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Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois

Posted on in Wrongful Death


A wrongful death claim is a legal action that an individual may choose to take after the loss of a loved one. Medical malpractice, car accidents, construction site accidents, workplace accidents, and other incidents involving negligence or wrongdoing may lead to a wrongful death claim. If you have recently lost a spouse, parent, child, or another relative, you may be interested in exploring your legal options. Read on to learn about wrongful death laws in Illinois and what you should do if you believe your loved one’s death qualifies as a “wrongful death.”

Definition of a Wrongful Death
The death of someone you love is always heartbreaking, so you may be wondering, “When is someone’s death considered wrongful?” Illinois law states that a wrongful death is one that meets two criteria:

  • The death resulted from negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm.
  • If the deceased person had lived, he or she would have had the right to bring a personal injury claim and seek damages.
  • A successful wrongful death claim is usually possible when a person or organization had a legal duty to the decedent, the party failed to uphold the duty, and the decedent’s death was a result of that breach of duty.

How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Benefit Me?

If you are currently grieving the unexpected death of a loved one, you may be unsure of how a legal action can even help you. Wrongful death claims serve two main purposes: holding the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions and pursuing financial compensation. Losing a loved one is not only painful, it can also create an overwhelming financial burden. Through a wrongful death claim, the deceased person’s family may be entitled to compensation for:

  • The decedent’s medical expenses
  • The loss of the decedent’s financial support and work benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The loss of the decedent’s companionship, parental nurturing, and care
  • Mental suffering and grief

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?
Wrongful death claims are legal actions brought on a deceased person’s behalf by a personal representative of the deceased person. Often, this personal representative is the administrator of the decedent’s estate that he or she named in his or her will. If the decedent passed away without a will, the court may appoint a personal representative to represent the victim. The person who files a wrongful death claim is often a close relative such as a spouse, sibling, parent, or adult child. Monetary damages from a wrongful death claim are typically paid to the decedent’s surviving spouse and next of kin.

Contact a Peoria Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death claim may enable you to recover financial compensation for the losses caused by your loved one’s death and hold the liable party accountable. To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim, contact a tenacious Champaign personal injury attorney at Kanoski Bresney. Call our office today at 888-826-8682 to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.


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