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How Can I Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

 Posted on December 03, 2020 in Wrongful Death

Hyde Park wrongful death attorneyFatal accidents occur on a daily basis, even when safety precautions are taken. Losing a loved one can be devastating whether his or her death was the result of a vehicle collision, a workplace accident, or a defective product. In many of these cases, a person’s death could have been prevented, which can make it especially difficult to accept. However, the family left behind does have legal options for holding the responsible parties accountable. Although a wrongful death claim will not bring your family member back, the compensation received from it can allow you to recover financially and move on. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Illinois, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date of the victim’s death. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, only certain people who are related to the deceased individual are eligible to file a lawsuit and recover damages. The claim can only be brought by any of the following individuals:

  • The decedent’s spouse

  • The decedent’s child or next of kin (if no spouse)

  • The decedent’s parent 

  • The personal representative of the decedent’s estate

Proving Negligence in a Fatal Accident

When your family member dies unexpectedly, it can be devastating in more ways than one. Not only are you grieving the loss of his or her life, but you may suddenly find yourself financially strapped. You could be required to pay costly medical bills and funeral expenses. In addition, if your loved one was the sole income earner for your family, you are no doubt worried about the future and how you are doing to pay the bills. 

In order to receive compensation, four things must be proven in any negligence or wrongful death case: 

  1. Duty of care

  2. Breach of the duty

  3. Causation

  4. Damages

In the event your family member was killed in a car accident, the other driver may be held liable if he or she breached the duty of care to operate his or her vehicle safely, such as by driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Likewise, if a motorist is speeding or distracted, he or she may be found at fault for causing the crash. Similarly, manufacturers of dangerous or faulty products must ensure their items are safe for consumers to use. Inadequate testing or quality checks can be considered negligence. 

Causation involves showing that the defendant’s actions actually caused the fatal injuries to your loved one. Evidence such as photographs of the crash scene, security camera footage of an equipment malfunction, or eyewitness testimony can all help your attorney prove that certain actions led to the accident and subsequent fatality. Damages refer to the losses you have experienced because of your loved one’s death, and they may include financial losses or emotional harm.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

If your relative died in an accident that was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. At Kadzai Law Group, LLC, we have over 10 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims. Our knowledgeable and dedicated Cook County wrongful death lawyers will handle your case with care and compassion so you can focus on healing emotionally from your loss. Call us today at 312-229-0050 to schedule your free consultation. 


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