Wrongful Death in Illinois?
An Illinois wrongful death action is a claim that is brought on behalf of a deceased person to allow the decedent's surviving family members to recover financial compensation for their own losses resulting from the death and its effect on them. Pursuant to 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180,
"Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages, the person or entity that caused the death can be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit."
In order to establish a wrongful death claim in Illinois, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The at-fault party owed a legal duty of care to the decedent
- There was a breach in the legal duty of care
- A death occurred
- The person died due to the defendant's negligent or wrongful actions
- The surviving loved ones suffered actual damages due to the death
Who is Eligible to File
A Wrongful Death Claim?
In Illinois, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the "personal representative" of the deceased person. This personal representative can be the decedent’s:
- Adult child
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations often varies depending on the identity of the plaintiff, the defendant, and the type of lawsuit that is being brought. According to 735 ILCS 5/13-209, a wrongful death action must be filed within one year of the date of the decedent's death.
In an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, damages are paid "for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin of the deceased person." The following damages may be recovered through a wrongful death action:
- Direct economic losses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Damages for loss of care, support, companionship, and affection
- Damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering of the next of kin
Work with an Experienced Attorney
The death of a loved one is often devastating and can affect your physical, financial, and emotional well-being. Thankfully, you don't have to go through the grief and challenges all alone. Retaining experienced Illinois wrongful death attorneys is paramount to help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve after your loss.
At Marker & Crannell, our attorneys have devoted their careers to handling a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury and wrongful death cases. As your legal counsel, we will review every last detail of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, gather necessary documentation, and work to establish that the defendant's wrongful actions caused the death.
What's more, our attorneys can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, support, and assistance you need during this critical time. We will fight vigorously on your behalf to protect your rights, hold the responsible party accountable, and help you recover fair financial compensation for your loss. Having us on your side can make a big difference in your wrongful death lawsuit.
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