Losing someone in an accident caused by another person’s reckless actions is heartbreaking. If you have lost a close relative in a drunk driving car accident, you may be facing tremendous grief as well as burdensome financial problems. Illinois law gives surviving loved ones the right to bring a wrongful death claim against a party when that party’s reckless, illegal, or intentionally harmful conduct causes someone’s death. If your loved one was killed in a drunk driving crash, a wrongful death claim may help you hold the negligent driver accountable for the death as well as recover compensation for your financial losses.
What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Illinois?
A wrongful death claim can be thought of as an injury claim that is brought on a deceased person’s behalf. According to Illinois statute, a successful wrongful death claim is possible when:
The deceased person or “decedent” died because of another party’s wrongful or negligent act.
If the decedent had survived his or her injuries, he or she would have had the right to recover damages.
Illinois Law Regarding Deaths Caused by Drunk Drivers
Just as it is in all 50 states, driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is against the law in Illinois. Sadly, this does not stop some people from getting behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. Drunk driving caused over 3,000 deaths in Illinois between 2009 and 2018.
In many personal injury and wrongful death claims, the claimant must prove that the defendant acted negligently. However, DUI accidents typically fall under a legal theory called “negligence per se.” This means that when someone causes a car accident and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit, they are presumed to be at fault.
Recoverable Damages in a Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Case
The damages are the losses that were experienced by the decedent’s surviving loved ones. A wrongful death claim may allow the decedent’s family to recover compensation for these damages. Compensation for medical bills incurred between the accident and the decedent’s passing, funeral and burial expenses, and the loss of the decedent’s financial support and services may be recoverable. An Illinois wrongful death claim may also allow family members to recover compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance, or consortium (loss of the marital relationship).
Contact a Cook County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, you are no doubt suffering. That is why it is important to contact a knowledgeable Northlake wrongful death attorney from Kaiser Hafezi Law. Our team of skilled attorneys has over 100 years of collective experience. We can help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at 630-233-9946 to schedule a free consultation.