Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Illinois

Wrongful Death AttorneyWhile death is inevitable, it is not an easy thing to witness. If the death of a loved one could have been prevented, and it was not, the families left behind are filled with heartache and more questions than answers. While they cannot bring back the deceased, they can get closure and compensation for their loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party.

How To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Illinois

According to Illinois law, a wrongful death is when an individual dies because of another’s negligence or due to a malicious act. This includes medical malpractice, car accidents, boating accidents, property liabilities etc. Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to determine whether your claim fits this definition. If it does, you have to collect evidence that proves your claim. You must prove:

  • The death resulted from negligence or after an act of malice.
  • A human death occurred.
  • The deceased has surviving family members who were financially dependent on him/her.
  • The deceased has a representative.

According to the statute of limitations, you have two (2) years from the death of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. There are some exceptions for criminal acts and minors but delaying the process will not be in your best interest. You should start legal proceedings as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss critical deadlines.

These limitations act as gatekeepers. If you fail to file your claim within two (2) years or within the required deadline, the court will not allow you to continue to trial. Therefore, it is crucial you speak to an attorney soon after the preventable death of a loved one and file your lawsuit.

That way, you can determine whether you have a case or not and if you do, when you should file it to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Experienced attorneys will be able to provide answers you are looking for and will also give you a timeline to complete crucial tasks for a successful trial.

Personal Injury Attorney

The Law Firm of Robert T. Edens has been fighting for the rights of families that have lost ones to neglect and malicious acts for close to 20 years. Please do not hesitate to act and get in touch with us for a consultation today. We will assign a team of legal professionals who can protect your family’s rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Illinois Wrongful Death: A Brief Introduction

Wrongful Death AttorneyA wrongful death law protects the rights of a deceased person whose causation of death was a wrongful act of another person or entity. Reason of death may include, but not limited to, automobile accident, slip and fall accident, or medical malpractice. This law is devised to protect family members of a deceased person, providing compensation for financial and emotional damages.

The filing of a wrongful death claim can be performed by a personal representative of the victim, which may include a close family member of the deceased, such as their parents, spouse or children, among others. In case there is no personal representative of victim’s estate plan, the court will take responsibility of pursuing wrongful death claim by hiring their personal representative.

Molly’s law in Illinois

Previously, the Illinois statute of limitation stated that wrongful death cases must be brought within 2 years of the incident. However, Illinois has introduced Molly’s law in their statute, which increased this limit up to 5 years. This law is named after a 21-year old woman named Molly who lost her life from a gunshot wound to the head in 2012.

The perpetrator was her former boyfriend, Riche Minton, a Carbondale Police Dispatcher. Molly’s father, Larry Young, filed a wrongful death claim against Richie Minton in June 2014, however, the case was dismissed by Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Charles because he filed a lawsuit after 2 years and 3 months. In light of this incident, Governor Bruce Rauner and State Representative Terri Bryant signed two bills, which are collectively known as Molly’s Law.

How to obtain compensation in Wrongful Death

In a wrongful death case in Illinois, damages are paid “for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin of [the] deceased person”. Compensation may include reimbursements for sorrow, grief, and mental suffering. The amount may depend upon level of dependency of a family on a deceased person. Though certain damages, such as burial and funeral expenses, are directly paid to state if they contributed to these expenses.

However, there are four elements that must be proved in order to receive compensation for wrongful death: negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Therefore, if you are seeking damages under wrongful death statute, it can be highly beneficial for your case to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer. A competent attorney can help strengthen and establish liability by proving these four elements by collecting strong evidence and witnesses testimonies, allowing you to obtain maximum compensation for your loss and sufferings stemming from the death of your loved one.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Everything You Need to Know About Wrongful Deaths

Wrongful Death AttorneyThere are chances that if you have lost a loved one, family member, or friend in an accident, it could be a wrongful death case. Quite often, people tend to accept the fact that the death was an accident and do not question or challenge it. Irrespective, one should not rule out the chances of it happening due to an ‘accident’ only. Many people are not aware and do not know enough about wrongful deaths. When a loved one is lost in an accident, it gets extremely difficult to decide whether compensation should be retrieved or not. By critically evaluating the wrongful death FAQs, families of the deceased can then make up their mind if they would want to go ahead with the retribution. Regardless, it is always a wise idea to have a wrongful death lawyer by your side during these tough times.

What is a Wrongful Death?

A death cause by either an accidental or intentional act of another is known as wrongful death. Because of this, a family member of the deceased files a claim for wrongful death to retrieve compensation that covers medical bills, funeral expenses, as well as support the family of deceased individual. It goes without saying that this is a controversial topic and requires eye witnesses to prove that someone’s wrong actions resulted in an individual’s death. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Work accident
  • Car crash
  • Animal attacks
  • Slip and fall accident
  • Medical malpractice

For instance, a car driver breaking the law and running through a stop sign crashes into another car or driver. If this results in death of the person on impact or a doctor makes an obvious medical error during surgery which results in a death, the family members have the right to file for compensation.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Typically, the claim can be filed by the family members of the victim in order to retrieve compensation for the incident. These are usually referred as “real parties in interest.” The eligibility criteria widely varies from state to state, but eligible survivors could be immediate family members, life partners, financial dependents, and distant family members.

Who may be sued in a wrongful death case?

The person who is sued in a wrongful death case is closely associated with the incident. For instance, if your loved one was a victim of a car crash that involved a drunk driver, you can seek compensation from the drunk driver, the person who either sold or served alcohol to the driver, and the alcohol business owner.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you are looking to get more information about wrongful deaths, call us at (847) 395-2200 to schedule an appointment with one of our representatives.

Wrongful Death and Premises Liability: What You Should Know

Premises Liability AttorneyProperty owners, supervisors, and managers have the duty to keep a safe environment to make sure there are no hazards within the premises that can cause physical harm to people. However, due to the high replacement, maintenance, or repair costs of building materials, individuals in charge often try to cut corners by overlooking potential problems.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, about 135,928 people die annually in the United States due to unintentional injuries, including slip and fall, exposure to harmful substances, and others. Most people suffer fatal injuries because of negligence and carelessness of others, which oftentimes lead to death. Surviving family members file a premises liability lawsuit against the responsible party to seek compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.

Common Causes of Death Leading to Premises Liability

A broad array of premises liability lawsuits involving wrongful death are caused due to a number of factors, including:

  • Building collapse, including ceilings, porch railings, and porches
  • Day care injury
  • Electric fire
  • Exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals
  • Failure to properly repair, replace, or maintain different parts of the premises
  • Fire, smoke, or explosions
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Injury from water spills, flooding, or leaks
  • Negligent or missing security
  • Physical assaults or attacks
  • Slip and falls
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Uneven surfaces, icy parking lots, slippery sidewalks, and unprotected potholes,
  • Violation of housing code or building code

How to File a Lawsuit against the Responsible Party

To file for a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to prove that the property owner or the person in charge was negligent and that their negligence led to the death of your loved one. You should keep in mind that the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. You must file a lawsuit before this period expires, and while evidence can be easily gathered to support your case.

To prove premises liability against the property owner or person in charge, you will have to establish that:

  • They had a duty of care toward the deceased
  • They breached the duty of care by not acting like a responsible and reasonable property owner would under the same circumstances
  • They were negligent and it caused the death of your loved one
  • You suffered damages as a result of the death and have the legal right to be compensated

If your situation meets all the able criteria, you may have a wrongful death claim. It is best to work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal process, and build a strong case to help you recover damages, such as:

  • Compensation for lost benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost wages or income
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical expenses before the death of the loved one

Personal Injury Attorney

Generally, large insurance policies are in place to cover for premises liabilities, especially in case of commercial properties. If you lost your loved one due to an injury at a business place, store, or home due to poor maintenance or unsafe conditions, you can hold the property owner liable to receive compensation. For more information, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.