Did you unexpectedly lose a loved one in a fatal accident in Chicago, Illinois? If it occurred due to another party’s actions, you may be able to hold them financially accountable for funeral expenses, lost financial support, and your mental suffering.
The experienced Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you during this difficult time. While a legal battle might be the last thing on your mind, you and your family may be struggling due to your sudden loss of support. With over three decades of combined experience to put behind your case, we’ll get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact our Chicago law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the incident that led to your loved one’s death. You can reach our compassionate legal team by calling (312) 929 2884 or completing an online submission. We are also fluent in Arabic and Spanish.
How Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago, IL
Wrongful death cases are challenging for many reasons. The victim isn’t here to give their account of events and tell their story. That can make it difficult to prove what and who caused the accident. Additionally, opposing parties frequently try to shift blame to the deceased to limit their financial accountability.
That’s where having our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys is highly beneficial. While you focus on your family and the grieving process, our legal team at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers will handle the legal issues and fight for you.
If you retain our experienced Chicago attorneys for help with your wrongful death action, we’ll:
- Provide sound, honest legal advice and consistent communication throughout your case
- Launch a thorough investigation into what led to your loved one’s death
- Collect vital evidence needed to prove causation, liability, and the full extent of your losses
- Negotiate with the insurance company and any other involved parties for a fair settlement that fully compensates you
- Litigate the matter in court if we fail to reach an agreement
We strive to obtain the most favorable financial recoveries possible for our clients. To discuss your wrongful death claim and learn more about our legal services, contact our law office in Chicago, IL.
What Is Wrongful Death in Illinois?
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows a decedent’s surviving family members to recover compensation if someone’s neglect, wrongful act, or default causes a fatal accident. The idea is that if the victim had lived, they would’ve been able to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party for their losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
A wrongful death action is a civil claim filed on behalf of the decedent’s family for monetary damages caused by their unexpected loss. This differs from any criminal case that the State of Illinois may file, which seeks to hold the defendant criminally liable for their actions.
For example, if a drunk driver kills someone, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death claim for their financial and emotional losses. This claim is separate from any criminal DUI charges filed against the at-fault driver.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago?
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file a Chicago wrongful death case. They bring the claim on behalf of the decedent’s surviving spouse and next of kin. “Next of kin” will depend on the surviving family members and may include parents, children, or siblings.
The court will award each surviving family member an amount that reflects their percentage of dependency on the decedent.
If the deceased person didn’t leave a surviving spouse or next of kin, the awarded damages are disbursed to any medical providers who rendered services to the decedent and/or the personal representative for the costs of administering the estate.
What Causes Most Fatal Accidents in Chicago?
Any type of accident or personal injury incident can result in the sudden loss of a loved one.
Our Chicago law firm can help no matter what caused your family member’s fatal injuries, including:
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Train accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Assaults and other violent acts
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Dangerous or defective products (product liability)
- Unsafe or hazardous properties (premises liability)
- Dog bites
Contact our Chicago wrongful death attorneys for help investigating the cause of the fatality.
How Common Are Fatal Accidents in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of Transportation reported 1,151 fatal car accidents that resulted in 1,269 fatalities in 2022. Out of the fatal crashes:
- 146 involved motorcyclists
- 190 involved pedestrians
- 166 involved semi-trucks
- 33 involved bicyclists
Cook County accounted for 399 of the state’s motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2022.
As of February 1, 2023, there have already been 60 fatal crashes reported statewide, causing 67 fatalities. Over 40% (27) of the fatalities have occurred in Cook County.
Fatal work-related incidents are also common. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 135 fatal work injuries in Illinois in 2020. Most of those accidents were caused by transportation incidents (41%) and slips, trips, and falls (18%).
What Is the Value of My Chicago Wrongful Death Case?
The value of your wrongful death case in Chicago depends on several factors, including:
- The level of financial support provided to you and your family by the decedent
- The funeral and burial expenses and other financial costs you’ve incurred
- The income earned by the decedent prior to death
- The decedent’s age and life expectancy
- The lost support, companionship, and guidance suffered by your family
- Whether your loved one contributed to the cause of their deadly accident
- Whether insurance covers the fatal accident and the policy limits
All wrongful death claims are unique: they involve different causes of death, victims, and liable parties. We’ll be able to give a better idea of what your case is worth when we learn more about the circumstances of your loved one’s death.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Chicago Wrongful Death Action?
You may be able to recover compensation for your economic (financial) and non-economic (intangible, harder-to-value) damages in a wrongful death claim in Chicago. The court will evaluate the facts of your case to determine the fair value of losses resulting from your loved one’s death.
Your damages might include:
- Burial costs
- Funeral expenses
- Other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to your loss
- Loss of financial support provided by the victim, such as lost income and job benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of education or instruction (for children of the deceased)
- Mental suffering
- Grief and sorrow
Our wrongful death lawyers in Chicago will help you identify, calculate, and prove the losses you’ve incurred.
How Do I Prove My Chicago Wrongful Death Claim?
Although some wrongful death actions arise from intentional acts, a majority occur due to another person’s negligent or careless conduct.
To prove a wrongful death claim based on negligence, you must have evidence of the following four elements:
- The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care – for example, if they died in a fatal car crash, the defendant owed them a duty to drive carefully to avoid hurting others
- The defendant breached their duty of care to your loved one – for example, they drove recklessly
- The breach of duty caused your loved one’s untimely death
- You sustained damages due to the defendant’s conduct
The evidence needed will depend on the type of accident that occurred but may include:
- Accident reports
- Police reports
- Statements from first responders
- Medical records
- Videos, photos, or surveillance footage of the accident scene
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Expert witness testimony
- Evidence of your financial losses
- Employment records to prove your loss of financial support
We’ll help you gather the evidence required to prove your Chicago wrongful death case.
Can I Still Recover Compensation If My Loved One Is Partially At Fault for Their Fatal Accident in Chicago, IL?
Under Illinois law, you can potentially recover compensation if the decedent shares fault. The state follows a modified comparative negligence standard that bars a financial recovery if your loved one’s percentage of fault exceeds 50%.
As long as they were 50% or less at fault, the victim’s portion of responsibility will proportionately reduce your award.
For example, if your loved one shared 30% of the blame for the fatal accident, you’ll only be entitled to 70% of your financial award. If they’re found to be 51% at fault, you’ll be prevented from recovering anything.
How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?
Most wrongful death legal actions in Illinois must be filed within two years of the deceased’s date of death. Exceptions exist, such as if the victim’s death resulted from violent and intentional conduct.
It’s best to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney in Chicago to ensure that you meet the applicable statute of limitations. Missing the deadline means you’ll lose your right to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for the loss of your loved one.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you lost a family member due to another party’s negligence or misconduct, they should be held accountable for your losses. Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you navigate this difficult process and get the financial compensation you need.
Contact our Chicago wrongful death attorneys today for a free initial consultation to learn how we can help.
Our personal injury law firm in Chicago, IL, also provides:
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