Joliet wrongful death lawyers
A wrongful death claim is a legal action based on the fact a person died because of the action of another party. That other party can be a human being or a company. In Illinois, state law governs that all wrongful death claims filed adhere to certain laws. This means for you to obtain damages for your loved one’s death you must meet certain criteria to sue. The first criterion is the definition of wrongful death in Illinois.
Illinois Definition of Wrongful Death
In Joliet, wrongful death is defined under the state statutes 740 Illinois 180. A person’s death that is caused by neglect, wrongful act or default is considered a wrongful death. If the death occurs because of the above reasons, the injured party is entitled to file an action and recover damages from the party who injured the victim.
A Joliet Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Although the lawsuit is filed by family members, the lawsuit is brought on behalf of their loved one. The compensation the family receives covers their own losses connected to the death of their loved one. However, not every family member can file a wrongful death claim in Joliet on behalf of their deceased loved one.
According to state law, a personal representative of the person’s estate is the only one who can file the wrongful death action. A personal representative is responsible for completing the person’s final wishes and filing any legal claims on behalf of the estate.
A personal representative may be the loved one’s spouse or their child. A lawsuit can be filed by a parent is the loved one was a minor child. However, a personal representative can be anyone who the loved one designated to be over their estate.
The other option is for other relatives such as parents or siblings of the loved one to file the lawsuit in absence of a surviving spouse or children. If the individual died without a will or appointing a personal representative, the court may appoint one.
Statute of Limitations Regarding Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Joliet
The state limits how many years you have to file a wrongful death claim. This is called statute of limitations. For instance, personal injury statute of limitations that doesn’t include wrongful death is two years from the date of the accident. According to 735 ILCS 5/313-209, you have one year from the date your loved one died to file a wrongful death claim. Since every case is different, it’s important to ask an attorney which statute of limitations you should follow.
Type of Damages Available in a Joliet Wrongful Death Case
Damages in a wrongful death claim are the amount of money awarded you based on the expenses you have after your loved one’s death. According to state law, a jury may award damages that are deemed to be just and fair compensation. The jury is also allowed to include a variety of factors into their decision such as damages for sorrow, grief and mental suffering of the surviving family members.
The type of damages available to you includes, but is not limited to:
1. Loss of financial support
2. Emotional distress
3. Loss of inheritance
3. Loved one’s medical expenses
4. Punitive damages (limited)
Punitive damages are awarded to you based on the other party’s actions. This means that the defendant did something so outrageous when causing your loved one’s death that they must be punished. Their punishment is to show other people not to do the same thing. Punitive damages are not always awarded in a wrongful death claim.
Although the personal representative files the wrongful death claim, the damages are distributed by the county court. Only certain family members receive the distributed damages. For example, funeral and burial expenses are distributed to the estate. Damages related to loss of companionship, loss of care and pain and suffering are distributed to the surviving spouse and children.
Contact the Zayed Law Offices about Your Wrongful Death Claim
At Zayed Law Offices, we help accident victims, and their families recover the compensation they deserve. You deserved to have your loved one with you right now. Your loved one died because of someone else’s actions. For this, you deserve compensation. No, compensation will never bring back your loved one. However, it will assist in paying off the bills and other expenses caused by the death of your loved one. Contact us today for your free initial consultation.