Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney
Shuman Legal® are Skilled wrongful death Lawyers – We Will Help You
As an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney at Shuman Legal®, it’s understood that no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one. However, we can help you recover damages and loss of financial security for you and your family.
If your loved one’s death occurred as the result of another party’s negligence or misconduct, our team of wrongful death attorneys can help your family pursue compensation in a lawsuit for:
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of companionship
- Direct expenses
- Loss of benefits
- Punitive damages
A wrongful death claim can help the victim’s family recover damages for injuries and other losses they or the estate have suffered because of this death. Your family deserves to have the provisions your loved one would have created for you had this tragedy not happened.
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Shuman Legal® will help you understand how wrongful death lawsuits typically unfold and we’ll take care of all the details so that you can focus on yourself and your family.
- We promptly return phone calls.
- We will NOT waste your time!
- We clearly explain all of your legal options and the consequences of your decisions.
- We’ll handle the insurance companies and individual adjusters.
- You will be updated frequently on your case.
- We don’t get paid a dime until we win your case!
- You’ll receive copies of all correspondence about your case.
- We are a ‘Client First’ firm. Our goal is to give you peace of mind and a sense of control.
- We never stop fighting to get you back on your feet physically, emotionally, and financially.
- We are an aggressive and experienced personal injury law firm advocating for YOUR rights!
There is nothing more overwhelming than losing a loved one when the loss could have been prevented or avoided. Navigating the consequences of loss while grieving can be paralyzing, especially when wrongful death occurs. Adding a wrongful death attorney from our team that has been supporting families in Chicago will ensure these tragedies do not compound into financial misfortunes.
What If the Person Responsible for My Loved One‘s Death Does Not Have Enough Money to Pay the Settlement?
In some cases, the defendant may not have enough money to pay the settlement. The good news is, there are other options to help you collect the compensation you need.
For example, if the defendant was operating a motor vehicle during the accident, their car insurance policy may cover the damages. In addition, if the defendant was working at the time of the accident, their employer‘s workers‘ compensation policy may cover the damages.
Also, some defendants have an umbrella policy that provides coverage for damages that exceed their car or homeowners insurance coverage. Shuman Legal® will help you review your options and pursue the best course of action for your case.
What If the Person Responsible for My Loved One‘s Death Lives in a Different State?
It‘s common for the person responsible for wrongful death to live in a different state. In such cases, the court where the case will be tried is determined by the “long–arm statute.” In Illinois, the long–arm statute allows the court to hear a case as long as the defendant has some connection to the state.
Five Key Wrongful Death Points
- Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to a person‘s negligent act or wrongful act, according to the Wrongful Death Act.
- In Illinois, a wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to a person‘s negligent act or wrongful act, according to the (740 ILCS 180/) Wrongful Death Act.
- A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit. This means that the case is non–criminal and is brought against an individual or an entity for the payment of compensation.
- The person or entity responsible for the death can be sued. However, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff because they have to prove that the defendant caused the victim‘s death through their negligence.
- There is a statute of limitation for claiming wrongful death in Chicago. This is the period a person can legally file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years from the decedent‘s death.
Primary Questions Regarding Wrongful Death
- What is the legal definition of “wrongful death“? A death caused by the intentional or negligent actions of another person is considered a wrongful death. In order to bring a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members must show that the death was caused by the other person’s actions and that they have suffered damages as a result of the death.
- Who can file a wrongful death claim? If a death was caused by someone else’s negligence, the survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim can be filed by the deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner, children, or parents. In some cases, other family members may also be able to file a claim.
- What are the elements of a wrongful death claim? A wrongful death claim is a civil action brought by the survivors of a person who has died as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another. The survivors are typically the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, the survivors must prove that the death was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of the defendant and that they have suffered damages as a result of the death.
- Who will be responsible for paying damages in a wrongful death case? The party who is responsible for paying damages in a wrongful death case is the party who is determined to be at fault for the death. This can be determined through a variety of means, including an investigation by law enforcement, an inquest by a coroner or medical examiner, or a civil or criminal trial.
- How are damages calculated in a wrongful death case? The measure of damages in a wrongful death case is based on the pecuniary injuries suffered by the survivors as a result of the decedent’s death. Pecuniary injuries are those that result in a financial loss, including the loss of earnings, benefits, services, and support.
- What are some common defenses to a wrongful death claim? There are a few different defenses to a wrongful death claim that are common. One is that the death was not caused by the negligence of the defendant. Another is that the death was not foreseeable. Lastly, some defendants will argue that the plaintiff does not have the standing to bring the claim.
- What are some common types of damages awarded in a wrongful death case? There are many types of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case. These can include economic damages, such as lost wages and medical expenses, as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship. punitive damages may also be awarded in some cases.
- Can I file a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by suicide? Under English common law, a person who committed suicide could not have a wrongful death claim filed against them. This is because it was believed that the person who took their own life did not want to live and, therefore, could not have been harmed by someone else.
- Can I file a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by an accident? Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by an accident. The accident must have been caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
- What is a Chicago wrongful death lawyer? A Chicago wrongful death lawyer is a type of lawyer who represents the family of a person who has died due to the negligence of another person or entity.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What is the definition of “wrongful death” in Illinois?
In the State of Illinois “Wrongful Death” refers to the loss of life to an individual where fault for that loss lies at the hands of another person, company, or corporation either through intention, misconduct or neglect and is governed by the Wrongful Death Act.
Who can bring a civil action in the case of wrongful death?
Wrongful Death claims should be filed by whoever is the personal representative of the deceased. This is the Spouse or closest immediate next of kin. Next of kin can also be an adoptive parent or adopted child. Either is treated as a natural parent or child by the court. If the Plaintiff that is seeking to recover benefits by the court is younger than 18, he/she has until 2 years after they turn 18 to file a claim.
In some instances, if none of these relationships exist, a claim might be brought forward by those who incurred expense providing care, legal or medical attention for the deceased after the incident occurred. (Source: CIVIL LIABILITIES – (740 ILCS 180/) Wrongful Death Act.)
Is there a statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim?
There are legal time limits on filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of Illinois. The statute of limitations states that any action must commence within 2 years after the victim became deceased.
There are situations however that your wrongful death attorney can advise you on where this statute has variances for specific circumstances, for example, if the victim’s death was the result of a violent crime that is still pending final disposition from the courts, or if the deceased is being investigated for participating in criminal activities that have not been resolved in the courts.
Your absolute best approach is to reach out to a wrongful death attorney experienced in both survival action and wrongful death cases to review your circumstances and options. This is not a time to go it alone and at the very least it could bring you some peace of mind.
What type of compensation is available for a wrongful death claim?
There is guidance provided to the court in regard to what considerations are to be looked at when determining compensation for either a wrongful death action or a survival action and those can be seen on the Illinois Gov Website
Circumstances and other variables make it impossible to attach or suggest a number or dollar value to the wrongful loss of a loved one.
Wrongful death settlements in Illinois reveal our legal system’s attempt to assign value to human life without reducing it to that value alone. If you want to know what you can expect in the way of damages, the first step is to understand the costs associated with the loss of your loved one. Our Chicago team at Shuman Legal will make sure that a wrongful death attorney guides you through the process with compassion and clarity.
What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action in Illinois?
In Illinois, surviving family members can choose to pursue both a wrongful death action and a survival action. However, this is not the same in all other states. The same wrongful death attorney can file each of these claims simultaneously on your behalf.
Filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois allows you to pursue compensation for expenses related to the death and the financial and emotional losses experienced by your family. This compensation is paid directly to immediate family members and includes burial expenses, the loss of income to the family, mental pain and anguish over the loss of the loved one, and the loss of services that the deceased provided.
A survival action in Illinois is for monetary compensation that considers damages suffered “by the decedent” prior to their untimely death. In a survival action, damages are not paid directly to the next of kin like they are in a wrongful death suit. Instead, damages awarded in a survival action are paid instead to the estate of the decedent.