If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity, you could be feeling sadness, shock, and most of all, anger. These are all perfectly normal reactions, and part of the grieving process. One thing that may help bring you peace and closure is to force accountability on the negligent party through a wrongful death lawsuit.
To learn more about your rights for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois or more about the wrongful death claim process in general, reach out to a Rolling Meadows wrongful death attorney at SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, to discuss your options today.
A wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois can be brought by an aggrieved family member or friend, an estate administrator, or an unrelated third party. The basis of a wrongful death suit is that the deceased died prematurely and at the hands of a negligent person.
Unlike in several other states, several different individuals or even entities have the right to pursue a wrongful death suit against a negligent party. Those individuals include:
According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, a relative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. “Next of kin” refers to the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and adopted children. If there is no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents or adoptive parents may be considered next of kin. In the absence of a spouse, children, and parents, other relatives may be considered next of kin. That said, the settlement award is distributed based on the percentage of financial and emotional dependency a family member had on the deceased individual.
If a deceased person does not have any surviving heirs, a wrongful death suit can still be brought on his or her behalf by the person’s estate administrator, a lawyer, or, as was the case with William Brinkman, a financial institution. If the case is successful, proceeds go not to the person or entity who brought the suit but to the following:
Damages in a wrongful death claim differ slightly from those in a typical personal injury claim, namely because the injured party is not around to live with the consequences of the negligent party’s actions. Whereas a typical personal injury claim might yield compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, a wrongful death claim may yield compensation for loss of support, services, and prospective inheritance. It may also yield punitive damages as a way to punish the wrongful party.
If you are the surviving heir of a deceased individual or an interested party and you believe that the death was caused by negligence, call the Rolling Meadows wrongful death attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, to discuss your legal options. Keep in mind that under Illinois law you only have two years from the date of the person’s death to file, so please do not hesitate to contact our office today.