Wrongful death can be devastating for a family. Wrongful death can occur due to medical malpractice, negligence at work, or an accident. All wrongful death claims in Illinois are covered under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. Damages can be sought for funeral, emotional distress, and any liabilities due because of unforeseen events and death. Considering that wrongful deaths due to medical malpractice, drunk driving, or inability to provide safety by employers are common, the next of kin or dependents can file a lawsuit by consulting an experienced personal injury attorney.
Filling a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim can only be filed by an adult child, next of kin, spouse, or a parent of a minor child within one year of the event. In the absence of an estate plan or will, courts can provide a personal representative who will process all wrongful death claims on behalf of the family or relatives. Because a wrongful death claim is classified as a civil lawsuit and not a criminal lawsuit, only monetary damages can be recovered, but a criminal court case can be sought by the federal and state court or enforcement agencies if admission of guilt can result in a conviction.
The following monetary damages can be collected by a next of kin:
- Future wages that could have been earned to support the family,
- Emotional damages related to grief or sorrow. Emotional distress can cause trauma, depression and anxiety. Also, recovery of expenses in relation to medical treatment can also be sought. A complicated grief can cause deep sadness and bitterness towards others, also leading to social isolation.
- In case there are no immediate kin or relatives to disburse damages, medical bills related to hospitalization and surgical services can be paid to the individuals who were present with the deceased individual.
Wrongful Death due to Medical Malpractice
It is possible to make both the doctors and the hospital liable for wrongful death due to medical malpractice. If the deceased does not have a next to kin, a probate court appoints a legal representative to manage the case. Medical bills, some loss of earnings, funeral and burial costs and possible loss of support damages can be recovered.
If you wish to find out more about wrongful death claims and unusual injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.