A death in the family is a devastating event that can be made even more tragic and upsetting if it is due to the malicious or negligent action of a third party. Although nothing can replace the person who was lost, the civil court system in Illinois has processes available to help families in need, and compassionate personal injury attorneys are available to help you pursue them. If you recently lost a loved one due to another’s wrongdoing, contact a Wheaton wrongful death lawyer to begin discussing strategies that may lead to significant compensation for your family.
A wrongful death claim can only be filed by close family members under normal circumstances, such as a parent, child, or sibling. However, if the person who passed away had no close relatives, the executor of their estate can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Before attempting to file a wrongful death claim, though, it may be important to contact a Wheaton wrongful death lawyer who can advise clients on the validity of their claim.
In wrongful death claims, it is often the case that multiple family members are affected by the loss of a loved one. This means that they have all suffered damages and are legally entitled to compensation for those damages. If this is the case, the court may award the family a certain amount of compensation and then, after the amount of compensation is determined, divide that compensation between the surviving family members.
To decide the amount that each family member receives, the judge takes into account how close the family member is to the deceased person, genealogically speaking. However, they may also consider the strength of the relationship that the person had with the deceased loved one, so it is not necessarily the case that a closer familial relation would always equate to a higher amount of compensation.
The main difference between a wrongful death claim and a personal injury claim is that a personal injury claim is brought by the injured individual and a wrongful death claim is brought by their family members. Both types of cases can involve compensation for damages or expenses like medical bills, property damage, and the injured person’s pain and suffering.
However, there are some unique facets to damages in a wrongful death case. Funeral expenses are often included, for example. The family can also sue for such damages as the emotional toll of losing a relationship with their loved one, loss of consortium, and similar psychological impacts.
If your loved one passed away due to another person’s actions, you may have a case for significant compensation. Given their experience, a Wheaton wrongful death lawyer may have access to expert witnesses who could help bolster your case by assigning fair values to your damages or by reconstructing the accident in which your loved one was killed to show the fault of the defendant.
The sooner you retain qualified legal assistance, the sooner your family may be able to focus on healing rather than navigating the complex legal system. When you are ready, get started on your case by scheduling a confidential consultation.