Every state has its own set of wrongful death laws and Illinois is no exception. According to state law, the personal representative, or relative of a person who lost his or her life as a result of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct can collect damages from the at-fault party by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Unfortunately, these types of cases are not only emotionally draining for the deceased’s relatives, but are also quite complex, as claimants are required to comply with a series of strict procedural rules. To ensure that your case is not dismissed for a failure to file on time or as a result of another legal error, you should retain a wrongful death attorney who serves Hoffman Estates and who has the experience and resources necessary to obtain justice for your loved one.
Illinois law defines a wrongful death as one that is the result of one of the following:
As long as the act would have entitled the decedent to file a personal injury claim if he or she had survived, the deceased’s loved ones will be permitted to step in and file on his or her behalf. Although most wrongful death suits involve allegations of negligence directed against individuals, the same rules apply to corporations, so any entity that caused a person to lose his or her life can be held liable for damages. Potential damages include compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses related to the decedent’s final injury or illness, loss of future income, and funeral costs, as well as compensation for non-economic losses, such as mental anguish, grief, and sorrow.
Only certain individuals are permitted to file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of someone else, as Illinois law limits those who are able to act as a decedent’s personal representative. In most cases, this means that the decedent’s surviving spouse or children will file the claim. However, if a decedent is not survived by a spouse or a child, his or her siblings or parents are permitted to file. In the event that a decedent has no next of kin, the court can step in and appoint a representative to collect compensation on behalf of the estate.
Even if a decedent’s relative is eligible to file a claim on his or her behalf, the case will be dismissed if the claimant does not file within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. The only exception to this rule applies when a decedent died as a result of violent intentional conduct. In these situations, claimants have an additional three years to file a claim.
If your loved one passed away in an accident that was not his or her fault, please call 847-255-9925 to speak with one of the dedicated and experienced wrongful death attorney at SAM LAW OFFICE LLC. Initial consultations are free, so don’t hesitate to call for help with your own claim.