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What is wrongful death?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience, especially when their death results from someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In legal terms, this is a wrongful death.

Understanding wrongful death and the legal options available can help you decide how to hold the other party accountable.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the fault of another party. This can be the result of negligence, recklessness or intentional actions. Some common examples of incidents that may lead to wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents caused by distracted or impaired driving
  • Medical malpractice, such as surgical errors or misdiagnosis
  • Workplace accidents due to unsafe conditions or lack of proper safety equipment
  • Defective products that cause fatal injuries

When a loved one dies as a result of such an incident, you might have a wrongful death case.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

In Illinois, the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next of kin have the right to file a wrongful death claim. This includes children, parents and siblings. If the deceased has no surviving spouse or next of kin, the personal representative of their estate may file the claim on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries.

What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim?

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of the person’s death. You should file your claim within this timeframe to protect your rights to compensation.

Wrongful death claims allow you to seek financial compensation from the responsible party in your loved one’s death. This may help you cover funeral costs and ongoing living expenses during the adjustment period.