Fatal Car Accidents


Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Data Loss Institute reports that approximately 30,000 families will be forced to say goodbye too soon to their loved one killed in a car accident. Losing a loved one in a car accident is tragic. The grief that accompanies any death is hard enough, but survivors of deceased car accident victims are forced to additionally bear the financial burden of their untimely loss. It is critical that the family members of those killed in a car accident seek the assistance of an attorney with experience in the field who will fight for their full recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit. Survivors may be eligible to receive coverage for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses incurred before death, lost wages, mental anguish, and more.

If your family member has been killed in an accident, the Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC are here to help. Our firm understands the utter sorrow and disbelief you are likely experiencing. Our compassionate attorney team will assist you through this difficult time, allowing you to focus on your family’s recovery while we pursue the compensation you deserve.

Do All Fatal Car Accidents Constitute a Wrongful Death?

740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180 states that whenever a death is caused by wrongful act or neglect, such that would have entitled the party injured to recover damages, the person or entity that caused the death may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Accordingly, not all car accidents will give rise to a wrongful death action, but many wills. A car accident caused by negligence that kills another will entitle the survivors to seek compensation from the negligent driver.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit After a Fatal Car Accident?

In Illinois, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate. The personal representative can be a close relative to the deceased, including a spouse, adult child, or the parent of a minor child who died. If the deceased car accident victim did not appoint a personal representative before death, the court will assign one.

The personal representative will be in charge of bringing the wrongful death suit and handling other tasks related to the estate. Named heirs or next of kin will be the recipients of benefits gained through the wrongful death lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Illinois, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within the time limit set by the statute of limitations for the underlying type of case, which is generally two years for car accident cases, or within one year from the date of the deceased death, as set out in 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-209, whichever is the later date. This means that in most fatal car accident cases, the personal representative will have at least one year and potentially two years to bring the action. Statutes of limitations can be complex, and each case is unique, so it is always important to act fast and consult with a wrongful death attorney if you have questions concerning legal deadlines.

Fighting for Your Full Recovery Following a Fatal Car Accident

If your loved one was killed in a car accident, contact the Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC. Our firm has handled all manner of wrongful death cases, achieving over 40 million in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. We understand the devastating losses associated with the death of your relative in a car accident. We are dedicated to seeing that our injured clients receive the full compensation to which they are entitled in a wrongful death action. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers at (312) 422-0506 or by filling out a free contact form online.