Champaign Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience. This is especially the case when a loved one is killed due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, business, or entity. When this happens, you will likely wonder what your options are. You may be entitled to compensation for what has happened, and the team at Kanoski Bresney wants to help. Our Champaign wrongful death attorneys want to investigate your case so we can secure the compensation you and your family are entitled to. Call us today so we can get to work.
Why turn to Kanoski Bresney for help?
When you are going through something like the loss of a loved one, secure assistance from an attorney you can trust both personally and professionally. At Kanoski Bresney, our compassionate and experienced Champaign personal injury attorney team is ready to get to work on your case.
- We have secured more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
- We focus exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases, which has given our team the experience necessary to help grieving families secure the compensation they need.
- Kanoski Bresney takes wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. You only owe legal fees after we secure the compensation you deserve.
How can an attorney help your wrongful death case in Champaign, IL?
Wrongful death cases can become incredibly complex and often involve many parties. This can include the at-fault party as well as their insurers and legal teams. Most families who lose a loved one do not have the resources necessary properly investigate these cases, and a skilled Champaign wrongful death lawyer will be your advocate. Your attorney will have the resources to:
- Obtain all evidence related to the incident that caused your loved one’s death, including video and photo surveillance, eyewitness accounts, accident reports, and more.
- Secure all safety records of the individuals or businesses alleged to have caused the wrongful death.
- Line up accident reconstruction to analyze the incident and provide expert witness testimony.
- Negotiate with all parties involved in order to secure a fair settlement on behalf of your family.
What is ‘wrongful death’ in Champaign, IL?
Wrongful death cases arise when a person’s death is caused by another person, business, or entity. Specifically, the language of 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180 reads:
“Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages,” from the party deemed to be responsible for the death.
These cases are usually brought by the surviving family members of the deceased. In Illinois, wrongful death claims can be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. Usually, a personal representative is someone close to the deceased, such as:
- A spouse of the deceased
- A parent of a minor child who is deceased
- An adult child of the deceased
In the event that the person died without appointing a personal representative in their estate plan, the court has the ability to appoint a personal representative. Regardless of whether the personal representative is court-appointed or not, that person is responsible for pursuing the wrongful death claim and carrying out other tasks related to the estate.
Common types of wrongful death claims in Champaign, Illinois
There are various causes of wrongful death cases in Champaign, Illinois. The wrongful death lawyers at Kanoski Bresney regularly help families who have lost a loved one due to the following:
- Car accidents in Champaign, IL. Reckless drivers are a common cause of wrongful death claims. There were 998 fatal crashes in Illinois during the latest reporting year. These incidents are often the result of distracted and careless driving.
- DUI accidents. Out of all the fatal crashes in Illinois during the latest reporting year, 32% involved alcohol. Drunk drivers pose a significant danger on the roadways in and around Champaign.
- Truck accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 4,700 people lost their lives in crashes with large commercial trucks. These incidents are often the result of a negligent truck driver or trucking company.
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents. There were 26 fatal bicycle accidents and 143 fatal pedestrian accidents during the latest reporting year in Illinois. These incidents are often the result of careless driving behavior.
- Motorcycle accidents. Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that 160 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes during the latest reporting year.
- Workplace incidents. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5,250 total workplace fatalities during the latest reporting year. These incidents are often the result of careless or negligent actions of employers.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect. The abuse and neglect of nursing home residents are much more common than most people realize. This vulnerable segment of the population often suffers due to the careless, negligent, or intentionally abusive actions of nursing home employees.
- Medical malpractice cases. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, as many as 250,000 people are killed each year due to preventable medical mistakes. These errors can include misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, healthcare-acquired infections, medication errors, and more.
This is not a complete list of wrongful death cases. You should speak to a Champaign wrongful death attorney about the specifics of your case. There are many other causes of wrongful death that are not listed here, and a skilled attorney will be able to help guide you towards the best path to receive compensation for your loss.
What is needed to prove a wrongful death case in Champaign, IL?
There are various elements of a wrongful death case that need to be proven in order for family members to receive the compensation they deserve. The elements of a wrongful death case that your attorney will work towards proving include:
The Defendant owed a Duty of Care.
It must be established that the defendant in the case owed a duty of care to the person who was killed. The exact definition of “duty to care” will vary depending on the type of case (i.e. medical malpractice, car accident, workplace incident, etc.). However, it needs to be proven that the defendant had a responsibility to keep the other person safe or refrain from doing anything that would cause them harm.
Defendant Breached their Duty of Care.
When a duty of care has been established, it needs to be proven that the defendant breached their duty to the deceased. This can include a driver not obeying traffic laws, a doctor making a careless mistake, an employer not providing proper training and more. In these cases, it generally needs to be shown that the defendant was more than 50% responsible for the death.
Defendant’s Breach of Duty Caused Harm to Deceased.
A breach of duty is not enough to warrant a guilty verdict in a wrongful death claim. It must also be proven that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused harm to the deceased. For example, in a car accident, if the defendant broke a traffic law and struck the decedent after the decedent had already been fatally wounded, the defendant is not the cause of the deceased’s death.
Decedent Suffered Damages.
After establishing a breach of duty and causation, it needs to be shown that the decedent actually suffered damages. In these cases, if a breach and causation are proven, the death is generally sufficient evidence that damages have occurred.
How long do you have to file a wrongful death claim in Champaign, IL?
Each state is responsible for setting time limits that a personal representative has to file a wrongful death claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is one or years from the date of the deceased’s death. The time frame will be dependent on the underlying cause of death. If the death occurs as a result of a personal injury sustained due to the negligence of another person, the time limit is two years.
Failing to file a case within the required time limits will likely result in the case being dismissed by the court, regardless of how solid the wrongful death claim is. That is why it is so vital that you seek assistance from a wrongful death lawyer in Champaign to ensure all deadlines are met.
What type of compensation is available for a wrongful death case?
In Illinois, there is a wide range of damages available to victims of wrongful death cases. Under the state’s Wrongful Death Act, eligible parties may be entitled to the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses for the decedent
- The total cost of hospitalization or medical expenses the deceased experienced before death
- Court costs and legal fees incurred by the family
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of companionship or parental guidance damages
- Punitive damages against those responsible
Contact Kanoski Bresney today
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another party, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Kanoski Bresney, we firmly believe that every family deserves to be compensated for their loss and that negligent parties should be held accountable. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will thoroughly investigate what happened to cause your loved one’s death and work to secure the compensation you are entitled to. Let our Champaign wrongful death attorneys get to work on your case today. We want to make sure your case is filed on time, so call us today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (217) 356-1570.