At the law firm of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers we understand the pain and confusion that follows the sudden loss of a loved one. Our dedicated team of wrongful death lawyers in Orland Park is here to provide the compassionate legal counsel you deserve during this trying time. We are committed to representing the families of victims who have tragically lost their lives due to another party’s negligence. Let us shoulder the legal burdens so that you can focus on mourning the death of a loved one.
In this Article
What Is a Wrongful Death in Illinois?
A wrongful death in Illinois is one that occurs due to another person’s negligence, misconduct, or wrongful act. As defined under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act, if a person’s death is caused by wrongful action and if the deceased person would have been entitled to bring an action for damages such as a personal injury lawsuit if they had not died, the person or entity responsible can be held liable in a wrongful death claim.
What Is NOT Wrongful Death?
Not all deaths resulting from accidents or incidents qualify as wrongful death. Here are a few examples of situations that are not considered wrongful death:
Natural Causes: If a person dies of natural causes, such as heart disease or old age, this is not wrongful death.
Self-inflicted Harm: Deaths resulting from an individual’s intentional self-harm or suicide are not considered wrongful deaths.
Consensual Risk: If a person willingly participates in a high-risk activity and dies as a result, it may not be considered wrongful death.
Unproven Negligence: If a person dies in an accident but it cannot be proven that another party was negligent, it is not wrongful death.
Act of God: Deaths resulting from uncontrollable natural forces, such as earthquakes or floods, are not classified as wrongful death.
Common Types of Accidents that Cause Wrongful Death in Orland Park
In Orland Park, the most frequent accidents that lead to wrongful death claims often involve:
Motor vehicle accidents, including truck, motorcycle, or car accident. These often result from reckless driving, drunk driving, or failure to adhere to traffic laws.
Workplace accidents, particularly in construction and heavy industries, other common causes.
Medical malpractice claims, arising from surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and incorrect medications, also frequently result in wrongful death suits.
Slip and fall accidents due to unsafe premises or other types of negligence may result in wrongful death cases.
What Type of Wrongful Death Claim is the Most Difficult to Prove?
According to the Illinois State Bar Association, medical malpractice wrongful death claims are often the most difficult to prove under Illinois law.
How Must a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove a Wrongful Death Case is Valid?
In a valid wrongful death claim, a personal injury lawyer must prove four key elements. First, a death occurred, second, the death was caused by another’s negligence or intent to cause harm. Third, surviving family members are suffering financial hardship as a result of the death, and finally, a personal representative for the decedent’s estate has been appointed.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Wrongful Death?
In Illinois, the responsible party may be various entities. They range from individuals, such as a reckless driver or negligent medical professional, to organizations and institutions.
For instance, a construction company may face a wrongful death claim if they failed to adhere to safety measures, leading to fatal injuries. Hospitals can also be held accountable for deaths caused by medical malpractice or negligent actions by medical staff. Even government bodies may be liable for wrongful death if a death occurs due to poorly maintained public infrastructure.
Types of Financial Compensation for Wrongful Death Cases
In the state of Illinois, compensation for wrongful death cases can be quite varied, depending largely on the specific circumstances of the case. Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the next of kin of the deceased person may be eligible to recover financial compensation for a range of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages in a wrongful death personal injury claim can include medical bills for medical treatment incurred prior to death, funeral expenses and burial costs, burial expenses and the lost income of future earnings and benefits.
Additionally, non-economic damages may recover compensation for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering experienced by a surviving spouse and certain other surviving family members.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Illinois, a wrongful death action can be filed by a personal representative, usually a close family member, of the deceased’s estate. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/), “Every such wrongful death action shall be brought by and in the names of the personal representatives of such deceased person.” This typically includes spouses, parents, and children, but may extend to siblings or other relatives.
Who Is Not Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Those who are not closely related to the deceased, or cannot demonstrate a substantial financial dependence, are generally not eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This may include distant relatives, friends, or acquaintances of the deceased. Furthermore, if an appointed personal representative already exists, other parties cannot independently file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Is My Case Worth?
Determining the worth of filing a wrongful death case involves several factors, including:
Nature of Negligence: The value of a claim can significantly depend on the type and severity of negligence involved.
Economic Damages: These include quantifiable financial burdens placed on the family as a result of the death. They typically encompass medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of the deceased’s income and benefits.
Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible losses suffered by the family of the loved one, such as grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.
Relationship to the Deceased: The familial relationship to the deceased can also impact the worth of a claim. For example, a surviving spouse and children are often eligible for higher compensation due to the significant financial and emotional impact of their loss.
Contact a Orland Park Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a wrongful death attorney at the law offices of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers. In a free consultation, one of our personal injury attorneys will discuss the details of your case, answer your questions, and explore your next steps.
The best part? We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case. Contact us today, because there’s no risk in seeking justice for your loved one.