You may be curious about hiring a Chicago wrongful death lawyer if your loved one recently suffered an accident resulting in the loss of their life.
It’s sad when a loved one passes, especially when that death was caused by the negligence of another and could likely have been avoided.
If you are wondering whether you have the right to follow a wrongful death case, or what wrongful death actually entails, this article will help you get the information you need to file a lawsuit in Chicago.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Chicago?
Wrongful death is a type of lawsuit where close family members are able to file a claim on behalf of someone who is deceased.
The deceased person would have been able to file a personal injury claim had they survived the accident that was a result of the negligence of another, but since they passed on, they are unable to do so.
It is your job as the next of kin (surviving spouse, children, etc) to file the claim that they were unable to file due to their untimely passing.
Not only does this hold those who were negligent accountable, but it also can help you with bills, medical payments, and other compensation now that you are without your loved one.
Whether this person provided income, household work, or just love and support, you deserve to be compensated for their untimely death.
Not to mention that you will have bills related to funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and more.
A Chicago wrongful death attorney can help you in seeking the compensation you deserve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
While it is true that usually only spouses and children can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one, there are laws that must be followed in order to do so.
First, you must be someone who is “entitled to recovery”, which is usually the next of kin to the deceased.
If you are entitled to recover, you must then be appointed by the court as the Special Administrator. This is the person who is specifically designated as the plaintiff on behalf the the estate of the deceased.
An executor of an estate may also bring the wrongful death claim to court.
How is Death Compensation Calculated?
Compensation for a Chicago wrongful death case is calculated much like a personal injury case, with a few extra categories of compensation added in.
In a personal injury case, the person is compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to life changes their injury has caused them.
In a wrongful death case, you factor in the same things. If the provider of your household has passed there will be lost wages. If they were in the hospital before they passed, there will also be medical bills.
Instead of pain and suffering, however, you will be dealing with loss of consortium, or the loss of companionship in a physical and phycological sense.
Next of kin will likely also be able to claim grief, sorrow, and mental suffering from the passing of their loved one instead of pain and suffering.
There are also funeral costs to consider.
All of these fees are calculated into a wrongful death case, but there are many factors at play, so a “wrongful death claim calculator” won’t be very accurate.
It’s best to talk to a personal injury attorney about your wrongful death case so that a proper investigation can take place and a more accurate amount can be estimated.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?
Like many other states and cities in the U.S., Chicago has a statute of limitations of two years for wrongful death cases.
That means that you have two years from the time of death to file your claim. After this time limit, you will forfeit your right to seek compensation.
It’s important to note that this statute of limitations is different than that of a personal injury statute.
Personal injury cases have two years from the time of the accident. Wrongful death has two years from the time of death.
So, for example, if the injuries sustained result in death two months after the accident, you don’t include those first two months before the death but after the accident in the statute of limitations.
How Much Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Cost in Chicago?
Many people are too afraid to even contact a personal injury lawyer because they are scared that the fees for a consultation alone will bankrupt them when they are already down on their luck.
The good news is that most personal injury firms have free consultations.
At VanDerGinst Law, we even take this a step further.
Not only do we offer free consultations, but we advance all costs of your wrongful death case, so you don’t owe us a dime unless we win your case and get you compensation.
We know you are going through hard times, so we want to make the process as easy as we possibly can on you.
You shouldn’t be worrying about lawyers’ fees when you have just suffered the loss of your loved one.
Contact VanDerGinst Law’s Chicago Office For Help
Our lawyers at the VanDerGinst Law Chicago office are ready and waiting to help you with your wrongful death case.
It is our mission to help those who have been injured due to negligence, and in the case of wrongful death, helping the families of those who have passed.
The consultation is free, and you don’t owe us a dime unless we win your injury case.
We would be honored to help.