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Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case? | DuPage County Injury Lawyers | Illinois

Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?

Lake County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers Explain Why You Need an Attorney

It is extremely important to hire a qualified, experienced attorney to assist with a wrongful death claim following the death of a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit is a complex endeavor with many statutory requirements, countless variables, and critical deadlines. The defendant and any insurance companies will have attorneys aggressively protecting their interests, and so should you.

There are many reasons to retain an attorney when you have lost a loved one due to another party’s actions or negligence. A skilled lawyer will conduct a full investigation into your loved one’s death. In doing so, the attorney is not only looking for evidence but also to determine who may be liable for causing the tragedy.

According to Illinois law, a wrongful death action must be filed by a Special Administrator on behalf of the decedent’s surviving spouse and next of kin. In many cases, the court will need to appoint a Special Administrator before the case can even begin. The experienced wrongful death lawyers at Salvi & Maher, LLP understand how to ensure that the best possible person is chosen as the Special Administrator.

Once the claim has been filed, your lawyer will help you prove that the negligence or actions of the defendant directly caused the death of your loved one. An attorney will also assist in showing that you deserve to be compensated for your losses. The amount of available damages will depend on your family’s circumstances and those surrounding the death, and our team will work hard to maximize your recovery. Money cannot bring your loved one back, but a just verdict or settlement can help you move forward with your life.

Call 847-662-3303 Today

If your loved one was killed by someone else’s actions or negligence, contact our office for guidance. Call 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today. We represent families in DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, and surrounding areas.

What Damages Can I Collect in a Wrongful Death Case? | DuPage County Personal Injury Lawyers

What Damages Are Allowed in a Wrongful Death Case?

Helping Families Rebuild After Losing a Loved One in Illinois

A wrongful death lawsuit is intended to compensate the surviving family for the untimely death of the victim. Compensatory damages are generally available for the family’s grief and emotional suffering, the loss of love, loss of care, loss of protection, loss of companionship, and the loss of financial support and services provided by the victim.

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180) provides that the surviving family members of a victim whose death was caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party are entitled to collect compensation for “pecuniary injuries resulting from such death.” A wrongful death action must be filed in the name of a Special Administrator for the benefit of the victim’s spouse and next of kin.

Available Damages in Illinois

There are three main categories of damages that could be available, depending on the circumstances of your case. You may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Loss of support: If your loved one earned a living and provided specific services to your family, you could be entitled to recover his or her lost income and compensation for other contributions;
  • Loss of consortium: The law also recognizes that your loved one contributed more than just money to your family. Loss of consortium claims generally include loss of companionship, love, care, guidance, and protection;
  • Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering: It is also possible to recover damages for the emotional effects of the death on you and your family. Obtaining compensation for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering can be challenging, but a qualified attorney can help.

DuPage County Wrongful Death Attorneys

The skilled lawyers at Salvi & Maher, LLP are ready to assist you with your wrongful death claim. We will help you understand what damages may be available based on the unique circumstance of your situation. Contact our office to get started. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation today. Our team serves families in Waukegan, Wheaton, Richmond, DuPage County, Lake County, and the surrounding areas.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Illinois? | Lake County Personal Injury Attorneys | Waukegan

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case?

Lake County Trial Lawyers for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A wrongful death claim in Illinois must be filed by the Special Administrator of the deceased person’s estate. The Special Administrator is usually a close family member of the decedent and is responsible for combining any claims for wrongful death into a single action filed on behalf of all of the deceased person’s next of kin.

The Importance of the Special Administrator

When a person is killed in an accident that gives rise to a potential wrongful death lawsuit, Illinois law is very clear on who may file the claim. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180), the action must be filed in the name of a Special Administrator for the benefit of the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next of kin.

If the decedent had a will that named a Special Administrator, that person is responsible for filing wrongful death claims. It is important to keep in mind that a Special Administrator for the purposes of a wrongful death action is not the same as the executor of the decedent’s estate—though the same individual could be named to fill both roles.

If the decedent’s will did not name a Special Administrator, one must be appointed by the court before a wrongful death suit can be initiated. In most cases, the court will choose a close family member of the decedent, such as a spouse, sibling, parent, or child.

The Assistance You Need at a Difficult Time

At Salvi & Maher, LLP, we understand that losing a loved one is always difficult. The situation becomes even more challenging when the death was caused by someone else’s actions or negligence. If someone you love was killed in any type of accident, our experienced attorneys can help you explore your options for collecting compensation and will remain at your side every step of the way. Contact our office to get the guidance you need. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation today at any of our four locations in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, or Chicago.

Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case? | Lake County Wrongful Death Attorneys

Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Action?

Lawyers for Wrongful Death Cases in DuPage County and Lake County

In the state of Illinois, punitive damages are generally not available in a wrongful death lawsuit. Punitive damages are intended to punish a person or entity for wrongdoing and to deter others from engaging in the same behavior, but they are usually reserved for the victim, not the victim’s surviving spouse or next of kin.

The Illinois legislature recognized the importance of wrongful death lawsuits by enacting the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180) in 1853. The Act has been amended over the years, but it still allows the surviving family members of deceased victims to recover damages associated with a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another party.

In many types of personal injury cases, an injured victim may recover punitive damages in addition to any other recoverable damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a party’s negligence or wrongful act and to deter similar behavior in the future. As a general rule of law, punitive damages are only available to the injured victim, and they do not survive the victim’s death. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the only way punitive damages may be awarded after a victim’s death is in cases where the statute on which the wrongful death suit is based expressly allows the recovery of punitive damages.

Helping Illinois Families Understand Their Rights

At Salvi & Maher, LLP, our skilled attorneys know that wrongful death claims can be confusing and overwhelming. It can be difficult to know for sure what your options are for collecting compensation. If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence or wrongful acts, contact our office to get the help you need. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation today. Our firm represents families in Wheaton, Waukegan, Richmond, Lake County, DuPage County, and throughout Northern Illinois.

Am I Still Able to Recover Damages if I Am Partially At Fault for an Accident? | Lake County Injury Attorneys

Am I Still Able to Recover Damages if I Am Partially Responsible for an Accident?

Protecting the Rights of Accident Victims in Lake County IL

Under Illinois law, you are able to recover damages following a car accident even if you were partially to blame for the accident, as long as you are not found to have been more than 50 percent at fault. The amount that you can recover, however, will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

There are only a few states (and the District of Columbia) in which a person who is partially at fault for an accident is automatically barred from recovering damages. Fortunately, Illinois is not one of them. Illinois uses a model called “modified comparative fault” in personal injury cases. Under a modified comparative fault system, an injured claimant who is partially at fault for the accident that caused the injuries may still collect damages, as long as he or she was not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. In addition, the recoverable damages are also reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault.

Recovering Damages When You Share Responsibility

In any personal injury matter involving shared liability, the jury must determine the percentage of fault to assign to each party. For example, if you were driving a few miles per hour above the posted speed limit when you were hit by another driver who was texting while driving, you could be found to have 10 percent liability for the accident while the other driver was 90 percent at fault. Assuming that a jury determined a total amount of damages of $100,000, that amount would be reduced by 10 percent—your percentage of fault. You would, therefore, be entitled to collect $90,000.

Call a Wheaton Injury Attorney for Help

If you have been injured in a car accident or any other type of accident for which you may be partially responsible, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation at Salvi & Maher, LLP today. We represent injured victims in Waukegan, Richmond, Wheaton, and throughout Northern Illinois.

Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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