Common Causes of Wrongful Death
While there are a number of accidents and incidents that can result in wrongful death, the more common include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: These include fatal car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and four-wheeler accidents resulting from another driver’s negligence.
- Defective products: Defective motor vehicle parts, faulty household items, and children’s toys can be fatal if they malfunction or lack the appropriate warnings.
- Pool accidents: These include drowning deaths or fatal slip and fall accidents that often result from improper supervision or a lack of warning signs.
- Workplace accidents: A wrongful death can occur on the job and may be the result of cancer by toxic exposure or a tragic event, such as a construction site accident.
- Bicycle accidents: These are common along shoulders and intersections when other drivers fail to yield or share the road with cyclists.
- Animal bites: Dog bites and attacks from other animals, especially when children are the victims, can result in death.
- Nursing home abuse:When elderly residents are neglected or abused, the results can be an untimely death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the state of Illinois, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought “by and in the names of the personal representatives” of the deceased. 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, but this person is not necessarily the one who will receive compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, monies received through legal action, no matter who brings such action, are for the “exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin.” This often includes children, but may also include siblings, parents, and even grandparents.
The best way to determine if you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit is with the help of an experienced attorney. Please call our team of Chicago personal injury lawyer at Walner Law® at (312) 410-8496 to schedule your free consultation today.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The damages sought in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on the role that the deceased played in the family.
Typically, damages sought will include:
- End-of-life and funeral expenses
- Projected future wages
- Projected retirement and/or 401(k) income
- Future insurance costs
- Loss of companionship or society
- Emotional distress
- Projected future financial contributions to things like mortgage and tuition
It’s impossible to place a price on the value of your loved one’s life. However, financial concerns can be taken care of to help guard the future security of your family. In addition, emotional damages caused by your loss can, in many cases, increase your settlement amount. Our wrongful death attorneys will do everything possible, and take your case as far as necessary, to see that you are awarded maximum compensation for your loss.
Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice
In its strictest definition, wrongful death is any loss of life that could have been prevented if another party had acted responsibly. In medical malpractice cases, determining wrongful death requires the experience of a dedicated attorney who understands this form of personal injury litigation.
According to the Institute of Medicine, medical malpractice results in 48,000 – 98,000 preventable deaths in the United States every year. Despite this staggering number, very few medical malpractice cases result in a proper settlement for surviving family members.
There can be a number of causes of wrongful death due to medical malpractice. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Missed, delayed, or wrong diagnoses
- Emergency room errors
- Birth injuries
To establish liability, you will need an attorney on your side who knows how to analyze medical records and who has medical experts available to prove negligence. Here at Walner Law, we work with medical experts to pour over the details of your case. This enables us to build the best case on your behalf, hold all responsible parties liable, and fight to get you the justice you deserve.
When you lose a loved one to medical malpractice, filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. It is important to remember, however, that there is a statute of limitations on these claims. The medical professionals responsible will be working to limit their liability as soon as the tragedy occurs. Only with an aggressive Chicago medical malpractice attorney on your side can you ensure you are treated fairly and provided the full compensation you deserve.
More Than One Dependent
In instances where more than one dependent will benefit from a wrongful death settlement, multiple parties may be involved in legal action. However, it is often simpler and more efficient to have a single party appointed as administrator of the estate in a lawsuit. Every wrongful death case is unique and each family has specific needs that will require addressing following the loss of a loved one. Our attorneys can work with you personally to make sure that family matters are also settled upon the resolution of this type of personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Experienced Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers
In the state of Illinois, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the administrator of the estate. In the absence of a will, the administrator of the estate is generally a spouse or child of the decedent. However, other family members may also be eligible to file a lawsuit. The best way to determine if you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit is by having your case evaluated by one of our top Chicago wrongful death attorneys.