The untimely death of a loved one can be overwhelming for you and your entire family. Matters become even more devastating if someone else’s negligence caused their passing. Although nothing can make up for a death, pursuing financial compensation for your loss could provide closure. If the deceased was the household’s primary provider, filing a wrongful death claim could also offer you the financial security your loved one would have wanted for you.
If a family member has died in an accident that was not their fault, contact a Des Plaines wrongful death lawyer. A local personal injury attorney at The Kryder Law Group could help your family pursue justice on behalf of the deceased.
Fatal Accidents Could Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
When someone dies in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the deceased person’s family could file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible. “Negligence” is defined as the failure to take reasonable precautions to protect others from injury.
Most accidents occur because of another party’s negligence. A family bringing a wrongful death lawsuit must prove that their loved one’s death was directly tied to another party’s careless acts or omission. There are various kinds of fatal incidents that could spur a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
Sometimes, it may be the case that the deceased person’s actions played a role in the fatal accident. If the person who died was primarily responsible for the accident that led to their death, a lawsuit might not be possible. A Des Plaines wrongful death attorney could review the circumstances of a loved one’s premature death to determine whether there is evidence that another person’s negligence caused the accident.
Time Limits on Wrongful Death Actions
Because several circumstances could lead to a fatal accident, different rules could govern a family’s time to file a lawsuit. Speaking with a Des Plaines attorney promptly after a loved one’s wrongful death could ensure that you do not miss important deadlines within the case.
In general, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death. However, if the state or a local government could be held liable, the case must be filed within one year. The government might be responsible if a public employee was involved in the incident, if it happened on public property, or in other similar circumstances. A legal professional could analyze a case to determine whether these time limits apply.
If a loved one’s death resulted from medical malpractice, the family has two years from the date they discovered that medical error that caused the death. However, a lawsuit may not be viable if more than four years have passed since the medical error. If the surviving family member of the deceased was a minor when the death occurred, the survivor could file a wrongful death claim up to two years after their 18th birthday.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
The state’s Wrongful Death Act, 740 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §180, allows designated family members to sue for damages caused by their loved one’s death. The decedent’s potential financial contributions to the household (in the event that they had they lived) could be a part of the family’s damages. Other damages include compensation for losing love and companionship, emotional guidance and support, and funeral expenses.
If the deceased did not die instantly, the family could pursue damages in a survival action. In a survival action, the estate’s representative could bring the lawsuit that the decedent might have been eligible to pursue if they had survived. The estate could collect damages for the decedent’s medical expenses, the wages they did not earn between the accident date and their death, and compensation for their pain and suffering.
Although wrongful death and survival actions are two different lawsuits, they are usually tried together because they involve the same parties. Damages from the wrongful death lawsuit intend to compensate the family’s losses and go directly to the family. Damages from the survival action go to the deceased’s estate and could be used to pay the decedent’s debts. The money left over is distributed to the decedent’s heirs. An accidental death attorney in Des Plaines understands the nuances of these suits and could help properly file these pleadings.
Lean on a Des Plaines Wrongful Death Attorney After a Loved One’s Death
Dealing with a family member’s accidental passing may be one of the most challenging things you ever have to face. The last thing on your mind during such a difficult time may be pursuing legal action. While a lawsuit cannot reduce your suffering, it could provide justice for your loved one and relieve financial stress.
If your loved one prematurely died because of someone else’s negligence, a Des Plaines wrongful death lawyer could help you understand your legal options. Schedule a consultation with The Kryder Law Group as soon as possible.