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5 Questions About Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois

 Posted on September 10, 2021 in Wrongful Death

IL injury lawyerIf you have unexpectedly lost a loved one, you are bound to be suffering from emotional turmoil and concern for the future. The death of a family member due to someone else’s negligence can feel especially unfair, and it can be difficult to deal with the legal ramifications along with your grief and personal loss. Fortunately, an attorney can help you manage the process of seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim. If you are unsure whether such a claim is possible in your situation, you may benefit from the answers to the following questions.

When Can a Wrongful Death Claim Be Filed?

In Illinois, a wrongful death claim is generally possible in similar situations to a personal injury claim—namely, when the person’s death was caused by the negligence or intentional malicious actions of another party. In most cases, a claim must be filed within two years of the victim’s death, though the statute of limitations is extended to five years if the death was the result of certain forms of murder, homicide, or manslaughter.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Illinois law requires a wrongful death claim to be brought by the personal representative of the deceased, which typically means the estate executor or administrator. If you are not your loved one’s personal representative, you should work with that person to initiate a claim on your loved one’s behalf.

Who Is Entitled to Damages?

Damages recovered through an Illinois wrongful death claim are distributed to the “surviving spouse and next of kind” of the deceased. This could include the victim’s children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, or other family members who were dependent on the victim for financial support. The court will determine how damages are distributed to surviving family members based on their dependency on the deceased. This typically means that a spouse and children will receive the greatest portion of the compensation.

What Damages Are Available?

Through a wrongful death claim, you can pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses related to the fatal injuries, as well as your loved one’s pain and suffering. You also may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your loved one’s income and financial support, the costs of your loved one’s funeral and burial, and your own mental anguish and grief.

Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Filed for an Unborn Child?

Illinois law specifically includes unborn children in the parties for whom a wrongful death claim can be filed. If you were pregnant and lost your child due to a car accident or another injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your grief and loss.

Contact a Lake County Wrongful Death Attorney

At Salvi & Maher, LLP, we know that you are likely to have many other questions about filing a wrongful death claim on your loved one’s behalf. We can answer them through a free initial consultation and help you determine how to proceed. Call us at 847-662-3303 today to get help from an experienced Waukegan wrongful death lawyer.





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