Palatine, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer

The pain of losing a loved one can be immense. The pain of losing a loved one to wrongful circumstances may be unbearable. If you find yourself in such a situation, contact an attorney for help right away.

Wrongful death cases may encompass a wide range of accidents and injuries. Many cases result from car accidents, medical malpractice, or premises liability issues. If you suspect your loved one passed away under wrongful circumstances, talk to a lawyer. Damages in these cases tend to be high, as any financial compensation for death seems inadequate. Juries may award damages for various economic losses in addition to painful emotional or psychological distress. To file the case, we need the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If there is no such person, we can get one appointed by the court. Talk to our legal team soon, as the deadline to file the case may be counting down as we speak.

For a free, private evaluation of your case, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and talk to our wrongful death attorneys.

Why Might Someone File a Wrongful Death Claim in Palatine, IL?

What makes a death wrongful in the first place? Losing a loved one always feels wrongful for the friends and family left behind. However, there are legal definitions of what makes someone’s passing wrongful and rules on how we can hold wrongdoers responsible.

A wrongful death may stem from another person’s negligent or intentionally harmful behavior. A lot of wrongful death claims are rooted in unfortunate accidents. Others are rooted in intentional acts of violence or harm.

Car accidents are very common examples of wrongful death claims in Illinois. As you can imagine, car accidents are a nearly daily occurrence. In some of these accidents, not everyone makes it out okay. If you lost a loved one to a car accident, the negligent driver who caused the crash should be held liable for the wrongful death.

Premises liability issues are another frequently cited reason for wrongful death. Perhaps your loved one was injured because of the hazardous conditions of someone else’s property that should have been removed or repaired. For example, if your loved one passed away after falling down a faulty escalator in a shopping mall, the owners of the mall might be held responsible.

Another common instance of wrongful death involves medical malpractice. Medical treatment can be very risky at times. If things go wrong, a patient might not survive. While doctors are not perfect – nor are they expected to be perfect – they should be providing treatment that meets standards of care. If they fall below these standards, and your loved one passes away, the negligent doctor might be legally liable.

Potential Damages Awarded in Palatine, IL Wrongful Death Cases

According to the law under 740 I.L.C.S. § 180/2(a), juries may award damages as they see fit in wrongful death claims. Damages may account for various pecuniary or economic losses. These can include funeral and burial costs, lost income or financial support from the deceased, medical expenses, and more.

Economic costs may be quite substantial if the deceased was the primary income earner for their household. For example, if the deceased person was the sole financial provider while their partner was a stay-at-home parent, the surviving spouse may claim the lost income and financial support among their damages. If the deceased person provided financial support to anyone else, such as an elderly relative who can no longer work, that person may also claim lost financial support.

We should also keep track of the medical treatment your loved one might have received before succumbing to their injuries. If they were rushed to the hospital after an accident or hung on for a few weeks before passing away, hospital bills might be very significant.

Non-economic damages may be vast and include your sorrow, grief, and mental suffering. Putting a price on a family’s grief may be very difficult, and our wrongful death lawyers need as much evidence as possible that shows how distressing, traumatic, and emotional your loss has been.

Damages are distributed according to 740 I.L.C.S. § 180/2(b). Under the law, damages are distributed for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin, usually children. The proportion of damages each beneficiary may be awarded is ultimately determined by the court. The more people involved, the more complex the process of distributing damages might become.

Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Case in Palatine, IL

According to the same statute mentioned above, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative. The personal representative is often appointed or named by the deceased person in their will or other legal effects. A person’s spouse or adult next of kin is often named the personal representative, but this is not always the case. If you want to file a wrongful death case but are unsure who the personal representative is, talk to an attorney.

If no personal representative exists, or the personal representative does not want to cooperate with you, speak to our attorneys. We can petition the court to appoint a personal representative for the purpose of filing your case.

The Right Time to File a Wrongful Death Case in Palatine, IL

Under 740 I.L.C.S. § 180/2(d), a plaintiff has only 2 years to file a wrongful death claim. This deadline starts counting down on the day the deceased person passes away. It is important to note that this day is not always the same day the victim is injured. If the deceased person did not pass away immediately, the clock might not start ticking until later.

If your loved one’s death resulted from intentional violence, you have more time to file a civil claim for wrongful death. You have 5 years, which should account for the time it might take to criminally prosecute the defendant before you file a civil claim.

Alternatively, in cases involving criminal acts of violence, you have 1 year from final disposition in a criminal case if the defendant is charged with first-degree murder, intentional homicide of an unborn child, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide of an unborn child, or drug-induced homicide.

Talk to Our Palatine, IL Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help

For a free, private evaluation of your case, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and talk to our wrongful death attorneys.