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Your Guide to the Illinois Survival Act and Wrongful Death Act in Illinois

The Illinois Survival Act and the Wrongful Death Act each serve a distinct purpose in the tragic aftermath of a loved one’s death. While the Survival Act allows heirs to recover damages the deceased could have claimed if they had survived, the Wrongful Death Act compensates family members for their personal loss due to the untimely death. As both have specific filing timelines and criteria, it is essential to understand each law’s provisions to ensure one receives rightful compensation. Reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney for advice.

The Illinois Survival Act

The Illinois Survival Act serves as a means to address the financial and emotional toll the at-fault party’s actions had on the deceased during their lifetime. It allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased for injuries or damages suffered before death. The personal representative is usually set out in the deceased person’s will or is appointed by the court. This person becomes the legal voice of the deceased in pursuing compensation for the harm they suffered.

What Specific Damages are Available under the Survival Act?

The Survival Act enables the personal representative to seek damages that the deceased could have pursued had they survived. These typically include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other compensable damages that were incurred before the individual’s passing. 

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act provides surviving family members with the right to pursue compensation for the losses they themselves have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one. Under the act, certain family members, such as the surviving spouse, children, and, in some cases, parents or siblings, may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This claim seeks compensation for damages like loss of companionship, financial support, and emotional distress experienced by the surviving family members.

Coordinating Survival Act and Wrongful Death Claims

Surviving loved ones often have the option to pursue both Survival Act and Wrongful Death Act claims at the same time. By coordinating these claims, families can take a focused and comprehensive approach to seeking compensation and accountability for the tragic accident.

Both the Survival Act and the Wrongful Death Act have specific statutes of limitations that set forth the timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed. In Illinois, the general statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including wrongful death and Survival Act claims, is two years from the date of the incident or discovery of the injury. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in the forfeiture of the right to seek compensation.

Consult with a Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney

Legal representation is instrumental in advocating for the rights of the deceased and their grieving loved ones. However, navigating the legal complexities of a wrongful death case requires the expertise of an experienced wrongful death attorney at Stein & Shulman, LLC. They can guide surviving family members through the process, help gather necessary evidence, and ensure that the legal requirements of both the Survival Act and the Wrongful Death Act are met. Contact our office today.