Understanding Wrongful Death and Accidents

By Patrick Halliday

Death is the most challenging part of life. Losing someone close to you, that you care deeply about, is one of the most tragic things one can endure. If you’ve lost someone to an auto accident because of another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Though no amount of money can make death turn back its clock, it could help you recover in a stable manner. When a person dies, many things go with them. For example, if a man dies in a car crash, he could have a wife and child that he’s leaving behind. He may have been the major breadwinner, and the lives of the wife and child are changed forever. If that man died due to the negligence of an at-fault driver, compensation could help that wife and child continue their lives. 

Like many things in car accident law, wrongful death can get a little confusing. It is defined as the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act by another person. Those acts could include: negligence (like careless driving), an intentional attack, or vehicular manslaughter. Any fatality that was caused by the detrimental acts of another person may result in a wrongful death claim. But the most common one is death though car accidents. Click Here to Read the Full Article About Car Accident In Peoria, Illinois.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim is filed against a person who could be held liable for a death. Wrongful death personal injury claims are a civil action in which one party’s negligence caused another person to die. Before this type of claim was recognized, a deceased person could not file a suit, obviously. However, there was no rule when it came to how the suit would be carried out if there were one. 

Wrongful death claims can be the result of many different circumstances. The most common cases in Illinois include medical malpractice, workplace accidents, car or truck accidents, and defective products. Wrongful death claims are usually not taken lightly, successfully having action taken can be quite a challenge; this sentence needs to be reworded – not sure what it’s trying to say. The plaintiff, acting on behalf of the deceased individual, is going to need to show the death of a human was caused by another’s negligence or intention. The plaintiff will need to show that the surviving family of the deceased are suffering monetarily because of the death. 

Wrongful death cases are challenging. Having the right attorney in your corner is essential. Dennis Hernandez and his team of highly knowledgeable attorneys can help you find peace. 

Illinois Wrongful Death Act

Each state has its own set of specific rules governing wrongful death claims. Those rules govern everything from who can file a suit to who the representative of the estate is. The rules and laws can get tricky; if you want to check the statutes regarding wrongful death claims for Illinois, Click Here to Read the Full Article About Car Accident In Peoria, Illinois.

In Illinois, parents, children, spouses or other relatives that were dependent on the wrongful death victim can file a claim. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, family members of the deceased are allowed to file a wrongful death suit against the person or entity they believe is responsible for their loved one’s death. 

The statute of limitations for the Illinois Wrongful Death Act is four years. That means you must file a claim for wrongful death within four years of the accident, or it will be denied. 

Who is Allowed to Sue for Wrongful Death?

The emotional toll that family members face after the death of a loved one cannot be put into words. Deaths, especially sudden and unexpected ones, can tear families apart. The process after a wrongful death accident is going to be long and arduous. So, who is allowed to sue for wrongful death?

Many states allow all family members to file wrongful death claims; unfortunately, Illinois is not one of them. Whoever the representative of the estate may be, usually it is a spouse or child, is typically named in the will and testament left by the deceased. Only the following people are permitted to bring the wrongful death claims forward:

  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Other blood relatives and adoptive siblings who were dependents

Wrongful Death Damages Available

A straightforward way to remember what damages may be recoverable from a wrongful death claim is by thinking about what the person would have recovered if they had survived the accident. 

There are two types of claims made that are eligible for damage recovery: the claims made on behalf of the estate and the claims made on behalf of the family members. 

The estate is entitled to recover damages for any earnings lost by the deceased from the date of the death forward. It can also recover for funeral expenses and any medical expenses that accumulated before the time of death. Most importantly, the future lost earnings that the deceased would have been expected to earn if they hadn’t died are all recoverable. Family members could be entitled to recovery in a wrongful death claim for many things. Those things include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Value of the lost future support and services
  • Value of the loss of companionship for a spouse
  • Value of the mental pain and anguish suffered
  • Medical bills and funeral costs paid by the surviving family

Recovering ALL damages is one of the main reasons an experienced wrongful death attorney is so important. If  a victim’s survivors are not aware of everything that can be recovered for, they may not be receiving as much compensation as they should be.

Hiring an Experienced Attorney

An experienced attorney will quantify wrongful death damages down to the penny. This includes the estimated loss of income and medical bills. Most important is the challenging task of putting a dollar amount on a human life. This is an emotional and traumatic process that our reliable wrongful death attorney team at Accident Lawyers of Illinois is ready to take on for you.

Contributor Credits For Atty. Patrick Halliday

About the Author

Patrick Halliday

Patrick Halliday is a partner of Halliday McCall Accident Lawyers of Illinois. The opening of his own office in central Illinois was a process that started at the end of 2017 after having been a partner in a major Chicago based litigation law firm. He has been practicing law for over 15 years in the Chicago area working on high profile cases and multi-million dollar claims. Mr. Halliday has helped clients win cases on both the prosecution and defense sides of legal claims. Having experience on both sides of matters has allowed him to maximize the results for his clients’ cases. Attorney Halliday obtained his undergraduate degree at Northern Illinois University and his J.D. at DePaul University College of Law.

(This post is contributed by Guest Author Patrick Halliday)

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.