Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer
Our law firm puts your best interests first
The death of a loved one can be a traumatic experience for many people. But when a family member dies due to someone else’s actions or inaction, the flood of emotions can be overwhelming. You might be angry or confused. Knowing what to do next might not be clear.
You don’t have to deal with everything on your own. We can help. Our dedicated Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Ferrell Young, LLC have years of experience demanding justice for families after the death of a loved one. We know the laws and understand how the legal system works when it comes to such cases in Illinois. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.
You have enough on your mind after the unexpected death of a loved one. We can handle all the important legal matters that often come up in such cases. Simply contact our Chicago law firm and schedule a free consultation. We have the knowledge, experience and expertise you need to build a strong wrongful death case.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a fatal accident in which someone else’s actions resulted in the death. Typically, wrongful death cases involve the at-fault party acting in a reckless or negligent manner. Examples include:
- Fatal truck or car accident caused by another driver.
- Fatal injuries sustained by someone due to nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect.
Illinois Compiled Statute 740 ILCS 180 – known as the Wrongful Death Act – explains what’s legally defined as a wrongful death in Illinois. However, there’s often a great deal of debate about whether someone’s negligence caused someone else’s death.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois?
In Illinois, a “personal representative” of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This representative can be a surviving spouse or the next of kin, such as children, parents, or other blood relatives, or another person named in their Last Will and Testament.
In addition, the heirs and beneficiaries may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in some cases. However, the circumstances may change if the deceased was also responsible for their death. This is called comparative fault or contributory negligence, which can affect the amount of damages that the family can recover.
If the victim was more than 50 percent responsible for their death, the survivors or the estate may be unable to recover damages. However, if the victim is at fault, but less than 50 percent at fault, the survivors and the estate have a better chance of recovering financial compensation.
How do I know if a wrongful death occurred?
In general, you will need to provide proof that someone else’s actions resulted in a wrongful death. Such proof often involves showing that the at-fault party was negligent or failed to perform certain responsibilities that resulted in the person’s death. Legally, such responsibilities are often known as a duty of care. Examples include:
- Property owners need to make sure their property is safe so fatal accidents don’t occur.
- Nursing homes need to provide regular medical care and maintain sanitary conditions in order to prevent fatal injuries or illnesses.
- Trucking companies need to properly maintain commercial trucks so they don’t cause fatal truck accidents.
What should I do if I suspect a wrongful death?
If you believe a crime took place, you should call the police immediately. Wrongful death cases are very serious legal matters and may require an official police investigation. If you’re not sure which phone number to call, simply dial 911 to report the wrongful death.
Soon after, you should talk to a Chicago wrongful death attorney at our law firm. There are so many legal issues you need to consider in such cases. Our law firm can answer your legal questions and explain your options. Your best interests come first here.
How much time do I have to take legal action?
In most cases in Illinois, you have two years from the date of someone’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you could miss out on your opportunity to get the money your family deserves.
But just because you have two years doesn’t mean you should wait that long. Often, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to find the evidence you need to build a strong legal case. Such critical evidence can include:
- Physical evidence connected to the fatal accident.
- Inspection reports, especially if there were health or safety violations that caused the fatal accident.
- Video footage, including traffic camera footage and security camera footage.
How much is my wrongful death claim worth?
There’s often a great deal of debate about how much money surviving family members should receive in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Often, the insurance company for the at-fault party will only include some bills and expenses but not all of them. Our job is to show all of the expenses you should be financially compensated for, including:
- Medical expenses associated with your loved one’s final injury or illness.
- Money for any property damaged in the incident.
- Anticipated future income your loved one could have earned.
- Pain and suffering in many circumstances.
Add all these expenses up and your wrongful death claim or lawsuit can easily be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. This is why you need a lawyer to speak up for your family and demand the money you rightfully deserve.
How can a Chicago wrongful death attorney help?
Wrongful death cases often quickly turn into complicated legal battles. And right now, that’s probably the last thing you want to worry about. That’s why our law firm wants to help. We understand what you’re going through because we have worked with many other families in Chicago in similar situations.
When you have our legal team on your side, you can be sure that our Chicago wrongful death lawyers will do everything we can to build the strongest legal case. We know what questions to ask, what evidence to look for and which legal strategies can often be the most effective.