If one of your family members died in an accident, you know nothing can dull the pain of premature loss. A Rosemont wrongful death lawyer understands that, too.
However, if another party’s wrongful act caused your loved one’s death, the law offers you a way to hold them accountable. You could work with a compassionate injury attorney and file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
If the action is successful, the responsible party must pay monetary damages for their role in your loved one’s death. Money is little comfort when you are grieving, but it could offer you a more secure future and resources to support you as you move forward after your loved one’s death.
An individual’s family members could bring a wrongful death action whenever someone dies in an incident that was another party’s fault. If there is evidence that the death could have been prevented if someone had acted differently, there could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Various incidents could form the basis of a wrongful death action in Rosemont. These include:
Any incident that involves another person’s negligence or misconduct and results in someone’s death could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Prosecutors sometimes charge the person responsible for another person’s death with a crime, but the criminal proceeding is separate from the civil lawsuit for wrongful death. A diligent attorney from The Kryder Law Group could pursue a successful wrongful death lawsuit in Rosemont even when no one faces prosecution for the incident. The standard for holding someone liable for a death is lower in civil court than in criminal court, so a family has a chance of holding a wrongdoer accountable even if a criminal prosecution failed.
When a person dies, a probate court appoints someone to collect their property, pay their debts, and distribute their remaining property to their heirs. If the person who died—the decedent—left a will, the will names the person who will fulfill this role. If the decedent had no will, the court appoints a family member or someone else to handle these duties. That person is the estate’s personal representative.
The personal representative is responsible for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in Rosemont. However, the decedent’s spouse and other close family members benefit from the lawsuit, meaning they receive the money. The personal representative does not benefit from the lawsuit unless they are also a close family member of the decedent.
If the decedent died because of negligence, a proactive Rosemont lawyer must file a wrongful death action within two years of the death. If the cause of death was related to medical negligence, they could file suit up to two years after discovering malpractice led to the death, but they must file within four years of the malpractice.
The proceeds from a wrongful death action go to the decedent’s next of kin. Usually, the term “next of kin” means a decedent’s surviving spouse and children. However, if other family members were financially dependent on a decedent, they could be next of kin in some cases. Siblings, parents, grandparents, and others could be next of kin if the decedent left no spouse, children, or dependents.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act, 740 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §180, describes who can benefit from the money a personal representative wins in a wrongful death lawsuit. A judge will distribute the funds to the decedent’s next of kin, considering whether the family members were financially dependent on the decedent and how much so.
If the decedent did not die instantly, the personal representative usually files a survival action with the wrongful death action. The survival action claims money for the decedent’s medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the time between the accident and their death. Survival actions also pay for funeral expenses. Money from a survival action is paid into the estate and will be paid to the next of kin after settling the decedent’s debts.
If your family member died in an incident that was someone else’s fault, you may need a focus for your grief. Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you honor your loved one’s memory and provide some accountability after such a tragedy.
A Rosemont wrongful death lawyer at The Kryder Law Group could provide the compassionate understanding you need. Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with one of our dedicated legal professionals today.