A part of your future plans is gone, and you are expected to revise your plans and move on. But moving on is easier said than done, particularly when someone else is at fault for your loved one’s death. It can be difficult to move on without holding that person responsible and achieving a small amount of justice for your relative. A Springfield wrongful death lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is here to help you achieve that.
Filing a wrongful death claim is not always the right decision for a family. However, it may be the right path for you, especially if you are now forced to manage without your loved one’s income or help at home. The loss of a spouse or parent is not only emotionally devastating, but it can also make daily life a struggle. You might worry about making ends meet or how you will take care of your children the way they need. By pursuing compensation, you cannot make up for your loss, but a personal injury lawyer can help ensure you have the financial means to move forward.
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Awesome! Everyone I spoke to at the office was very helpful and my phone calls were returned promptly. I was a pedestrian in a hit and run downtown in August 2018 and within 90 days, Staver Law Group was able…
I can not say enough good things about Staver and specifically, Patrick. Not only did they have great communication but they handled EVERYTHING including the negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield once I received my settlement. They were realistic and…
Staver Law Group did an excellent job with handling my injury case! I sustained minor injuries from an automotive accident. I walked away with about $16,000 after the firm took their share of the $25,000 total settlement. I have no…
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What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal concept and type of legal case that arises when a person’s death is the result of another party’s negligence, gross negligence, intentional conduct, or inaction. Had the person lived following the negligence or other misconduct, that person would have had the right to file a personal injury lawsuit pursue compensation for their injuries. However, because the wrongful conduct led to their death, that person’s survivors may have a legal claim for compensation.
Illinois Wrongful Death Law
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act, which dictates when wrongful death claims arise, who may file these claims, and who may recover compensation, is found at 740 ILCS 180/1.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims
Some of the most common reasons for wrongful deaths include:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Wrecks
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Premises Liability (Dangerous Properties)
- Defective and Dangerous Products
- Medical Malpractice
- Birth Injuries
- Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Whatever type of incident led to your loved one’s death, do not hesitate to speak with a Springfield wrongful death lawyer. You should have an experienced lawyer review your circumstances and advise you on whether there is a valid wrongful death claim. You or another individual may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation for the surviving family members.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, any wrongful death suit in the state must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is an important element of Illinois’ wrongful death law. This lawsuit, while it is for the benefit of certain surviving family members, is not filed by those family members. As a surviving spouse, parent, or child, you cannot file a wrongful death action unless you are named the executor of the estate in the will or assigned the role by the probate court.
If you have any questions regarding who may file the lawsuit, or you are a personal representative and are interested in filing a wrongful death claim, call our Springfield wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible.
Who May Receive Compensation From a Wrongful death Claim?
One of the most common questions we receive regarding wrongful death claims is about who may receive compensation. In most cases, wrongful death lawsuit settlements and court rulings are divided among the surviving spouse and children. If your loved one did not leave behind a surviving spouse or children, then surviving parents, siblings, or grandchildren may be considered next of kin.
If you are unsure of who may receive compensation during a wrongful death claim, do not hesitate to contact a wrongful death lawyer in Springfield, IL for help. Our attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are here to answer your questions and guide you through this difficult process.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive in a Wrongful Death Case?
When the court determines the wrongful death compensation after a trial, it is divided among the surviving family members based on each person’s dependency on the deceased individual. However, many wrongful death claims are resolved through insurance settlements, in which case, you and the other parties can negotiate how the compensation will be divided among the beneficiaries.
To discuss how wrongful death compensation is divided among the next of kin, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to speak with a Springfield wrongful death lawyer.
Possible Wrongful Death Damages
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states you can receive compensation for the pecuniary injuries resulting from your loved one’s death and for your and other survivors’ grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.
The pecuniary damages include your family’s expenses, such as funeral costs, burial or cremation costs, and medical bills arising from the time between the accident and your loved one’s death. They also include your financial losses, like the loss of your spouse or parent’s income.
Additionally, a surviving spouse can bring a claim for loss of consortium, which is a legal concept encompassing the many aspects of the marital relationship, including companionship and a sexual relationship.
To ensure you understand the possible damages in a wrongful death case and the potential value of your claim, call our Springfield death lawyers right away.
Illinois Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Like all civil claims, there is a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit known as the statute of limitations. Wrongful death cases filed after this deadline can and will be dismissed.
Under Illinois law, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois. The date the clock begins to run is the date of your loved one’s death, which may be later than the date of the incident that leads to their death. For example, your loved one may be in a catastrophic car crash yet remain in a coma for several months before passing away. You would begin the two-year count down on the date of their death.
However, there are rare situations in which you may have longer than two years to file. One exception is if a minor under the age of 18 years is killed. The surviving parents have two years after what would have been their child’s 18th birthday to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
To discuss the statute of limitations and how long you have to file a wrongful death claim, call our Springfield death attorneys right away. The sooner you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, the sooner you can file a claim.
A Survival Claim Differs From a Wrongful Death Claim
In Illinois, a wrongful death claim is based on the injuries suffered by the surviving family members. This is different from the claim the deceased individual would have had, had they lived. The legal claim the decedent had typically dies with them. However, under the Survival Act of Illinois, there are times when a lawsuit survives a person’s death.
The Survival Act states that actions to recover damages for an injury to the person, except for slander and libel survive. This means a personal injury claim may survive a person’s death if the individual did not die immediately following an accident. The days, weeks, or months between the date of the incident and the date of the person’s death give rise to a personal injury lawsuit, which the surviving family can pursue after the injured individual’s death.
Through a surviving personal injury lawsuit, you can seek the compensation your loved one would have fought for had they lived. You can fight for your relative’s estate to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
To learn more about the differences between a survival action and wrongful death claim, and whether you and your family can bring one or both, call a Springfield wrongful death lawyer.
Contact Our Springfield Wrongful Death Law Firm
When you lose a relative unexpectedly, it is natural to want answers. You want to know why they passed away and who is responsible. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we want to get those answers for you. We are here to look into unexpected and suspicious deaths in order to determine if you have a legal claim. When another person or business is liable for your loved one’s injuries and death, we can guide you through the process of pursuing compensation in a wrongful death case.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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