The loss of a loved one is a painful experience all of us have to go through at some point in our lives, but it is especially tragic when the loss is something that could have been prevented. At Wilson Law Office, our experienced wrongful death lawyers are here to help you recover after an untimely passing. When you work with our qualified law firm, we will assist you in pursuing your legal claim with proficiency and care. We understand what it takes to navigate the legal process and help you reach a favorable outcome after an unanticipated, wrongful death. We believe you should have access to swift answers and compassionate legal counsel.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit involves filing a wrongful death claim against someone who negligently caused someone else’s death. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of wrongful deaths. Other fatal events often include product liability, animal attacks, medical malpractice, and workplace accidents.
A wrongful death lawsuit allows victims to seek damages and closure. Victims include anyone from the deceased’s estate, such as a spouse, child, or parents.
Illinois has two wrongful death laws: the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act lets victims sue for financial losses. For instance, a wife’s death may leave the rest of her family without a source of income. The Illinois Survival Act covers economic and non-economic damages, such as emotional trauma, pain, and suffering.
How to Prove a Wrongful Death
At Wilson Law Office, we must prove four elements to win a wrongful death case. First, we must demonstrate that there was a duty where the defendant had a reasonable responsibility to avoid hurting other people.
Second, we must show that the defendant breached this duty. They did not respect the legally established obligation, as when, for instance, a drunk driver is involved in a fatal car crash.
Third, we prove causation, meaning that the defendant’s actions must be shown to have led to the breach in duty. In the example above, this would mean proving that the motor vehicle accident in question would not have occurred had the defendant not been intoxicated. The legal phrase for this is “but for.”
Finally, we outline the wrongful death damages. We provide evidence that the victim sustained economic and non-economic damages because of the death. A deceased loved one may have incurred $15,000 worth of medical bills in the hospital, on top of causing significant emotional harm, with their passing.