Here are some frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois:
In what instances can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
Simply put, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in Illinois whenever someone loses his or her life due to the actions (or inaction) of another party. Common wrongful death cases include:
- motor vehicle accidents
- train or other common carrier accidents
- construction accidents
- slip-and-fall accidents
- medical or pharmacist malpractice
- unsafe or defective products or medications
Against whom are wrongful death cases usually filed?
It depends on the specific type of case. For example, the person who caused a deadly motor vehicle accident could be sued. If this individual was working at the time, his or her employer (or a county, state, or other municipality) could also be named as a defendant. Businesses where construction or slip-and-fall accidents occur can also be held liable for deaths from these types of mishaps. And physicians and pharmacists can be sued when malpractice is suspected, while companies who make defective products can also be named in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In Illinois, only one person can file such a lawsuit in connection with a specific death. Often, it is a family member like the decedent’s spouse, parent, sibling, son, daughter, or other relative. If the person who died has a will, whoever was appointed as the executor of the decedent’s estate controls how and when a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
Where is a wrongful death lawsuit filed?
These suits are always filed in the county in which the person lost his her or life. It doesn’t matter where the decedent lived, worked, or was born. Likewise, if an Illinois resident dies in another state, any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in that state.
What types of damages can be received in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Though each case is different, a plaintiff can receive reimbursement for any and all medical bills related to the person’s death as well as for expense need to bury the person. Also, monetary damages may be awarded for pain and suffering, grief, and loss of society. Finally, a defendant may also have to pay for lost wages prior to the individual’s death; as well loss of economic support, or the estimated future wages the decedent would have earned in his or her lifetime.
How quickly after a death must a wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
Illinois law states that most wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the individual’s passing. A notable exception is when a municipality is involved, such as in a city bus accident or slip-and-fall accident in a county building. In these cases, the statute of limitations is only one year.
What’s the first step in filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
Contact a qualified wrongful death attorney for a free consultation.
We are pleased to offer a FREE book which Mr. Doyle has written to assist families of victims of wrongful death accidents. In it, we answer many of the basic questions that families have concerning their rights in a very difficult situation. To obtain a free copy of the wrongful death book, either follow the link, click on the image on the right side of this page, or call our office at (312) 263-1080 to request a copy of the book.