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Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits In Illinois

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Chicago, Illinois

Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought on behalf of the deceased person by a representative of their estate, as well as allowing for that person’s family members or others affected to collect compensation for the loss of their loved one.

740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 180 defines wrongful death in the state of Illinois as such: “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.

When Can a Lawsuit be Filed?

A wrongful death suit can be filed if the person who dies would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived. In other words, if their death was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional act to harm, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on their behalf.

Illinois law allows for a wrongful death suit to be filed within one year of the date of death, unless there is another underlying cause. For example, if the wrongful death is a result of a personal injury claim (which must be filed within two years of the injury), the representative has a minimum of one year and as much as two years to file the claim.

Who May File a Claim?

In Illinois, a wrongful death suit can only be filed by the personal representative of the deceased. That person may be the parent of a minor child, a spouse, or an adult child of the deceased. In cases where the deceased did not designate a personal representative, the court may appoint one.

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When it comes to a wrongful death claim, the claimants must meet the same burden of proof that the deceased person would have had to meet had they lived. In other words, if a professional’s negligence caused the victim’s death, the claimants must be able to prove that the defendant had a responsibility of care and breached that responsibility.

Furthermore, they must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) directly caused the victim’s death and that the victim’s death resulted in the damages that the claimant is trying to recover.

These types of claims can be complicated. However, with a dedicated Chicago wrongful death attorney at your side, you will not only be able to recover lost wages, medical bills, and monetary compensation for your emotional suffering, but you and your family will attain a measure of closure.

At Shea Law Group, we have handled hundreds of these devastating cases, and we understand all that you and your family are going through. Our compassionate team is ready to help. To schedule your no obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Chicago wrongful death attorney, give us a call at (877)-365-0040 today.