Wrongful death is defined as a death that occurred due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. Wrongful death lawsuits may follow a death caused by a drunk driver accident, workplace accident, construction accident, assault, medical malpractice, and more. Through a wrongful death claim, a surviving loved one may receive compensation for the expenses and losses incurred by the death. This may include compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, mental anguish, and the loss of companionship. If you have recently lost a loved one, you may wonder who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
Determining Whether a Successful Wrongful Death Claim Is Possible
Not every unexpected death qualifies as wrongful death. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states that a party may be liable to an action for damages if:
- The death of a person was caused by the party’s neglect, wrongful act, or default; and
- If the person had not died, he or she would have been entitled to recover damages for his or her injuries
Most wrongful death claims involve a party who was negligent. A successful wrongful death claim based on negligence is possible when the responsible party has a duty of care, the party breached that duty, an individual dies as a result of the breach of duty, and damages are incurred.
Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to Illinois law, a relative of the deceased person or the representative of the estate has the option of bringing a wrongful death claim. Typically, the deceased person’s spouse or children file a wrongful death claim. However, if no immediate family members exist, the deceased person’s parents, siblings and other relatives may be able to bring a claim. Compensation recovered by a successful wrongful death claim is distributed to the deceased person’s surviving spouse and/or next of kin. The “next of kin” is most often the deceased person’s biological children or adopted children. If the deceased person had no children or spouse, his or her parents, siblings, or other relatives may receive compensation. Damages including the deceased person’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, as well as the losses incurred by the surviving family, may be available.
Contact Orland Park Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Schwartz Injury Law to learn more. Call us at 708-226-9000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney from our firm.