Under Illinois law, a wrongful death is one that is caused by wrongful act of another. Furthermore, the act must be of the type that would have entitled the injured party to damages if he or she had survived. Essentially, a wrongful death lawsuit is a personal injury claim brought on behalf of a deceased party. There are, however, specific rules regarding who is permitted to file this type of claim, so if you recently lost a loved one in an accident and another party was at fault, it is critical to speak with an experienced Wheeling wrongful death attorney who can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and on time.
In Illinois, a wrongful death suit can only be filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate, which in most cases, is one of the following individuals:
Any damages recovered in a wrongful death legal action will be distributed to the deceased’s surviving spouse and next of kin based on the percentage of financial and emotional dependency that each family member had on the deceased. Generally, compensation is paid first to a decedent’s surviving spouse and children. However, if the decedent did not leave behind a spouse or child, his or her parents and siblings would be eligible to collect compensation.
Illinois law gives juries the discretion to award whatever damages they deem fair and just in wrongful death cases. This includes compensation for all losses resulting from the decedent’s untimely death, including damages for:
Although collecting damages can never compensate a family for the tragic loss of a loved one, it can go a long way towards helping grieving families pay off debts and household expenses while they cope with their loss.
Illinois wrongful death claims needs to be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. Claimants who miss this deadline will most likely have their case dismissed by the court regardless of its merits. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, a claimant has five years from the date of a victim’s death to file a wrongful death suit if the death was the result of the violent and intentional conduct of a third party.
To ensure that you obtain justice for a loved one who lost his or her life as a result of someone else’s actions, please contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925. We are standing by and eager to help your family throughout each step of your case.