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The loss of a loved one can be a devastating blow to spouses, parents, children, and other family members, especially when the death could have been prevented. In addition to coping with their grief, families must address funeral and burial arrangements, the inheritance of property and assets, and other legal issues surrounding their loved one’s death. During this difficult time, finances can be strained, and families often struggle to make ends meet.
In cases of wrongful death, Illinois law allows a deceased person’s survivors to bring a lawsuit against the person responsible and recover damages. In these cases, it is important to understand the law surrounding wrongful death claims.
Defining Wrongful Death
Illinois statutes define wrongful death as “the death of a person caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default.” This covers both intentional and unintentional actions by individual people and organizations or companies. The law also states that the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are for the “exclusive benefit” of the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next of kin.
Requirements for Filing a Claim
A wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative. This is typically a spouse or close family member (including adoptive parents or children), but it may also be a person appointed by the court to manage a deceased person’s estate. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years after the date of death. In cases when the death is the result of someone’s intentional violent conduct, this statute of limitations is extended to five years.
Types of Damages
In a wrongful death lawsuit, a deceased person’s loved ones can seek compensation for several types of damages, including:
Contact a Hinsdale Wrongful Death Attorney
If your loved one has died because of someone’s negligent or intentional actions, the experienced attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio can help you recover damages that will allow you to maintain financial security following your loss. Contact our DuPage County wrongful death lawyers today at 630-920-8855.