The pain, grief, and sense of loss can be paralyzing. As lawyers who represent family members of wrongful death victims in Chicago, IL, we know the consequences all too well.
However, it is precisely because of the toll of wrongful deaths that we are so passionate about helping spouses and next of kin fight for just compensation. If someone else is to blame for your loved one’s death, we want to help you hold them accountable and recover the largest possible settlement or verdict for your loss. While no amount of money can undo what’s been done, if you are entitled to compensation under the law, we can help you stand up for your legal rights.
A wrongful death occurs anytime someone dies in a situation where they would have been entitled to pursue a claim for personal injury had they survived the accident or altercation. This includes not only situations involving negligence or willful misconduct, but deaths resulting from defective products and dangerous premises as well. Some common examples of accidents, incidents, and fatal injuries that can give rise to claims for wrongful death include:
In Illinois, surviving spouses and next of kin are entitled to file claims directly against the responsible parties. Unlike other states, Illinois does not require family members to pursue compensation by filing a claim on behalf of their loved one’s estate. However, wrongful death claims often coincide with “survival” claims, which are brought on behalf of the estate in order to recover for the decedent’s losses prior to death. This means that spouses and next of kin can file wrongful death claims under Illinois law for their own:
In appropriate cases, spouses and next of kin can also seek punitive damages.
Given the complexity of wrongful death claims in Illinois, family members interested in pursuing compensation are strongly encouraged to seek competent legal representation. Without an experienced lawyer on your side, you are likely to receive far less than you are owed, and if you settle with the insurance companies you may be barred from pursuing any additional claims.
At Malman Law, we have several decades of experience representing the families of wrongful death victims in the Chicago area. If you choose to work with us, our attorneys will make sure that you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.
The distinction between filing a direct claim as opposed to filing a claim on behalf of the estate is an important one. First, this means that any damages recovered go straight to the spouse or next of kin. Second, it means that the recovered amounts are not subject to claims by the deceased victim’s creditors. Third, since wrongful death claims compensate family members for their own personal losses, they do not preclude survival actions (which provide compensation for the decedent’s losses) from being filed on behalf of the estate as well.
Many wrongful death cases involve severe brain and spinal cord injuries. These injuries are exceedingly common in serious collisions, falls, and other accidents – and they often have tragic consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 percent of all injury-related deaths result from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and 92 percent of victims of penetrating traumatic brain injuries die as a result of their injuries. At Malman Law, we have particular experience helping clients recover compensation for injuries and deaths resulting from spinal cord injuries and TBIs.