The death of a loved one is devastating under any circumstances, and we know how difficult it can be to think about anything but the loss you are experiencing after a family member passes away. Fatal accidents can be even more distressing when they could have been prevented if someone had been more careful. At Arami Law Office, we know that no amount of compensation could ever bring back a loved one, but we also know how important it can be to hold the liable party accountable. By filing a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover for certain losses. A dedicated and compassionate Cook County wrongful death attorney can speak with you today about your situation and can discuss your options with you.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/), wrongful death refers to a situation in which another party’s wrongful act or negligent behavior caused the death of another person. Wrongful death law is similar to personal injury law in that it allows an injured party to hold the responsible party accountable for causing the injuries. In personal injury law, the person who actually sustains the injury is the one who must file the claim. In wrongful death law, another person connected to the deceased—typically a spouse or a child—must step into the shoes of the deceased and file a lawsuit against the responsible party on behalf of the deceased.
In a wrongful death claim, the person who files the claim, known as the “personal representative” of the deceased, can seek compensation related to the deceased’s losses (such as hospital bills and mental anguish prior to death), as well as to the personal representative’s losses (such as funeral expenses incurred).
The personal representative of the deceased must be the one to file a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, the personal representative is an immediate family member of the deceased, such as:
The personal representative can seek both economic and noneconomic damages, which are both types of compensatory damages that are designed to compensate a plaintiff for losses. Those damages may include but are not limited to:
Like other civil claims, wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations. This is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file the claim before the statute of limitations runs out. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/13-209), a wrongful death claim must be brought within the later of the two periods:
In most personal injury cases, it is important to focus on the one-year period and to file a lawsuit within one year from the date of the injured person’s death.
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