsible parties accountable for your loved one's death. Therefore, you will not have to deal with fees unless you receive compensation.
When you turn to Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, you will get a wrongful death lawyer with decades of experience helping families through legal representation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Typically, the immediate surviving family can file a preventable wrongful death claim against any individual or entity responsible for the underlying accident they claimed their loved one's life.
Typically, these wrongful death 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 wrongful 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.
Calculating a Wrongful Death Lawsuit's Worth
Every wrongful death case is unique, as is the negotiated settlement or jury trial award. A wrongful death claim could be valued at $1000 or less or at tens of millions of dollars or more based on the circumstances in which they claimed the decedent's life.
Additionally, the court system and jurors will respond differently to the circumstances around wrongful death cases.
For example, some wrongful death cases involve malpractice, construction accidents, or semi-truck collisions that might be worth millions of dollars to the survivors of wrongful death victims.
The Steps in a Wrongful Death Suit
The surviving next of kin has the right to 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
- 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
These wrongful 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 settlement or court-mandated jury award.
Typically, the defendants' insurance carrier will compensate the wrongful death victims (plaintiffs).
The plaintiff's 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 injury case that identifies the financial support needed to move forward without them.
A wrongful death lawyer can represent clients filing a civil suit against others responsible for murder, manslaughter, medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, nursing home abuse, or other negligent actions.
When an accident or medical negligence causes the death of a loved one, it is time to consider contacting a Chicago personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Contact an experienced attorney for a free consultation.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim
To help you, we have created this online intake form for a free case evaluation. A seasoned wrongful death lawyer will contact you to discuss your legal right to file for monetary damages.
If you need urgent help, call us at (888) 424-5757. 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 through a 'wrongful death' lawsuit and who can sue for a preventable wrongful death. Next, we will discuss some more common Illinois wrongful death lawsuits and available damages.
Most Common Wrongful Death Suits in Illinois
Illinois' most common wrongful death suits involve car accidents, medical malpractice, medication errors, defective products, and work accidents.
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.
According to the CDC, teenage drivers are more than three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over twenty years of age.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in Illinois, 1103 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 alone.
These accidents included car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, boating, and drunk driving accidents.
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
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.
Surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents can file a wrongful 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 and
- Cable installers
- Exposure to harmful materials, including asbestos, can also lead to wrongful death.
If you have lost a loved one in a preventable workplace accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
Nursing Home Abuse that Leads to Wrongful Death
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), "nursing home residents are supposed to 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.
If you believe that your loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you likely can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. Typically, a wrongful death case must be submitted within two years from when the abuse, neglect, or mistreatment occurred.
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.
Failing to maintain the property could lead to slips and falls, drowning, falling down stairwells, and other hazards.
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident that occurred on another person's property, contact our attorneys to discuss your personal injury or wrongful death case during a free consultation.
Birth Defects and Wrongful Death
Even with advancements in medical technology, preventable 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. When a child dies due to a birth defect or other preventable cause, the parents might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some of the most common problems that can lead to the death of a newborn or stillbirth include:
- Preterm delivery
- Low birth weight
- Complications from pregnancy, such as preeclampsia
- Birth defects
- Infections, such as sepsis
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Accidents during the delivery process
- Inexperienced or negligent obstetricians and midwives
- Failure to diagnose a problem with the baby
- Failure to monitor the child before delivery
The death of a loved one is always a difficult time. If you believe that their death was due to the negligence of another, you have the right to file for compensation for your damages.
Do you believe that your child's death was due to medical negligence? If so, please contact our wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation. We can help you determine if you have a case and what legal options might be available.
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 injuries and death affect both children and adults in rural and urban areas. Studies show that legal 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:
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
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 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.
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, get legal representation. A bicycle crash can be complicated to litigate, and you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one's injuries and death.
Damages Available in Illinois Wrongful Death Act
Our Chicago 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 wrongful death.
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the jury might award damages in a 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; suppose the negligent act or behavior is considered extraordinarily reckless.
In a wrongful death case, punitive damages might be applied to provide your family with justice while making an example of the negligent party to discourage similar behavior in the future.
In Illinois, the surviving decedent's spouse and kin who lost their beloved family member could receive damages depending on their dependency, closeness, and relationship with the deceased, based on what the defendant owed for damages.
The funds far exceed the cost of professional medical care and funeral expenses.
When an Insurance Company Denies a Wrongful Death Claim
An insurance company might deny a wrongful death claim for many reasons, including not believing that the deceased's death was due to negligence on the part of the party responsible.
The insurer might also argue that the damages claimed by the family in their wrongful death case are not proportional to the harm caused by the death. In some cases, the death of a loved one can also result from an illegal act, such as drunk drivers who cause car accidents.
If the death was due to someone else's criminal behavior, the family might file a wrongful death lawsuit and file a criminal complaint.
In this type of case, the family can seek legal actions, such as drunk driving, which can also lead to criminal charges for the party responsible. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, contact our wrongful death attorneys to discuss your case during a free consultation.
If you have lost a loved one and believe that their death was due to negligence on the part of another, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Drug Recalls and Wrongful Death
Prescribed FDA-approved drugs kill people through interactions with other medications, overdoses, or adverse side effects. Drug interactions can cause the body to react in unforeseen and dangerous ways.
For example, a drug might be safe when taken alone but could cause serious problems if taken with other medication.
Pharmaceutical companies often fail to make safe drugs because of the intense pressure to get new medications approved and on the market. In addition, drug manufacturers may not have adequate systems to track potential problems with their products after they are released.
As a result, people can die from taking medications that should have been safe.
The following are some of the most common drugs that have been recalled due to their potential to cause serious injury or death:
Pharmacists dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can also lead to wrongful death. If a patient is given the wrong medication, it could have serious consequences, such as an overdose. If a patient is given the wrong dosage, it could lead to serious health complications or death.
Illinois Wrongful Death Law FAQs
Our accident injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions dealing with insurance carriers handling their wrongful death cases. Below you will find some questions after a person dies due to an individual or company's negligence.
If you have any additional questions, please contact our law firm for more information, and you can consult with a top wrongful death lawyer in Chicago, IL.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Civil Suit in Illinois?
In Illinois, generally, only family members and heirs of the deceased person have the right to file a personal injury claim, citing a preventable death from a fatal accident or illness. Qualifying plaintiffs could involve the decedent's estate, spouse, children, or a court-appointed personal representative.
However, just because an individual has the standing to initiate a wrongful death case does not mean that they will receive the proceeds under Illinois law. A judge must determine each family member's amount when distributing the lawsuit proceeds.
What are the Four Elements of Every Successful Wrongful Death Case?
The decedent's estate and survivors are entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit when another's negligence or intentional actions caused the preventable death.
However, proving a case is not always easy. The law requires showing what happened, the correlation between the person or entity that caused the death, and how the plaintiff's damages occurred because of the death.
Four elements are necessary for every successful wrongful death case. These elements must include:
- The victim's family must be able to establish that the defendant was negligent,
- The negligence led to the victim's death,
- The victim had members of their immediate family
- The family suffered damages that could be proved in court.
If any of these elements are missing, the case will likely be unsuccessful. These four elements are also the basis of a compensation claim where the defendant's insurer weighs the evidence to identify the extent of its responsibility to pay the injured party and close the case.
How Long Do I Have to File an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Illinois, you generally must take legal action through a lawsuit within two years to recover compensation from the wrongful death, depending on the type of case. If wrongful death claims are not filed within this time, the case will be barred.
There are certain exceptions, but this general rule holds most wrongful deaths and fatal injuries from medical malpractice, personal injuries, or other misconduct.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Cook County to Represent Me?
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay no fee unless we obtain a financial recovery that you approve.
The amount of our fee will depend on several factors, including the amount of time the lawsuit requires for research, negotiation, court litigation, and the final amount of damages recovered. If we do not win a financial recovery for you, we do not get paid for our services.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Illinois?
Survivors who lost a loved one through a preventable death must file a wrongful death lawsuit before the state statute of limitations expires. Failing to file documents can forfeit the family's right to compensation, so it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years. This restriction means that you must file a lawsuit within this time frame to recover any compensation. There are certain exceptions, but this is the general rule. If you do not file within this time, you will likely not be able to recover anything.
How Long Does It Take To Resolve a Civil Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
It typically takes two years to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois. However, there are some exceptions.
For example, if the wrongful death claim is based on medical malpractice, you generally have two years from the injury to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will likely be barred from bringing a case against those responsible for the death.
We recommend speaking with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure all necessary documents are filed promptly before the statutes of limitations expire.
Complete the contact form, and one of our Chicago wrongful death attorneys will contact you shortly.
Hire Seasoned Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys to Ensure You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Many Chicago wrongful death claims are never filed because the family survivors 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 suffering a loss of companionship.
We offer a free consultation with our Chicago wrongful death law firm and work on a contingency fee basis. This legal agreement ensures you pay us nothing until your accident injury lawyer resolves your compensation case through a negotiated agreement or jury award.
Contact our personal injury law firm today to speak to a wrongful death lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers can provide legal and emotional support while we seek compensation for your damages.
All discussions with your wrongful death lawyer remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Our legal team follows social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).