Losing a loved one because someone decided to drive carelessly is a devastating experience, especially when the deceased family member was the main income earner or the primary caregiver of young children. No matter what the deceased’s role in the family was, survivors feel the loss acutely and may wonder if they can take legal action.
In Illinois, enumerated close family members may be able to file a wrongful death action against the negligent driver responsible for the crash. If your close family member was killed by a negligent driver, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Which Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Illinois, only certain close family members have standing to file a wrongful death action. Eligible next of kin may be the decedent’s:
Spouses – Spouses rely on each other in numerous ways. A spouse is likely to be hard hit by the sudden loss of their partner in marriage.
Children – Adult surviving children may file on their own behalf, while minor children need an adult guardian to pursue compensation on their behalf. The statute of limitations can be extended so that children may file on their own behalf when they reach the age of 18 if an adult has not already done so for them.
If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse or children, then Illinois law may permit more distant relatives to recover compensation for the wrongful death. Other eligible family members may include the decedent’s:
Parents – Parents should not have to bury their children. If the person killed was a young adult or child, their parents may be their next of kin.
Siblings – Siblings may be able to recover compensation as well. If there is no surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling, then Illinois state law may permit nieces and nephews to bring a lawsuit.
Significant others who were not married, close friends, and children the decedent was helping to raise but not legally related to may also suffer significant emotional or financial harm. However, unfortunately, there is no legal path to financial recovery for these individuals.
Contact an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawyer
Lucas Law is committed to helping grieving family members recover compensation from the party responsible for their loved one’s death. Our compassionate Barrington wrongful death attorneys will fight for you to recover the highest possible amount. Call 847-381-8700 for a free consultation.