CHICAGO, IL – Wrongful death is a situation where an individual’s demise results from the actions or negligence of another party. The legal concept recognizes that certain deaths are not merely accidents, but are directly attributed to the wrongful conduct of someone else.
Wrongful death actions resulting in death can take on various forms, including negligence, recklessness or intentional harm. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise a reasonable level of care ultimately leading to harm.
Surviving family members or beneficiaries, such as children, spouses or other dependants may have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim. These claims hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and seek compensation for the damages incurred as a result of the loss. Damages may include economic losses, including funeral expenses, medical bills and the loss of financial support that the deceased would have provided. Non-economic damages may also be pursued in Illinois which encompass the emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship and the overall impact on the quality of life for the survivors.
Wrongful death laws can vary across jurisdictions and the specifics of each case depend on the circumstances surrounding the death and applicable legal standards. You should always seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases to navigate these complex matters.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Common causes of wrongful death in Illinois may include:
- Medical malpractice which can include mistakes during surgery, misdiagnosis or prescribing the incorrect medications. You must prove that a healthcare professional breached the standard of care and the breach directly led to the patient’s death.
- Car accidents caused by reckless driving, distracted driving or drunk driving. You must establish negligence, demonstrate the at-fault driver’s duty of care and prove a direct connection between their actions and the fatal outcome.
- Workplace incidents caused by equipment failure, inadequate safety measures or a lack of training. You must demonstrate that the employer or a third party was negligent in providing a safe work environment and their negligence resulted in the employee’s death.
- Defective products, such as design flaws, manufacturing defects or failure to warn about potential dangers. You must show that the product was unreasonably dangerous, the product was being used as intended and the defect caused the death.
- Criminal acts like assaults, intentional harm or homicide. You must establish that the criminal act directly led to the death and identify any third-party liability, such as inadequate security or negligence.
- Unsafe premises, including slip and fall accidents or inadequate safety measures. You must demonstrate that the property owner or manager was negligent in maintaining a safe environment and the negligence resulted in the fatal incident.
Complexities Involved in a Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death cases are complex and involve a combination of legal intricacies, emotional challenges and the necessity for thorough investigations to establish liability. The following complexities may be involved:
- Legal Complexities
- Wrongful death cases require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused the death which may require substantial evidence.
- Each jurisdiction has a statute of limitations within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed to the court. You must pay special attention to these legal deadlines or you’ll waive your right.
- Cases may involve multiple defendants and determining the degree of liability for each party adds complexity.
- Emotional Challenges
- The emotional toll on the surviving family members can be intense and balancing the pursuit of justice with the grieving process can be a lot.
- Participating in legal proceedings can be emotionally draining for the family to relive the circumstances revolving around their loved ones tragic passing.
- Investigative Demands
- Establishing liability in a wrongful death case often requires a comprehensive investigation by collecting witness statements, analyzing medical records, consulting experts and reconstructing events leading to the death.
- Expert testimony may be critical in providing specialized knowledge, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists or professionals in the relevant field.
- Insurance and Financial Complexities
- Determining available insurance coverage for compensation adds another layer of complexities due to insurance policies, exclusions and limits having an influence of the amount of financial recovery possible.
- Assessing the economic and non-economic damages like the financial loss to the family and intangible emotional suffering requires a careful valuation process.
- Negotiation and Settlement Challenges
- The process of negotiating a settlement can be intricate because you have to balance the family’s needs with the legal considerations and potential counter-arguments from the defense.
- Wrongful death cases can attract media and public attention and the privacy of the grieving family can become a challenge.
Consult the Experts for a Better Understanding
At the Dinizulu Law Group, we understand the profound impact of wrongful death and we’re here to help you as trusted advocates in Chicago, Illinois. Our experienced team is committed to guiding you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim while offering both legal expertise and compassionate support for you and your family.
Take the first step towards healing and justice. Contact our law firm today and let us stand by your side throughout the process. Fill out this form or call us today at (312) 384-1920 for a free case evaluation.