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Springfield, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer

Rushville fatal injury lawyers

Attorneys Represent Families After the Death of a Loved One in Sangamon County, McLean County, and Peoria County

The loss of a family member is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can go through. In many cases, families struggle to address the costs involved in their loved one's death, and this can be even harder when they are already dealing with grief and sorrow. These problems are likely to be even worse if a person died because of someone else's carelessness, recklessness, or intentional actions. In these cases, a personal injury lawyer can help families determine the best legal options for holding a person or company responsible for the tragedy they have suffered.

The law firm of Kanoski Bresney has been providing legal representation for victims of personal injuries and wrongful deaths for over 40 years, and we have obtained more than $400 million for our clients from insurance companies, large corporations, and individuals. If your loved one has been wrongfully killed, we will work with you to demonstrate that someone else was responsible, and we will fight to make sure you receive financial compensation for all of the ways your family has been affected. During your case, we will treat you with respect, provide a fast and effective response to your questions and concerns, and work to achieve the results you deserve.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Whenever a person is killed because of someone else's actions or negligence, the victim's surviving family members can take legal action to pursue a wrongful death claim. Some common situations involving wrongful death include:

Are There Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

As with other types of personal injury cases, Illinois law defines a "statute of limitations" for wrongful death cases, and this serves as a time limit for when a claim must be filed. In most cases, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years after the date of the victim's death. However, in cases where a person was killed by intentional violent conduct, the statute of limitations is five years when pursuing compensation from a person who allegedly killed a victim through a violent crime.

Once a wrongful death claim has been filed, a case may take a significant amount of time to resolve. In some situations, family members may be able to negotiate a settlement with the defendant, but in others, litigation may be necessary. A trial can last multiple months or years as both sides present their case, and a jury may need time to consider the evidence to decide whether the defendant was responsible for the victim's death. If the defendant is found liable, additional time may be needed to determine the amount of damages that should be awarded.

How Can I Prove Wrongful Death?

In most wrongful death cases, a plaintiff will be required to demonstrate that a victim was killed due to the defendant's negligence. There are four elements of a successful negligence claim:

  1. The defendant had a legal duty of care toward the victim. People have the responsibility to act in a way that protects others' health and safety in a variety of situations. For example, a doctor is required to meet acceptable standards when providing medical care to a patient, a property owner must correct or provide warnings about hazards that present a risk to those who enter their premises, and a driver must follow traffic laws and drive in a way that protects the safety of others on the road.
  2. The defendant breached their duty of care. A defendant's failure to meet their duty to protect others' safety may include both improper actions or failure to act. Examples include a doctor's failure to correctly diagnose a patient's condition or a driver breaking traffic laws by speeding or driving recklessly. Typically, a plaintiff must show that a reasonable person in the same situation would have known that acting in a certain way could cause harm to someone else.
  3. The breach of the duty of care led to the victims' death. A plaintiff must show that the death occurred as a direct result of the defendant's actions or failure to act.
  4. The death resulted in damages. The victim and their family must have experienced harm due to the defendant's negligence.

These elements will also apply in cases where a person was killed due to a violent crime or other intentional criminal actions. However, a criminal conviction will often satisfy many of these elements by showing that a defendant acted in a way that made them responsible for the victim's death.

What Types of Damages Can My Family Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The personal representative of a deceased person's estate can pursue a wrongful death claim, and the damages that can be recovered are meant to benefit the victim's spouse, dependents, or next of kin. The types and amount of damages will depend on a variety of factors, such as the income and earning potential of the victim, the physical and financial care they provided to their dependents, and their age and general health. Family members may be able to receive financial compensation that addresses:

  • Medical expenses - The victim may have needed significant medical treatment prior to their death. For example, a car accident victim may have received emergency medical care and surgery, or they may have been hospitalized before succumbing to their injuries. A medical malpractice victim may have undergone costly therapies or surgeries and required expensive medication. A family should be fully compensated for all of these medical costs.
  • Pain and suffering - A victim may have suffered a great deal of physical pain and emotional trauma prior to their death, and a defendant may be required to pay compensation to address this suffering.
  • Loss of income - A family should be compensated for the income that a victim would have earned throughout the rest of their lifetime, as well as other financial benefits they would have provided to their family, such as medical insurance or pension benefits. Family members may also be able to receive compensation for the loss of an inheritance they would have received if the victim had lived for the rest of their expected lifetime.
  • Loss of companionship - Family members should be compensated for the loss of the love and support they would have received from the victim. Damages may also address the personal benefits and services that the victim would have provided to their family, such as educational and moral instruction for children or repairs and other types of household work.
  • Emotional trauma - A victim's loved ones should be compensated for the grief, sorrow, and mental anguish they have experienced.
  • Punitive damages - In some cases, a defendant may be required to pay damages that are meant to punish them for outrageous or excessive negligence or intentional conduct that led to the victim's death.

How Can a Champaign County Wrongful Death Attorney Help With My Case?

If your family member has been killed because someone else acted negligently or intentionally meant to harm them, Kanoski Bresney can help you take the right steps to receive financial compensation. We will help gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence, and we will fight to ensure that you are fully repaid for all of the ways your family has been affected. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not be required to pay any up-front costs, and we will not collect legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation in your case. Contact us today at 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682 to arrange a free consultation with our attorneys. We provide legal help to families who have been affected by a wrongful death in Peoria, Macon County, Rushville, Sangamon County, Macomb, Schuyler County, Tazewell County, Champaign, Decatur, Bloomington, Springfield, Quincy, Peoria County, Adams County, McDonough County, McLean County, Pekin, Champaign County, and across Illinois.

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