When you unexpectedly lose a loved one, the process can be overwhelming. While you’re trying to go through the grieving process, you’re also adjusting to the new reality. If you depended on your loved one financially or for support in the house, this adjustment can feel impossible, especially if your loved one died because of an accident. In these situations, you can seek legal options. An Illinois wrongful death lawyer from Prince Law Firm can get your loved one the justice they deserve and help you get fair compensation.
What Are the Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to the Wrongful Death Act from the Illinois General Assembly, wrongful death claims occur when a person loses their life due to the negligent actions of others. If they had survived the accident and would have been able to recover damages, then the responsible party can be held liable for their death.
Whenever someone acts negligently, tragedies can occur. This could happen if someone is driving recklessly and causes a car accident. Their behavior could have included distracted driving, speeding, or driving while intoxicated. Individual property owners who don’t take care of their property can put visitors in dangerous situations where fatalities may ensue. The property owner can be held liable in those situations.
Sometimes, companies can be held responsible for wrongful deaths, like in product liability cases. Companies could put an unsafe product on the shelves. It can be any kind of product: Appliances, toys, or auto parts that cause harm to consumers. While manufacturing companies are supposed to put their products under rigorous testing before selling them, some companies may cut corners or use materials that prove to be hazardous. Other product issues could be fire or choking hazards.
Pharmaceutical companies can make fatal mistakes as well. A drug company may mislabel medicine or print incorrect information or graphics on the drug’s label. People may take the medicine without knowing it’s the wrong one or the wrong dosage. Misleading graphics can also make people use the drug incorrectly.
These are only a few examples of negligence that causes wrongful death. If you believe your loved one passed away because of someone else’s actions, you can speak with our lawyers.
Who Can Recover Damages for a Wrongful Death Claim?
A personal representative of the deceased needs to bring the case forward. The amount that is recovered is meant to benefit the surviving spouse and next of kin. The settlement will reflect the damages done including the injuries that caused the death, and the grief and suffering that the surviving family is experiencing.
But those aren’t the only factors that decide the settlement amount. The Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions also includes the following:
- What the deceased contributed in terms of money, benefits, goods, and services
- The money, benefits, goods, and services the deceased would have earned in the future
- The decedent’s expenses
- What the decedent would have provided their child in terms of instruction, moral training, and education
- Decedent’s age, sex, health, habits, and occupational abilities
- Relationship to the family (spouse, parent)
These are all taken into careful consideration when a case is being settled. While it’s painful to go through, this could bring much needed financial relief that could give you more room to grieve properly.
When Can You Bring a Claim Forward?
Nearly all personal injury cases have a statute of limitations, or a time limit to bring the claim forward. In Illinois, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years after the death occurs. It’s important to get started on your case as quickly as possible so you make sure you have enough time to properly represent what happened.
Waiting to file the claim risks missing the deadline. In these situations, you may either be stressed because you’re on a tight deadline or you fail to meet the time limit. Cases that are outside of the statute of limitations may be thrown out.
We understand how painful it may be to file a claim while you’re still grieving for your loved one. But when you start your case quickly, you can provide accurate details to your wrongful death lawyer. They can also look at the scene of the accident and gather evidence like medical documents and photographs. These pieces of evidence can be crucial to showing that someone’s negligent actions directly caused the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death.
Prince Law Firm Is Here to Help You
No matter the cause, our wrongful death lawyers in Illinois will make sure your loved one’s voice is heard. We will do everything we can to help you through this process so you can grieve for your loved one in peace, without having to stress about financial situations and that the responsible party was held liable. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation of your case. We’re ready to help.