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How to Build a Strong Wrongful Death Case

If the death of a person is caused by negligence, it’s considered a wrongful death. Negligence can be anything from distracted driving to medical malpractice, but each case will hinge on whether the defendant could have reasonably foreseen that their actions might cause harm. If they could have and failed to take precautions, they may be held liable in civil or criminal court. Families who lose a loved one to wrongful death often struggle with intense grief and anger, as well as mountains of financial debt related to funeral costs and lost earnings.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful act, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a wrongful death attorney from Walner Law to discuss your case. We can help you seek the damages you deserve.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois?

Speaking with a wrongful death attorney can help you file paperwork for someone else's negligence.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Illinois is two years. This means that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the victim’s death. The court will likely dismiss the case if the suit is not filed within this timeframe. This statute of limitations applies to both civil and criminal wrongful death claims.

There are a few exceptions to the two-year deadline. If the victim was a minor at the time of death, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of their 18th birthday. If the victim was mentally incapacitated at the time of death, the suit must be filed within two years of the date that the victim became mentally incapacitated. If the victim’s death resulted from a criminal act, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the criminal act.

If the victim’s death resulted from negligence on the part of a government agency or employee, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the negligence. If the victim’s death resulted from a defective product, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the product’s manufacture, sale, or distribution.

If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, a wrongful death attorney can help you understand your rights and file a lawsuit within the appropriate timeframe. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

What are the most common causes of wrongful death?

Although a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for accidental and intentional deaths of a loved one, the majority of cases are based on claims that someone else was at fault. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:

  1. Medical malpractice or negligence
  2. Car accidents
  3. Slip and falls
  4. Workplace accidents
  5. Defective products
  6. Murder or manslaughter

The duty of care is the fundamental principle of negligence personal injury law. All individuals must exercise a reasonable standard of care in their interactions with others. This includes avoiding any actions or omissions that could foreseeably cause harm. The plaintiff must prove four elements to have a successful case:

  1. That the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
  2. That the defendant breached that duty of care
  3. That the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the death
  4. That the plaintiff suffered damages

A breach of duty occurs when the defendant fails to meet this standard of care. This can be due to various factors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, operating a defective product, or making an inaccurate diagnosis.

If the plaintiff can show that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the death, they will be able to recover damages. Damages can include economic and non-economic losses, such as funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney from Walner Law as soon as possible. Contact us today.

Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Illinois?

The person bringing the lawsuit may be identified as the holder of the deceased’s estate in a will or even appointed by the court. Still, this person will not necessarily receive compensation from a successful wrongful death lawsuit. According to Illinois law, monies received through legal action are for the exclusive benefit of surviving spouse(s) and next-of-kin, which often include children but may also include siblings, parents, and grandparents.

What are the steps to file an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit?

Lady Justice holding the scales of justice.

If you have lost a loved one and believe their death was wrongful, you may wonder what the next steps are. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois is a complex process, and it’s best to hire an experienced wrongful death attorney to help you. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you get the most out of your case.

The first step in building a strong wrongful death case is gathering evidence. You will need to gather evidence to prove that your loved one’s death was wrongful. This evidence can include witness statements, medical records, and police reports. Having as much evidence as possible to support your case is essential.

Once you have gathered evidence and hired an attorney, you will need to file the lawsuit. This will be done in court, and your attorney will represent you during the proceedings.

If the other party agrees, your attorney will negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial. If the case goes to trial, both sides will present their case to the jury. The jury will then decide if the death was wrongful and who is responsible.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer at Walner Law to discuss your legal options.

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