Can I Recover Compensation After a Fatal Illinois Car Accident?

Posted in: Car Accidents

Experiencing the loss of a loved one due to a fatal car accident is not only emotionally devastating but also often comes with significant financial burdens.

Beyond the initial shock and grief, families must cope with funeral expenses, medical bills, and the sudden loss of future earnings.

At Staver Accident Lawyers, P.C., our team of dedicated Illinois car accident lawyers is here to help you navigate this challenging time by assisting you in recovering the compensation you deserve. No amount of money can bring back your loved one, but a wrongful death claim can help ease the burden on your family.

Establishing Liability in Fatal Car Accidents

Pursuing a wrongful death claim after a fatal car accident can be complicated. These basic points can guide your Illinois claim.

Determining Fault

To pursue compensation for death in a car accident, identifying who is at fault is crucial. This can include another driver, a vehicle manufacturer, or a mechanic if vehicle malfunction played a role.

Our attorneys meticulously analyze accident reports, witness statements, and other critical evidence to establish liability.

In cases with complex scenarios, such as when witness accounts conflict at an intersection crash, we utilize the expertise of accident reconstruction experts to build a clear, compelling case that accurately depicts the events leading to the accident.

Legal Standing to Sue

Not everyone can initiate a wrongful death claim. You must typically be a close relative such as a spouse, child, or the designated executor of the deceased’s estate to have standing. Our attorneys are adept at navigating these legal waters and can clarify your eligibility, ensuring your claim is filed correctly and efficiently.

Types of Compensation Available in Fatal Car Accidents

Economic and Non-economic compensation in fatal accident claims can cover various damages:

  • Immediate medical costs incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial expenses, which can be considerable
  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have earned in the future
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance, which addresses the emotional impact on the family

Punitive Damages

In incidents where the accident was the result of egregious negligence—such as driving under the influence or reckless driving—punitive damages may be pursued. These are awarded not just to compensate the family but to punish the offender and deter such behavior in the future.

Impact of Comparative Fault

Under Illinois’ comparative fault rules, you can still recover damages even if your loved one was partly responsible for the accident.

However, the compensation awarded may be proportionately reduced based on their level of fault.

Understanding factors that influence the average payout for car accident death can help set realistic expectations, though each case’s specifics heavily influence the final settlement.

The Complexity of Fatal Car Accident Claims

Proving both liability and damages in fatal car accident cases requires a sophisticated approach, especially since the deceased cannot testify about the events.

Our legal team has extensive experience in handling these complex cases, using every resource available to ensure comprehensive coverage of all aspects.

Fatal Car Accident FAQs

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois?

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of the person’s death. However, this period may vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case, such as the discovery of the cause of death. It is crucial to consult with an attorney to ensure your claim is filed within these legal timeframes.

Are there limits to the amount of compensation that can be awarded in wrongful death cases in Illinois?

Illinois does not impose a cap on economic damages in wrongful death cases, such as lost wages and medical expenses. However, some non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, may have limits depending on the specifics of the case. Punitive damages are also rare and only awarded in cases of egregious misconduct.

How are future earnings calculated in a wrongful death claim?

Future earnings are calculated by estimating what the deceased would likely have earned had they lived, taking into account factors like their age, career, education, and past earnings. Economic experts often use these factors to project earnings over a lifetime, adjusting for inflation and potential career advancements.

Can siblings file a wrongful death claim if there are no surviving parents or spouses?

Yes, siblings can file a wrongful death claim if there are no surviving parents or spouses. Illinois law allows siblings to seek compensation when they are directly affected by the loss, especially if they were financially dependent on the deceased or have suffered significant emotional loss.

How Staver Accident Lawyers, P.C. Can Assist You

With a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of Illinois car accident law, our firm is well-equipped to handle even the most complicated fatal car accident claims.

We are committed to gathering robust evidence, negotiating assertively with insurance companies, and, if necessary, fighting for your rights in court to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation.

Consult a Wrongful Death Illinois Car Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim or the types of compensation you might be entitled to after a fatal car accident in Illinois, we encourage you to contact us.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and determine how best to support you during this difficult time.

For more information or to schedule your no-cost consultation today, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (217) 528-9955 or use our online contact form.. We are here to help you find justice and peace after such a tragic loss.