How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

Monday, January 10, 2022

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

The sudden and unexpected death of a close family member is devastating, and often more so when the death could have been prevented because it happened due to someone’s negligence or reckless conduct.

At Malman Law, we understand the pain you are going through and are here to do what we can to help you cope with the situation and your loss. While you focus on your emotional recovery, we work to take away your concern about what needs to be done legally to ensure you get what you deserve under the law for the wrongful death of your loved one. Reach out to our Chicago wrongful death attorneys for the help you need today. 

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death happens when a person is killed due to the fault or negligence of another person or entity, such as a business. Examples of wrongful deaths include those caused by car accidents, medical mistakes, defective products, or deadly assault. Illinois has laws that allow the victim’s estate and survivors to recover compensation for the wrongful death in such situations.

The Time Limit for Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois

For a wrongful death claim to be considered in the legal process, the case must be filed by a deadline set by law, and that is generally within two years of the death occurring. This is what is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” There are exceptions for minors and criminal actions under which the deadline may be extended, but it is best to file the wrongful death case as soon as possible to make sure you do not inadvertently miss the filing deadline. 

What Happens If a Wrongful Death Case is Not Filed Within Two Years?

If you do not file your wrongful death case within the statute of limitations, meaning, within two years, then you will be barred from ever bringing the case. Unless you show some extraordinary circumstances, a judge will likely grant a motion to dismiss your case if it was not filed within the required deadline. This is why it is critical for you to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney soon after the death of a loved one, so that they can determine whether you have a case and, if so, by when the case must be filed so that you do not miss this important deadline.

How Can an Attorney Help After a Wrongful Death?

An experienced wrongful death attorney can help guide you through the legal process, as they know exactly what needs to be done to make sure you obtain maximum compensation for the loss of your loved one. We understand and know the law, and even more importantly, we are skilled in dealing with insurance companies and adjusters on behalf of grieving families. 

Learn More from a Trusted Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one and believe the death was wrongful, contact Malman Law for a free consultation. We’re here to stand up for you and your family in difficult times.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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