At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we represent victims of all types of vehicle accidents in Illinois to help them recover much-needed compensation. The most serious accidents we see involve the death of loved ones and extreme grief to family members left behind. Our attorneys are committed to pursuing justice on behalf of hurting families and their lost loved ones. In this blog, we discuss some of the aspects of wrongful death vehicle accident cases in Illinois.
Who can pursue a wrongful death case under Illinois law?
Under Illinois law, only a personal representative may pursue a wrongful death cause of action on behalf of a decedent. If your loved one did not designate a personal representative prior to his or her passing (in a will or other legal document), a court of law can appoint a personal representative of your family’s choosing. The cause of action will be in the name of the personal representative and on behalf of your loved one, his/her surviving spouse, and his/her next of kin.
What types of losses can you claim in an Illinois wrongful death accident case?
When your loved one dies in a vehicle accident as the result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, Illinois law allows you to pursue numerous types of damages for your losses. This can include all of the following, depending on the circumstances of your case:
- Medical expenses of your loved one
- Funeral/burial/cremation expenses of your loved one
- Loss of monetary support because of your loved one’s death
- Loss of household services because of your loved one’s death
- Your own emotional pain and mental suffering related to your loved one’s death
- Punitive damages (if appropriate)
All of these damages can be recovered only for the benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin. The court overseeing the case will determine the best way to divide any damages awarded in accordance with Illinois law.
What is the Illinois statute of limitations on wrongful death cases?
A statute of limitations is filing deadline for a claim that is imposed by state law. It is very important to understand your case’s statute of limitations because if you fail to timely file your case in court, you might never be able to file it. Illinois’ statute of limitations on wrongful death cases is generally two years. Therefore, you typically have two years from the date of your family member’s death to file your claim. However, certain exceptions can apply, depending on the facts of your love one’s passing. This is why it is particularly important to hire an attorney to properly assess your claims.
If your loved one died in a vehicle accident, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to talk to a compassionate attorney about your options for legal recourse. You can reach our office 24 hours a day and schedule a free consultation by calling (312) 422-0506.