When someone is killed due to the negligent actions or omissions of another person, a wrongful death claim may be warranted. This type of legal action is usually brought by the family of the deceased. Although no amount of money can appropriate address the suffering caused by a fatal incident, an award for damages can help protect the financial future of the surviving family.
If your loved one has died due to the negligent actions of another, a Madison County wrongful death lawyer could assist in recovering the available damages. Let an experienced attorney pursue justice for your loved one while you focus on healing from this traumatic ordeal.
Illinois Laws for Wrongful Deaths
In Illinois, the Wrongful Death Act addresses legal claims for fatal incidents. The Act defines wrongful death as the death of a person caused the wrongful act, negligence, or omission of another person. Essentially, if the person had survived, they would have been able to pursue damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Who is Entitled to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Act also outlines who can bring a wrongful death claim and who will be entitled to any compensation awarded. While the deceased’s personal representative can commence the action, the compensation will be for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse or next of kin. If the decedent does not leave behind family, various other people may be entitled to the compensation, such as those who paid for hospital bills or funeral services for the deceased.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
It is important for surviving family members to be aware of the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. According to the Act, these claims must be brought within two years of the date of death. A diligent attorney could help file a wrongful death claim within these deadlines and help resolve the case in a timely manner.
Elements of Wrongful Death Claims in Madison County
As with other personal injury claims, a plaintiff and their lawyer must prove certain elements to recover compensation for a wrongful death. The plaintiff must first show that the person who caused the death owed a duty of care to the deceased, which they breached. They must then demonstrate that the breach caused the person’s death as well as quantifiable damages.
Damages for Fatal Incidents
Depending on the circumstances of the person’s death, surviving family may be able to pursue various forms of compensation. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in the community could help seek the following types of damages:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of benefits, such as insurance
- Pain and suffering of the surviving spouse or next of kin
- Loss of consortium of the spouse
- Punitive damages, for cases involving intentional harm
Speak to a Madison County Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is never easy to deal with, especially if it was caused by another person’s reckless or careless actions. Contact a Madison County wrongful death lawyer work to hold the at-fault party accountable and gain a sense of justice for you and your family. A compassionate attorney could advise you throughout this difficult time and help obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering.