The loss of a loved one is devastating, and when it happens due to someone else’s negligence, the grief can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know what steps to take, and even harder to fight for justice while mourning. The law firm, The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers understands this challenging moment. Our experienced personal injury attorneys stand ready to provide legal representation to help you navigate the complex legal process in Woodridge, Illinois. Our law firm offers a free initial consultation, and we will work tirelessly to hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable and secure financial compensation to ease the burden of your loss.
In this Article
Why You Need a Woodridge Wrongful Death Attorney
When someone dies because of another party’s negligence, it may be considered a wrongful death. In most cases, this means that the deceased person would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived. The purpose of a wrongful death personal injury claim is to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and seek compensation on behalf of the surviving family members for their loss.
Navigating a wrongful death case can be complicated, especially when you are grieving. You may be dealing with funeral arrangements, estate matters, and other practical issues while also trying to seek justice for your loved one. A skilled and experienced wrongful death lawyer can handle the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on grieving and healing.
How Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Prove a Wrongful Death Claim?
To prove liability in wrongful death lawsuits, wrongful death lawyers typically need to establish the following:
The defendant owed a duty of care towards the deceased.
The defendant breached this duty of care.
The breach directly caused the death.
The death resulted in financial losses or emotional suffering for the surviving family members.
What Is the Illinois Wrongful Death Act?
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/) legislates how wrongful death is legally defined and handled in the state of Illinois.
According to the Act, a wrongful death occurs when a person’s life is ended due to the “wrongful act, neglect or default” of another. The Act allows for a personal representative of the deceased (typically close family members) to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased individual. This lawsuit can seek monetary damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, as well as financial losses incurred due to the death. The awarded damages are distributed to the surviving spouse and next of kin as the court deems just.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases
In a wrongful death lawsuit, several types of compensation may be awarded, each addressing different aspects of personal injury cases and the loss endured by the surviving family members:
Economic Damages: This includes the deceased’s lost earnings, benefits, and potential future income.
Non-Economic Damages: For the grief, sorrow, and mental anguish suffered by the survivors.
Medical Expenses: Covers any costs incurred for the deceased’s final illness or injury.
Funeral and Burial Costs: Expenses associated with the deceased’s final rites and burial.
Loss of Consortium: For the loss of love, companionship, and guidance.
Pain and Suffering: Endured by the deceased before their death
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of death. However, specific circumstances may extend or shorten this period. Examples are when the deceased was a minor or if the responsible or negligent party is a government entity.
It’s crucial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure you file your claim within the appropriate time frame.
Common Types of Accidents that Cause Wrongful Death in Woodridge, IL
Below, we outline some common accidents in Woodridge that often result in wrongful deaths due to the defendant’s negligence.
Motor Vehicle Accidents:
A car accidents or other collisions involving trucks, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles often result in a serious injury leading to death due to high speeds and impact severity.
Fatal accidents can occur in high-risk jobs involving heavy machinery, hazardous substances, or unsafe conditions.
Medical Malpractice Cases:
Death can occur due to incorrect diagnosis, surgical errors, or inappropriate treatment under the care of a medical professional.
Defective or dangerous products can cause fatal injuries if they malfunction or are improperly used.
Fatal accidents can occur due to unsafe conditions in a property like slip-and-fall incidents or inadequate security.
Nursing Home Abuse:
Elderly residents can face fatal consequences due to neglect, abuse, or substandard care in nursing homes.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Wrongful Death?
In Illinois, accountability for a wrongful death can be assigned to any party whose wrongful act, negligent actions, or default led to the death. This can include individuals, companies, or government entities.
It’s essential that a thorough investigation is conducted to identify all potential defendants in wrongful deaths, which is a task our experienced wrongful death attorneys at the law offices of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers are well-equipped to handle.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The Illinois, the deceased’s personal representative (usually close family members) are able to file a lawsuit seeking damages for grief, sorrow, mental suffering, and financial losses arising from the death. The court distributes any awarded damages to the surviving spouse and next of kin.
Who Cannot File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois. According to the Wrongful Death Act, only the personal representative of the decedent—usually a surviving family member, spouse or next of kin—can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This typically excludes extended family members, unmarried partners, or friends, regardless of how close their relationship with the deceased might have been.
What Is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
When assessing the value of a wrongful death case, experienced attorneys consider thee and other factors.
Economic Damages: This includes the deceased’s lost wages, benefits, future income potential, as well as any medical bills and funeral costs and burial expenses. These damages can be relatively straightforward to calculate based on the deceased’s financial history and the costs incurred.
Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible losses like emotional distress, pain, and suffering. While these damages are more difficult to quantify, they are often substantial.
Punitive Damages: Should the defendant have demonstrated particularly heinous or irresponsible behavior leading to the incident, the civil court may decide to award punitive damages to penalize the defendant and to dissuade similar conduct in the future.
Negligence of the Deceased: If the deceased was partly responsible for the serious accident, this could reduce the award.
Insurance Coverage: The defendant’s insurance coverage can limit the potential financial recovery, especially if the damages exceed policy limits.
Each case is unique, and the specific circumstances and evidence presented will determine how you might recover compensation.
Contact a Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Woodridge, IL don’t hesitate to contact us at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers. We offer a free consultation, where we’ll review your case, provide initial guidance, and explain your legal options. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis—you owe us nothing until we win your case.
Our team is dedicated to pursuing justice and securing the fair compensation you rightfully deserve. Time is of the essence, don’t wait, reach out to us today.