Naperville Wrongful Death Lawyers
In Naperville, a wrongful death is described as a death caused by another person’s negligence. Negligence is a civil tort law to describe how an individual failed to do something to prevent harm from occurring to someone. Illinois requires some individuals to have a legal duty to protect others from harm depending their task or occupation.
For instance, a person driving in Naperville has a legal duty to operate a motor vehicle without causing an accident and/or injuries. A Naperville driver who causes an accident and kills a driver may face criminal charges such as vehicular homicide. The victim’s family member may have the right to sue in civil court.
Wrongful Death in Naperville
Wrongful death is defined in 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180 as a death caused by neglect, a wrongful act or default. If not for the neglect, default or wrongful act, the person wouldn’t have died. As a result, the injured party is allowed to file a legal claim to recover damages. The term “injured party” refers to family members of the deceased victim.
Did you family member die in an accident in Naperville? Contact Zayed Law Offices for help. We have experience in navigating through the complex Illinois personal injury lawyers to get you the money you need to recover financially from your loved one’s death.
Illinois only Allows a Personal Representative to File a Wrongful Death Claim
A personal representative is an individual who represents the victim’s estate. A personal representative is typically picked the victim makes their will or during estate planning. The designated individual is responsible for paying all of the victim’s debts and ensuring all beneficiaries receive their inheritance.
This person may be a close relative of the victim such as:
• Parent of a minor child, if the victim was a the child
• Spouse of the victim
• Adult child of the victim
If the victim died without having a designated personal representative, probate court will designate one.
In addition to completing the victim’s will, they have the responsibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The state doesn’t allow anyone else to file the legal claim. The personal representative files the lawsuit on behalf of family members.
Money can never replace your loved one. At Zayed Law Offices were understand that fact. That’s why we fight hard to help you recover damages from your loved one’s death. Money can help ease the financial burden someone’s caused you because of their negligence.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
A money award is called many things ranging from compensation to damages. A wrongful death claim filed in court seeks to compensate a victim’s family financially for losing their loved one. Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit are:
• Funeral expenses
• Any medical bills related to the victim’s accident
• Loss of benefits. This includes insurance and pension benefits.
• Loss of companionship
• Pain and suffering
• Mental anguish associated with the loss of a loved one
• Punitive damages. Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant, or person being sued for wrongful death, for their actions. This means punitive damages aren’t awarded because of what happened to the victim. Instead, they’re awarded because the defendant’s actions or inactions were extremely reckless or done with malice.
Many wrongful death lawsuits in Naperville are settled outside of court. This means the defendant agrees to pay the family’s victim money instead of defending themselves at trial. The out-of-court settlement can be paid in a lump sum or series of payments. The settlement does include all damages the family sustained because of the death of their loved one. If your loved one died and you want to sue the negligent party, contact us.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
To be successful in a wrongful death case, a person must show the court the defendant was negligence. These steps are done in sequence. If one step, typically called elements, aren’t proven, then the case won’t be successful. The elements are:
1. The defendant had a legal duty not to harm the victim
As mentioned earlier, legal duty requires a person to act responsibly and not cause and accident or injury someone. The plaintiff must show the defendant had a legal duty to the victim not to cause harm. For instance, a surgeon must operate on a patient without causing additional injuries.
2. The defendant breached their legal duty to the victim. Once legal duty is established the loved one’s attorney has to show the defendant breached the duty. This means they were negligent. An attorney will often use expert testimony to prove breach of duty.
The important fact about breach of duty is it is based on what a reasonable person would do. This is called a reasonable person standard. If a person in a similar or same situation would have acted differently, then the defendant breached their duty.
3. The defendant was the cause of the victim’s death. Illinois doesn’t assume the victim died because of the defendant’s negligence. Instead, the plaintiff’s attorney is responsible for connecting the defendant’s breach of duty with the victim’s death.
4. The defendant owes the family damages. With this step, the plaintiff’s attorney is showing all the damages the family sustained because of the victim’s death. These include any medical bills and funeral expenses.
Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois
Illinois places a limit on the time a personal representative has to file a lawsuit. A personal representative has a year from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After the date passes, no lawsuit can be filed.
Contact Zayed Law Offices for Help
Your loved one died. You’re suffering emotionally and financially. Contact us for help. We’ll help you recover the damages you suffered because of the victim’s death. Contact us today.