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When is Death Considered “Wrongful” in Illinois?

Like every other US state, Illinois has a set of wrongful death laws allowing victims to file for compensation. We’ll examine several significant facets of these statutes, including who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois, what damages may be available, and the deadlines for doing so in the state’s civil courts.

In Illinois, it is important to file a case claim for wrongful death within two years after the death of your loved one. However, there are some exceptions for cases brought by minors. An estate should open in probate court to file a wrongful death claim, but it is difficult and time-consuming. So it is best to connect with an attorney to take up this case for you. We at Phillips Law Office work with clients to help them to get the settlement done for wrongful death consideration in Illinois.

The two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Illinois means that judges must dismiss your case if you fail to file a claim in time. Contact your lawyer at Phillips Law Office so our attorney can look into your claims, choose the appropriate defendants, and submit your case before the two-year deadline.

What is the Wrongful Death Act?

Previously, under traditional common law, any personal injury claims a deceased person had against a negligent party were terminated upon their death. Their loved ones were not entitled to compensation even if they had been killed due to that tortfeasor’s negligence. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act enables claimants to receive damages when a loved one dies due to the tortfeasor’s negligence, created by the Illinois Legislature to address this unfairness.

According to Illinois law, the legislation enables surviving family members and loved ones to receive compensation for monetary harms like loss, sadness, and mental anguish. The law also allows close relatives and spouses to file a case for losing loved ones affecting their financial status.

Brief about Illinois Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/2) governs the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Illinois. According to the law, the victim should file all claims within two years of the decedent’s passing. The start of the two years is the date of death, not the day of the incident that resulted in the death. The two-year period begins on the date of death, for instance, if your loved one was fatally injured in a vehicle accident but did not pass away until two months after the collision.

However, there is an exception in this two-year rule in case the claimant falls under the minor child section. In this case, the two-year restriction might be lifted after the youngster reaches legal adulthood.

When is Death Considered “Wrongful

Difference between a Wrongful Death Case and the Criminal Homicide Case

There is a significant distinction between a criminal homicide case and a wrongful death case: In criminal court, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is an extremely high standard. In a civil case, the defendant’s guilt must only be established, which means it must be clear that the defendant caused the death more often than not. Yet, a single conduct may give rise to both charges: While facing criminal charges for the same death, a defendant may be sued in civil court for wrongful death.

What if the case isn’t filed within two years of wrongful death?

With few exceptions, courts are legally obligated to dismiss your case if you do not file a wrongful death complaint within two years. Thus, you must contact your lawyer right in the initial stage so they can perform a comprehensive investigation and work towards filing the case within the timeline.

Damages Wrongful Death Case Covers

The court will grant “damages”— as per the stated loss by the plaintiff’s deceased person’s survivors or estate in a successful wrongful death action. According to their degree of dependency on the deceased, Illinois pays damages to the deceased.

  • Loss of financial support, such as lost earnings and benefits
  • Lack of group support
  • Loss of the instruction and moral guidance that the deceased would have given to any surviving children, as well as
  • Grief and mental anguish of survivors.

What if I end up suing the wrong person?

Sometimes the correct defendant in a lawsuit may not be immediately clear. For example, in some cases, firms use trade names in front of consumers, which is quite common when enterprises are being sued.

Changing the complaint to add the proper entity is possible even if you accidentally sued the wrong entity. However, there is a small exception: when you sue the right defendant and get a summons but are referred to by the wrong name or have the wrong name misspelled in the summons.

It is best to hire an expert attorney from Phillips Law Office in Illinois who will work thoroughly after consultation to avoid any confusion.

Who is the sole owner of the money in the Wrongful Death Case?

Any compensation won in a wrongful death litigation is normally given to the deceased’s immediate family members. The Survival Act (755 ILCS 5/27-6) and the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/0.01 et al.) are the two statutes that are typically invoked in wrongful death lawsuits.

The beneficiaries of the decedent are awarded any damages that the decedent would be able to recover in case of survival. Regardless of the relation, every person designated in the decedent’s will is the beneficiary if there is a will. The damage recovery includes-

Some of the common Wrongful Deaths in Illinois

There are many reasons behind wrongful deaths in Illinois. The reason could be anything from preventable incidents to negligence. Here are some of the common wrongful deaths in Illinois-

  • Traffic collisions – Negligence due to texting while driving is to blame for most traffic fatalities. Family members can sue a driver who killed their loved one in an accident because they were careless, inattentive, or drunk.
  • Accidents at work – The most frequent workplace mishaps include ladder and scaffold falls, struck under falling objects,  explosions, and even car accidents.
  • Medical malpractice – Occasionally, a patient’s death results from the negligence or misconduct of a medical professional. Failure to diagnose, surgical, anesthetic, and medication errors are common medical malpractice situations. A sympathetic wrongful death lawyer in Illinois can assist you in obtaining compensation on behalf of the estate and your family, regardless of the negligent factor that led to the demise of your loved one.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Illinois

Chicago wrongful death attorney at Phillips Law Office can greatly help you win your case and get the damage compensation. Our injury attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable about how such cases work and what needs to be done to gain compensation for the deceased family.

Please do not be reluctant to contact our law office. When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, our attorneys are prepared to help you with your case and respond to any inquiries, such as how long it might take and how much money you will need to spend. Connect with us now!


Interesting Reads:

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How to divide a wrongful death settlement

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