You may have heard the term “wrongful death” but were unsure what exactly it means in a legal sense. In Illinois, the law allows survivors to file a civil lawsuit that seeks damages from a party whose actions or behaviors were responsible for their loved one’s death. Because these cases are often complex – and very emotional – it is recommended that anyone wishing to file a lawsuit contact a wrongful death lawyer Schaumburg, IL families trust for legal help.
Civil vs. Criminal
A wrongful death lawsuit is a different legal action than criminal charges that may be filed against the alleged at-fault party. In fact, in many of these lawsuits, there may not even be any criminal charges filed against the party responsible for the accident or act that caused the victim’s death.
Even if there are criminal charges pending, or already resolved, survivors are still entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the losses their loved one’s death has caused. It is also important to note that the results of the criminal case had no bearing on the results of the civil case. A person can be found not guilty or have charges dropped, yet a jury or judge can still find them liable for the victim’s death in the civil case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
As a Schaumburg, IL wrongful death lawyer can explain, there are various people under Illinois law who can seek damages for their loved one’s wrongful death. Damages sought in the claim can include any life-saving medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the victim’s income, loss of the victim’s love and guidance, grief, emotional anguish, and more. In most cases, the action is filed by the victim’s spouse, their children, their parents, or a representative of their estate.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
In order to be successful in a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney must prove the following factors:
- There was a breach of duty: The attorney must prove that the at-fault party at a duty of toward the victim and that duty was breached. For example, a doctor has duty of care to their patient, but if that doctor is negligent in their treatment and that negligence causes the patient’s death, the duty has been breached.
- There was negligence: The attorney must show that the at-fault party acted or behaved in a negligent manner and that negligence caused the accident, incident, or error that resulted in the victim’s death.
- There are damages: The attorney must show that the victim’s death has caused the party (or parties) filing the lawsuit financial losses (economic) and emotional losses (noneconomic).
Illinois Wrongful Death Law Firm
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else, we understand no amount of money will ever make up for that loss. But we also understand that your family deserves financial justice for that loss. Call Therman Law Offices, LTD to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Schaumburg, IL.