Last Updated on August 13, 2023 by Tabraiz
Losing a loved one is always devastating. However, if a loved one dies because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, it worsens a hard situation.
While this is a situation that no one wants to be in, if you find this happens to you, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
However, before filing this lawsuit, you must understand the law and who can legally file a wrongful death claim in Chicago.
According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, all wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative. It’s also required that those who receive the death benefit are different from the personal representative.
In most cases, the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next of kin will receive any damages recovered. This includes compensation for pecuniary injuries like mental suffering, sorrow, and grief.
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Can anyone else receive damages from a wrongful death lawsuit in chicago?
The deceased person’s estate may also receive compensation for the individual’s pain and suffering (that occurred before their death), related medical costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses. This compensation is allowed under the Illinois Survival Act.
Close family members to the deceased individual, such as their spouse, children, and parents (in some cases), can file separate lawsuits to recover for the loss of consortium caused by their untimely death. They can also recover damages for the loss of household services and loss of care and guidance.
Distant family members and chicago wrongful death claims
Along with the deceased person’s next of kin (mentioned above), it’s also possible for some distant family members to recover from these lawsuits.
If the deceased individual has no surviving children or spouse, their grandchildren will be considered their personal representatives. If they don’t have grandchildren, the deceased’s personal representative is their siblings and/or parents. From there, it goes to nieces and nephews and then grandparents.
What Is onsidered wrongful death in chicago?
Now that you know who can file a wrongful death claim and recover benefits, it’s important to know what types of situations qualify as wrongful death claims.
Wrongful death cases include any situations where a death occurs because of:
- Auto accidents
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Defective products
- Airplane or train accidents
- Workplace or construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
Sometimes, workplace deaths may qualify as wrongful death cases. Some of the qualifying accidents include electrocutions, equipment malfunctions, chemical exposure, construction accidents, falls, and trucking accidents.
Proving Wrongful Death in Chicago
It’s necessary to prove wrongful death occurred. To do this, the personal representative must show the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
- The duty of care was breached by the defendant.
- The deceased person’s death was caused by the defendant.
- Damages were sustained by the plaintiff.
It is difficult to prove these elements if you don’t fully understand the law. This is one of the main reasons you should utilize the services of an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney.
Do You need help with a wrongful death claim?
If someone in your family died because of the negligence or recklessness of another party or entity, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. Knowing your rights is the best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. As mentioned above, only certain people can file this claim and only certain people can recover damages.
Don’t wait to get in touch with an attorney. The sooner you contact legal services, the more they can help with your claim.