If you’ve lost a loved one to someone else’s negligence, it’s an especially difficult experience that can leave you exceptionally vulnerable to the immense grief and the attendant financial loss. While nothing can bring your relative back to you, an experienced Decatur wrongful death attorney can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to follow the path toward recovery.
In Illinois, wrongful death refers to a death that was caused by someone else’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. And if the decedent would have been entitled to recover damages if he or she had survived, his survivors can do so on his or her behalf. As such, the wrongful death suit is brought on behalf of the decedent, but the compensation is awarded to surviving family members in response to their own losses that stem from the death.
In the State of Illinois, the surviving spouse and children are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their lost loved one. Barring a surviving spouse or children, other relatives, such as a parent or sibling, may bring the suit. The wrongful death cases will be filed in the name of the decedent’s personal representative (or the executor of his or her estate) rather than by the family members themselves. The amount recovered in the legal action is then distributed by the court in accordance with the level of dependence each surviving relative had on the decedent. If the decedent has no personal representative, the court will likely appoint one on his or her behalf.
The damages paid in Illinois wrongful death cases are exclusively for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or next of kin. The jury in your wrongful death case can award whatever compensation they determine to be fair and just and can include all of the following categories of damage:
The court will distribute the damages awarded in relation to each survivor’s level of dependence on the lost loved one – as assessed by the court. Certain varieties of damage are only available to specific parties. The funeral and burial costs, for example, are generally paid directly to the estate, since these expenses typically flow through the estate. Further, damages related to the loss of affection and companionship are generally reserved for close family members, such as the surviving spouse or children.
The State of Illinois imposes a fairly rigid statute of limitations when it comes to wrongful death suits. Depending upon the specifics of your case, you’ll need to file your suit within either one or two years of the date you lost your loved one. Because these claims are quite complicated, it’s in the best interest of your case and your family to consult with a dedicated Decatur wrongful death attorney sooner rather than later.
Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is devastating, and you may not even want to think about your next steps – or may not have any idea how best to proceed. The fact is, however, that the at-fault party’s insurance company will immediately spring into action in an attempt to shield itself from as much liability as it possibly can – and the insurance company has the deep pockets necessary to help manage this successfully. Working closely with an attorney who has extensive experience successfully bringing these complicated cases is in your best interest. Your knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will immediately go to work to help skillfully accomplish all of the following:
If you’ve lost a loved one to someone else’s negligence, the dedicated Decatur wrongful death attorneys at Malman Law are committed to applying their considerable experience and skill to obtaining just compensation for your profound loss. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.