Aurora, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer

People are injured in accidents all the time, but some accidents are so severe that injured victims do not pull through. When this happens, their families may take legal action against the person who caused the accident and get compensation for their wrongful death.

To begin a claim for wrongful death, your lawyer can help you identify the person or people responsible and figure out the best way to pursue the case. Generally, an administrator or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must file the claim, but family members may be named as beneficiaries. The statute of limitations is usually 2 years for accidents and 5 years for intentional violent acts. How much your case is worth is hard to say, but wrongful death claims are often worth substantial compensation. To get this compensation, we need evidence like witness testimony, medical records, photos, videos, and more. Our lawyers can aid you in assessing the strength of your claims, finding evidence to prove those claims, and fighting for the greatest compensation possible.

You can schedule a free review of your potential lawsuit by calling our wrongful death lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices (312) 578-8502.

How to Start a Case for Wrongful Death in Aurora

Determining whether you even have a wrongful death claim on your hands is not always easy. When a person dies in an accident, it is not always clear who is responsible, and many families would rather grieve and move on than file a lawsuit. However, you should consider suing if you believe another person’s wrongful conduct caused your family member’s passing. Car accidents, medical malpractice, and even intentional violence are common reasons for wrongful death lawsuits.

Beginning a wrongful death lawsuit can be difficult legally and emotionally. It is reasonable to take some time for your family to mourn, but you should speak to a lawyer sooner rather than later. There are different statutes of limitations for wrongful death claims under different circumstances. If your loved one’s death is related to an accident, you have 2 years to file your case. If their passing is from an intentional act of violence, you have 5 years.

You might be surprised that only a certain person can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. The law requires the case to be brought by the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate. Often, this person is designated in a will but can be appointed by the court if no representative is identified or there is no will. Often, the representative is a family member like a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling, although non-family members might be named too.

How Much is an Aurora Wrongful Death Claim Worth?

Of course, plaintiffs need to know what kind of damages and compensation they should expect when filing a lawsuit. While it might feel coldhearted to think about such things after losing a loved one, families need to know this information to determine if pursuing a lawsuit is worth their time and effort. Generally, damages in wrongful death claims tend to be high.

Pecuniary losses should include typical end-of-life costs like burial and funeral expenses. You may also include various economic losses your loved one experienced before passing away. This occurs more often when the deceased individual does not succumb to their injuries until later. For example, if your loved one was injured in an accident and spent a week in intensive care before passing away, you can claim their medical bills as part of the economic damages.

Non-economic damages in wrongful death cases are often very substantial. It is difficult to put a price on grief, and juries tend to award higher damages. Under the law, juries may award damages for grief, mental suffering, pain, and sorrow experienced by the surviving family.

Punitive damages might be awarded if our wrongful death attorneys can show that the defendant’s actions were extremely shocking or outrageous. Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoers and serve as a punishment. Defendants must have had an evil motive or displayed shocking indifference to safety in the face of unreasonable risk of harm. Wrongful death cases involving intentional acts of violence are more likely to see punitive damages.

Evidence to Prove Your Wrongful Death Claims in Aurora

Evidence is unique to each case and situation, and the evidence we need for your case will depend on how your loved one passed away. One very important piece of the puzzle is medical records. A major factor in any wrongful death case is the cause of death. We need proof that the defendant’s actions are the direct and proximate cause of your loved one’s passing. Medical records and a medical expert witness can help us establish the cause of death and link it to the defendant.

Depending on where your loved one was injured, there might be witnesses. For example, other drivers and passengers might testify as witnesses after a car accident. They can explain how they saw the defendant cause the accident. Similarly, if your loved one was the victim of intentional violence, other people nearby can testify that they saw the defendant attack the victim.

We should also check for possible security camera footage. Security cameras often record accidents and injuries that occur in very public places. We need to move quickly, as video footage is often deleted after a few days.

Law enforcement often investigates wrongful death situations, and there should be a police report about the incident. The police are trained investigators and might turn up evidence we could not find on our own. While the report itself is likely inadmissible, we can use it to obtain other evidence that is admissible.

Contact Our Aurora Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help Now

You can arrange to have a free evaluation of your potential lawsuit by calling our wrongful death lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices (312) 578-8502.