The accidental death of a loved on is a terrible, heartbreaking time for a family. What adds to the grief is the feeling that the death was avoidable. Does this qualify as wrongful death? It might help you and other Illinois residents to understand the basics of a wrongful death case.
Wrongful death involves more than just an accidental death. Someone must have shown negligence, misconduct or criminal behavior in such a way as to cause the death of another. For example, the family member might have been involved in a car accident caused by the other driver’s reckless, aggressive or intoxicated driving. If the relative was the victim of an armed robbery, this might also qualify as wrongful death. The same may be true if a medical professional made a mistake during surgery that resulted in the death of the family member.
You must also meet the following requirements for a wrongful death case:
- The person who died was related to you, most commonly a spouse, parent or child.
- Your loved one’s death caused financial injury to you and your family. Medical bills and funeral expenses, as well as the lost wages resulting from your family member’s death, are creating a hardship.
- You will need to appoint a representative for the deceased’s estate and take the responsible party to court on behalf of your loved one.
Getting compensation, closure and justice
A successful outcome in a wrongful death case may not only provide you financial relief, but could also give you a sense of closure and justice in knowing that the other party was held responsible for his or her actions. Since wrongful death is a complex issue, it is essential to speak with an experienced attorney if you believe you have a case. Though this is a time of suffering and grief, you should do this as soon as possible. While you and your family recover, your attorney can begin building the case.