When a loved one dies in an accident it can throw everything into chaos. You feel deep emotional pain that feels like it will never get better. You may also have to deal with a host of unexpected costs that you are unprepared to pay for. When a loved one dies too soon, the emotional and financial effects can last for the rest of your life. In Illinois wrongful death suits, the victim’s surviving family members may have the opportunity to collect compensation for the loss of their loved one.
What You Can Recover
While money will never bring back or replace your loved one, it can help ease your financial burden and it is the only way the law has of trying in some way to right the wrong that was done to you and your family.
Wrongful death suits allow certain surviving family members to collect damages for:
Loss of companionship
The law specifies that only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file the lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members. Any damages collected are paid out to the next of kin in accordance with state law or any estate plan. The personal representative is often a close family member as well, but it does not need to be. Most estate planning documents such as wills and trusts nominate someone to serve as the personal representative.
What Needs to Be Proven
Even if a case is settled out of court, a wrongful death claim will only be successful in winning damages if certain key elements can be proven. These elements include:
The defendant acted negligently or intentionally wrongfully
The defendant’s actions were the cause of death
The surviving loved ones suffered damages such as economic loss or mental suffering
Usually, insurance companies are the ones paying out the damages for a wrongful death suit. Factors such as any contributory negligence on the part of the deceased will play a part in determining how much in damages will be awarded.
If an accident happened at work, a wrongful death claim may or may not be possible. In many such cases, workers’ compensation death benefits will apply and effectively shield an employer from a lawsuit. It is essential that you get advice from a knowledgeable attorney with a track record of bringing successful wrongful death cases.
Contact an Arlington Heights Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your loved one has been killed because of someone else’s negligence, you need to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney right away to discuss your rights and possible claims. You may only have a short window to file a claim. Call the offices of [[title]] at [[phone]] today to schedule your free consultation.