If you lost a loved one because of someone’s negligence, you know how devastating it is emotionally. Your loved one’s death also can wreak havoc on your finances and future. How will you pay the mortgage, car, and your child’s college education?
Fortunately, you have legal options if someone’s negligent action caused the death of someone close to you. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois to receive compensation for your losses. Learn about wrongful death in Illinois below, then contact our Schaumburg wrongful death attorney for legal representation and assistance.
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No. There are no caps for damages in Illinois for wrongful death. In 2005, the state of Illinois passed a law that limited noneconomic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits for wrongful death and personal injury. However, fortunately for the residents of Illinois, the law was overturned a few years later because the Illinois Supreme Court found it violated the state Constitution.
The Illinois Supreme Court found that decisions for damages on civil lawsuits should be made only by judges and juries. Today, there are no limits on wrongful death awards or personal injury lawsuits in Illinois.
A wrongful death case begins with your attorney filing a wrongful death claim. This is accomplished by filing an insurance claim against the persons or companies responsible for the accident that caused the wrongful death. Many times a lawsuit will be filed right away in order to preserve evidence as to how the accident happened. If an insurance claim is filed first, the insurance provider will initiate an accident investigation.
Based on the outcome of the investigation, the insurance company may want more information or begin to discuss a financial settlement. They also may present you with a proposed settlement.
In this process, it is recommended to speak to a skilled Schaumburg wrongful death attorney as early as possible. Your attorney knows how to maximize the compensation you receive by accurately valuing your loved one’s future lost income, pain and suffering, and more. They also know how to attach value to your mental suffering, anguish, and loss of support and can prove it.
Most insurance companies offer a low settlement amount at first. However, you should be represented by an attorney during these negotiations because the insurance company will take you more seriously.
If you lost your loved one in any of the following Illinois accidents, you should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
Car and truck accidents in Illinois are the most common type of wrongful death action. This is because so many Illinoisans drive every day. Car accidents are the third-leading cause of death among all ages in Illinois. Whether your loved one was driving near Woodfield Mall, Wintrust Field, or elsewhere in Schaumburg, many severe and fatal car accidents happen daily in this community and across Illinois.
Driver’s negligence causes most Schaumburg car accidents. It could be speeding, reckless driving, running a stop light, or failure to yield. You could receive compensation for your losses if any of these are proven.
Did you lose a loved one in Schaumburg at a local hospital? Unfortunately, while most doctors at these facilities are skilled, they sometimes make medical errors. These errors can happen if medical professionals cut corners, fail to follow standard medical procedures, or miss a diagnosis.
The most common medical malpractice cases are misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose. There also are surgical errors and medication mistakes that cause unnecessary deaths.
Tractor-trailer accidents are in their own category of wrongful death actions because of their size and the violence of the collisions. In addition, big rigs are much more likely to cause fatalities than other vehicles.
The reasons truck accidents happen also are different. Many truck accidents happen because of driver fatigue, distracted driving, mechanical problems, aggressive driving, and oversized loads.
Pedestrian accidents often result in death because the person is unprotected when struck by the vehicle. Driver negligence causes most pedestrian accidents. However, the Illinois or Schaumburg local government may be liable if there was a problem with the road or lack of proper signs.
Occupations in Illinois with higher risk, such as construction and manual labor, have higher job-related fatalities. However, wrongful death can happen in an office, such as at a corporate center. Work-related accidents also occur when people are overworked and get in fatal accidents on the way home.
The manufacturer, designer, or retailer could be liable if your loved one died because of a defective product. Product liability is the biggest reason companies spend a lot of time testing products over and over to ensure their safety. Common sources of defective product wrongful death lawsuits are pharmaceuticals, unsafe products, toxic foods, toys, and defective motor vehicles.
To succeed in your wrongful death lawsuit, your Schaumburg wrongful death attorney must prove:
You have the best chance of receiving compensation by hiring a wrongful death attorney.
No amount of money can bring your loved one back to life. However, a wrongful death lawsuit will help you Claim Your Justice and reduces the financial burdens of a sudden death. If you are successful with your lawsuit, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
You may receive this compensation from a trial verdict or a wrongful death settlement before the trial.
Another critical point to remember with wrongful death in Illinois is the statute of limitations. You have only two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. It is vital to contact an attorney as soon as possible to have the case filed on time. If you miss the deadline, the court will dismiss your case. However, there are rare exceptions.
Some of the most common wrongful death questions we receive are below.
At Claim Your Justice, we do not think that a lack of money should prevent you from obtaining justice after losing your loved one to someone’s negligent act. Our Schaumburg wrongful death lawyers offer a free consultation. Also, we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay our fees unless we win your case.
The surviving spouse, children, siblings, and parents can file the lawsuit. Your attorney will determine who can receive compensation in your case and design the lawsuit with this in mind.
IRS Publication 4345 states that wrongful death damages are physical damages and cannot be taxed. However, the funds may be subjected to the estate tax if the estate goes over the statutory limitation. Also, if you are awarded punitive damages, this could be taxed by the federal and state governments.
It depends on the type of accident and other case factors. Some cases can be resolved in a few months, and others take years. Some reasons these actions take longer include questions about liability, the amount of insurance available, and the insurance company lowballing the value of the decedent’s life.
Usually, a wrongful death settlement is not public record. Settlements are generally kept between the parties of the lawsuit. In a wrongful death action, the settlement amount is known by the defendant’s insurance company and those who recover compensation for the death. All trial records will be available for public review if the case goes to court.
A settlement or verdict award is usually paid as a lump sum. A structured settlement is also a possibility. A structured settlement works like an annuity. The money is invested with interest and paid to the heirs, monthly or annually. Your attorney can arrange to have a structured settlement setup if you want a monthly income or if the recipients of the proceeds re under the age of 18.
Losing a loved one in an accident is one of the most agonizing things you can go through in life. During this emotionally devastating time, you might not want to think about taking legal action. However, if someone caused the accident, holding them accountable and receiving compensation for your losses is essential. Our Schaumburg wrongful death attorney can help you.
Claim Your Justice attorneys are proud to work with clients in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, and Oak Streamwood. Please contact Claim Your Justice at 847-434-3555 to discuss your wrongful death case.
This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. An Attorney-Client relationship is created when you sign a written agreement with our law firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an Attorney-Client relationship has been established.
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