How do you sue for wrongful death in Illinois?

Wrongful death is described as when someone dies due to the fault of someone else—either another person or another entity (for example, an auto manufacturer). A lawsuit for wrongful death seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, such as lost wages from the deceased party, lost companionship, funeral expenses, and other factors. 

In terms of how to go about suing for wrongful death, a representative on behalf of the survivors must file the claim—this is usually the executor of the deceased’s estate. The representative speaks for the “real parties in interest,” which may include immediate family members, life partners or financial dependents, spouses, distant family members, parents of a deceased fetus (in some states), or any person who is suffering financially as a result of the death (for example, someone who has lost care or support).

The claim must be filed with a lawyer.  Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against a variety of parties, from persons to companies, government agencies to employees. The types of damages that can be sought include economic damages, non-economic damages (loss of companionship, loss of care/support, damages in the realm of survivors’ pain and anguish, etc.), punitive damages for especially bad conduct, and even attorney fees for bringing the case to court.

The statute of limitations may be as short as one year—however, each state is different. The general rule is that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the misconduct that caused the victim’s death.

For more information on filing a wrongful death lawsuit, contact a personal injury attorney in Chicago today.