Skokie, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one is always a devastating experience, but when their death is a result of someone else’s negligence, the pain and suffering can be even more profound. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional loss of their presence in your life, but you will also face the added burden of financial hardship because of the loss of their financial and emotional support.

However, you are entitled to compensation for your and your family’s losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, spouses, children, and other immediate family members have the right to recover damages sustained from the loss of their loved one. While no amount of money can ever fully make up for the loss of a loved one, the compensation you could recover can be substantial. It can help provide some closure and financial security during an incredibly difficult time.

For a free case assessment with our caring wrongful death attorneys, call Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.

How Wrongful Death is Defined in Skokie, IL

In Skokie, wrongful death actions can be taken when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or fault, which would have entitled the deceased to file a lawsuit and recover damages had they been alive, as per 740 I.L.C.S. 180/1. This law ensures that the right to seek compensation for wrongful actions does not end with the victim’s death. Instead, the legal representatives of the estate and the surviving beneficiaries have the right to pursue legal action on their behalf.

A related concept is survival actions. 755 I.L.C.S. 5/27-6 permits the estate of the deceased person to recover damages that the deceased could have recovered had they been alive. Our wrongful death attorneys can explain your rights in both situations. Survival actions include compensation for pain and suffering experienced by the deceased from the time of injury until their death. While wrongful death claims focus on compensating the survivors, survival actions are intended to enable the estate to recover the losses suffered by the deceased themselves.

Parties that Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Skokie, IL

According to 740 I.L.C.S. 180/2, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This person is responsible for acting on behalf of the estate and the beneficiaries, including the surviving spouse and next of kin, in pursuing the claim. The personal representative might be an executor named in the deceased’s will or an administrator appointed by the court if the deceased did not leave a will.

The term “next of kin” refers to those individuals who are most closely related to the deceased and who are entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, this includes the surviving spouse, children, and dependents of the deceased. However, if there is no surviving spouse or children, other relatives such as parents or siblings might be considered next of kin, depending on the circumstances.

Compensation Beneficiaries Can Claim in a Skokie, IL Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Various types of damages are available to compensate the deceased’s estate and surviving family members for the loss they have endured. These damages are intended to alleviate the financial and emotional burden on the family members and help them cope with their loss.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Tangible losses are the economic expenses that the family members have incurred because of the death of their loved one. These include lost income, medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral and burial costs, and any other expenses directly related to the death. The goal is to financially restore the family as much as possible to the position they would have been in had the death not occurred. This is particularly important in cases where the deceased was the primary breadwinner of the family.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate for intangible losses, which are often more challenging to quantify. These damages are awarded for the emotional distress and psychological trauma that the surviving family members have suffered because of the loss of their loved one. They include grief, sorrow, mental suffering, loss of companionship, and consortium.

Lost Wages and Future Earnings

When calculating damages in a wrongful death case, lost wages and future earnings must also be taken into consideration. The process is complex and requires a thorough analysis of the deceased’s earning potential, career trajectory, and the financial needs of their dependents.

To accurately determine the compensation owed, experts such as economists and financial analysts might be called to testify. They will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the deceased’s employment history, education, skills, and other relevant factors to assess what their earning potential would have been had they lived.

In addition, the experts will also consider the economic and job market conditions at the time of the deceased’s death, as well as any potential career advancements or promotions they might have been eligible for. They will also account for any lost benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that the deceased might have received from their employer.

Moreover, the experts will assess the financial needs of the surviving beneficiaries, such as spouses, children, or other dependents. They will take into account factors such as the beneficiaries’ age, health status, earning potential, and other financial obligations.

All these factors will be weighed carefully to determine an accurate and fair compensation amount that reflects the financial contributions the deceased would have made had they not died because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Skokie, IL Wrongful Death Claim

Under 740 I.L.C.S. 180/2(d), the time limit to file a wrongful death claim is set at two years from the date of the person’s death. This time constraint seeks to encourage timely proceedings while evidence is readily available and memories of the incident remain fresh. It also helps to ensure a fair and just resolution of the case. If a claim is not filed within this specified timeframe, it usually results in the loss of the right to seek compensation through the courts.

However, it is worth noting that exceptions might apply, which could extend this period under certain circumstances. For example, if the wrongful death was caused by violent intentional conduct, such as homicide, different limitations could apply since the criminal prosecution would usually come first.

The statute of limitations might also be extended if the beneficiaries are minors or if there is a delay in discovering the cause of death. The court might grant an extension to the standard timeframe in such cases.

However, the sooner you act, the better. Evidence is usually much easier to obtain immediately following the loss than months later.

Our Skokie, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Tremendous Loss

Our wrongful death lawyers at Rhatigan Law Offices can offer you a free case review during this difficult period when you call (312) 578-8502.