The death of a loved one is always painful, confusing, and shocking. Often times loved ones are consumed with grief and may even be in a state of shock following the death, especially if the death was untimely or accidental. Although it is difficult, it is important to take action following the death of a loved one in order to preserve any potential wrongful death claims that you might have.
Why Do I Need to Act in a Timely Manner?
Not only do you need to collect and maintain evidence to support a claim, but a wrongful death lawsuit needs to be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Under Illinois law, a wrongful death lawsuit must generally be filed within two years of the date of death, and the lawsuit can be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, including spouse of the deceased, a parent of a deceased minor child, or adult child of the deceased.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit and requires that the plaintiff prove the following:
- The plaintiff’s loved one died;
- The death was caused by the defendant’s negligence;
- The plaintiff suffered a loss as a result of the death, and;
- The plaintiff has a legal right to recover as a surviving family member or other person specifically named in the applicable wrongful death statute.
If liability is assessed against the defendant, the court will then consider the amount of wrongful death damages to award, which may include:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Mental pain and suffering of loved ones
- Pain and suffering of decedent prior to death
- Punitive damages
Who Should I Contact for More Information about a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits can involve any type of fatal accident, but they often involve trucking accidents, auto accidents, medical errors, construction accidents, defective products, and other personal injury accidents. The accident and injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to helping clients in and around Chicago deal with the aftermath of a personal injury accident, including personal injury accidents that result in a premature death. We are committed to protecting the rights of personal injury victims and their families, and helping clients obtain maximum financial recovery. If a loved one died as a result of negligence, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible legal claim. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.