Claiming Compensation When a Loved Dies due to Negligence

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For most people, the most difficult thing they will have to deal with at some point in their lives is the loss of a loved one. The most tragic deaths are those that occur to people before their time or at the fault of another person. In some of these cases, Illinois gives family members the right to file a wrongful death claim, which can help recover some of the expenses associated with an unplanned death and the loss of the deceased from their lives. Though no lawsuit can bring back a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit may be able to help lessen the financial burden that the family may be facing.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a person commits a negligent or intentional act that causes another person to die, this is called a wrongful death accident. A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim that the deceased’s representative or family member files in order to recover money from the person who caused the accident. Typically, wrongful death lawsuits award damages to the deceased’s family that the deceased would have been able to recover in a personal injury case if he or she was alive.

Filing the Lawsuit

Illinois law states that a "personal representative" of the victim is the one who can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative can be a spouse or child of the deceased. In the absence of a spouse or children, a parent or sibling of the deceased may be eligible to file the claim. As with any legal action, there is a deadline by which action must be taken, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Illinois for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the death, or five years if the death was caused by violent and intentional conduct.

Recoverable Damages

There are many different types of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit. Most of the time, damages that are awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit are monetary damages, though non-monetary damages can also be claimed in some cases. Damages that you may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses prior to death;
  • Funeral, cremation or burial expenses;
  • Loss of financial support;
  • Loss of companionship, parental guidance, care or protection;
  • Loss of benefits, such as insurance from the deceased; and
  • Pain, anguish or mental suffering by the survivor.

A Will County Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You and Your Family Move on

The untimely death of a loved one can send ripples through your family, especially if your loved one died because of the negligence or carelessness of another. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit so that you can claim compensation in your loved one’s name. Our skilled Joliet, IL, wrongful death lawyer has more than 18 years of experience helping families obtain favorable verdicts and settlements for their loved one’s deaths. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.


Illinois Compiled Statutes

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