three people comforting family member of the deceased

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death may have occurred when a person or entity exhibits negligence, wrongful actions, or complete inaction, resulting in a fatal accident. Wrongful death can cause families to suffer after losing a loved one—not only emotionally, but also financially. Not only have those that are left behind after the death of a loved one lost a loving relationship, but they may have also lost financial support or even a future inheritance. Children who have lost a parent due to an accident caused by negligence have lost parental guidance and care.

Those who have lost a spouse, have lost the love and comfort of a husband or wife, as well as financial support. Each state dictates who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Because this is an extremely difficult time, it can be very beneficial to contact a wrongful death claim attorney from the Finn Law Firm. We will help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to receive, after the death of your loved one.

How are Wrongful Deaths Primarily Caused?

Automobile accidents are the biggest cause of wrongful deaths. Other types of wrongful death claims involve the following:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Defective or dangerous products
  • Slip and fall accidents that result in death
  • Premises liability accidents resulting in death
  • Fatal abuse in a nursing home
  • Construction accidents

Who is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Illinois?

Losing a loved one is one of the most emotionally painful experiences in life. When your loved one died as a result of another’s carelessness, the pain is compounded. Aside from the emotional pain, the sudden death of a loved one can leave you with losses and expenses that prevent you from moving on with your life. While nothing can bring your loved one back, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act grants certain individuals the right to recoup expenses via a wrongful death claim. Children and surviving spouses are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Illinois. If there is not a surviving spouse or surviving children, parents or siblings of the deceased may file the lawsuit. The lawsuit itself will be filed in the name of the executor of the decedent’s estate, rather than family members.

How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?

A wrongful death claim proceeds much in the same way as a personal injury claim. The defendant is notified of your intent to proceed with a wrongful death claim and given the opportunity to respond. Your attorney will enter into negotiations with the defendant’s attorney; if no settlement can be agreed on, your case will go to trial, where a jury will determine whether you are entitled to damages, and, if so, what type of damages, and how much.

What Damages are Included in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The jury can award any damages they deem to be fair and just with respect to the losses you and your family members have suffered from the death of your loved one. These losses can include damages for sorrow and grief, as well as a determination of how much your loved one would likely have earned throughout the remainder of his or her working years. The damages to loved ones are determined by the level of dependency the loved one had on the deceased. Funeral and burial expenses are generally paid directly to the estate, but damages for loss of care or companionship belong specifically to the family members of the deceased. 

What are the Statutes of Limitations in an Illinois Wrongful Death Claim?

Statutes of Limitations determine the amount of time you have in which to file a wrongful death claim. In the state of Illinois, you generally have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. If you miss your window of opportunity, you may be barred from filing the wrongful death claim. To ensure your wrongful death claim is brought within the applicable statutes of limitations—as well as to preserve crucial evidence—contacting a wrongful death attorney from the Finn Law Firm is essential.

Why is it Important to Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney?

The attorneys at the Finn Law Firm have an in-depth knowledge of all issues related to wrongful death, including product liability laws, motor vehicle regulations, traffic laws, and medical issues. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity, Attorney Larry Finn can explain what it will take to reach the settlement which will compensate you and your family members for your suffering and economic losses. Contact the Finn Law Firm today.


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