What Is Wrongful Death Malpractice in Chicago?

While every death of a loved one is painful, for the purposes of the law, wrongful death is a preventable fatality that was caused by someone’s recklessness or negligence. In these cases, some family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago.

If you lost a loved one due to a tragic accident or a loved one has died while being cared for at a nursing home, hospital or by a doctor, contact the wrongful death lawyer, George Argionis.

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What Is Considered Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when someone’s actions or lack of actions lead to a fatality. If a driver drives inebriated and kills a pedestrian, for example, they can be held liable for a wrongful death. If a doctor does not act according to the medical standard of care, they may be held liable if a patient passes away as a result.

How Does Wrongful Death Occur?

Wrongful death can happen because someone fails to do something. For example, a property manager may fail to place a fence around an outdoor pool, causing a young child to drown. A property owner may fail to fix a broken rail, leading to a fatal fall.

Wrongful death can also occur due to intentional action. A medicine manufacturer may release a medication knowing it has some serious side effects, and they may face a lawsuit if their actions lead to the death of a patient. Someone may speed on a highway and cause an accident that takes a life.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Chicago?

In general, only close family members can sue. Most commonly, these claims are filed by spouses or children. If you’re dating someone when they’re fatally injured — even if you’ve been dating for years — remember that you cannot sue unless you’re legally married.

You may also be able to recover if the person who has passed away was a child or parent. If you’re wondering who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago or whether you have a claim, contact an attorney.

How to prove wrongful death in chicago

How to Prove Wrongful Death in Chicago

If you’ve lost a loved one and feel you want to file a claim, contact a lawyer who will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case.

Proving a wrongful death case requires evidence that the defendant caused the death through an intentional or negligent act. To fully show this, you must provide proof of:

  1. Duty: The first and most important element of a wrongful death suit is evidence that the defendant had a duty to the deceased. This evidence is necessary whether the defendant is an individual, company or government. For example, an individual has a duty to protect others on or near the road by operating their vehicle in a state of sobriety. A company has a duty to ensure its products are safe for consumers. A government has a duty to ensure drinking water is clean and free of contaminants.
  2. Breach: Once you’ve established the defendant’s duty, you must prove that they failed to fulfill it. A person who drove under the influence, a company that neglected safety testing and a government that ignored water quality reports have all breached their duty to others.
  3. Causation: Showing that the defendant broke the law or breached a duty provides a necessary foundation. However, you must also show that their action — or lack of action — caused the wrongful death.
  4. Damages: Damages compensate for the emotional, physical and financial burdens that result from a wrongful death. The evidence you’ll need to provide can differ depending on the type of claim you’re filing. Damages from a wrongful death claim compensate the survivors for their loss of services, companionship and future income. If you file a survival action instead, the damages will compensate for losses the deceased experienced leading up to their death. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Chicago wrongful death attorneys will often work with investigators and expert witnesses to prove a case. In the event of a car accident, they may work with an accident reconstruction expert. With a medical malpractice case, they may work with a medical expert who can testify that a doctor’s actions fell outside of professional medical standards.

Wrongful Death in Chicago FAQs

We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois.

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Illinois?

You typically have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a wrongful death claim. However, the wrongful death statute of limitations in Illinois can vary from case to case based on the manner of death and the accused’s criminal charges, if any.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?

Wrongful death settlements average anywhere from several hundred thousand to several million dollars. The settlement depends on several factors that calculate the emotional, physical and financial damages experienced by the deceased and their next of kin.

Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable in Illinois?

No, wrongful death settlements are not taxable in Illinois. However, if a settlement includes separate punitive damages, that amount may be taxable.

What Are the Main Steps in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit involves four main steps:

  1. Contact a lawyer: It’s essential to find an experienced wrongful death attorney when you’re ready to file your claim. They will ensure you have everything you need and guide you through the rest of the process.
  2. Assemble documentation: Your attorney will help you obtain any necessary paperwork, such as medical bills and the official death certificate from The Department of Health.
  3. Communicate with the defendant: Many people would prefer to settle a case before it goes to trial. Listen to the defendant’s offer and consult with your attorney about accepting or continuing to court.
  4. Recover the damages: With your lawyer’s help and strong, convincing evidence, you should receive your compensation.

Contact a Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney

Seeking compensation for wrongful death is complex, but it’s important. When someone passes, the family often faces high final medical costs, funeral costs, loss of income and other financial hardships. Compensation from a settlement or lawsuit can also help pay for counseling and other expenses so that a family can begin to heal. Family members can file a lawsuit by contacting a wrongful death law firm in Chicago for help.

If you’re looking for wrongful death representation in Chicago, contact chicago wrongful death lawyer George Argionis online or at (312) 782-4545.