However, in the wrong hands, a wrongful death lawsuit can end up being more costly for you than the one who was responsible for the death. For example, an inexperienced Waukegan wrongful death attorney may not be able to help you recover the benefits that you may have received if the deceased had lived.
Who Is Eligible To Recover Compensation For Wrongful Death?According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, only the deceased’s spouse and children can recover damages in a wrongful death claim. It is different from the Survival Act compensation which allows the deceased’s estate to recover said damages that he/she may have recovered if they lived or survived.
The court that hears the lawsuit has the authority to determine how the money is divided between the children and the spouse as per their level of dependency on the deceased. In other words, the court evaluates how much each member of the family depended on the deceased financially.
For instance, if a single mother passed away and she was responsible for an adult child’s education, he/she may get more money compared to their older siblings who are employed and are not financially dependent. While this may seem unfair, wrongful death lawyers in Waukegan may say otherwise. It just makes sense, but your lawyer will be able to help you understand it much better.
Wrongful Death vs. MurderWhile it may not seem so, wrongful death is not the same as murder. The latter is a criminal charge that is brought upon a defendant (by a prosecutor) who committed a crime that lead to the death. Wrongful death claims on the other hand are filed in civil court by the family members of the deceased. Plus, you can file a wrongful death claim, whether or not criminal charges were filed against the defendant.
One of the most famous examples of this is the trial of OJ Simpson in the 1990s. While the famed football star was tried and charged for the murder of his wife and her male friend, he was found not guilty for their deaths from a criminal point of view. However, he was liable for their wrongful deaths. While he has yet to pay a cent to the families of the victims, the amount has more than doubled and the charge is not going anywhere. If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you and your family should file a wrongful death lawsuit against them without hesitation. For experienced wrongful death lawyers in Waukegan get in touch with the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. We have over 20 years of experience helping families find closure with successful lawsuits against guilty defendants.