Losing a loved one is perhaps the most emotionally painful experience that a family can go through. However, these situations are often made even more devastating when the loved one lost his or her life as a result of another person’s carelessness. In these cases, many families find themselves struggling with substantial medical debt and may have trouble covering household expenses, especially if the deceased was the family’s sole source of income. No family should have to worry about these burdens after losing a beloved family member to someone else’s reckless or negligent conduct, so if your loved one was involved in an accident that took his or her life, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced Mount Prospect wrongful death attorney who can help you file a claim against the at-fault party.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in any situation where someone loses his or her life in an accident caused by a third party’s recklessness or negligence. In most cases, these situations arise as a result of the following:
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed against an individual. For example, if someone was driving while intoxicated and caused an accident in which another person passed away, the deceased’s loved ones could file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. However, claimants are also permitted to file claims against corporations and even the government.
Under Illinois law, the surviving spouse and children of a decedent who passed away as a result of injuries sustained in an accident stemming from someone else’s negligence or wrongful act have the right to file a wrongful death claim on the deceased’s behalf. In the event that the decedent does not have a surviving spouse or child, his or her parents and siblings are permitted to file the lawsuit. These individuals will receive damages based on how much each party financially and emotionally relied on the decedent.
It is not uncommon in these situations for two legal actions to arise from the same accident. In the above example, for instance, the drunk driver who caused the crash would most likely also be charged with a criminal offense, such as vehicular manslaughter. These types of charges are brought by the government and are considered entirely separate from any civil trials arising from the same incident. This means that the family members of the deceased could still file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver, even if he or she has been charged with a criminal offense as well. Furthermore, just because a defendant is found not guilty in criminal court does not mean that he or she will automatically escape liability in civil court. This is due to the fact that civil and criminal trials require a very different standard of proof.
If you lost a loved one in an accident resulting from a third party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct, please do not hesitate to contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 to speak with a dedicated and compassionate wrongful death attorney about your own legal options. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge.