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How to File for Wrongful Death in Illinois

Posted on in Wrongful Death

wrongful-deathAnytime is hard to lose a loved one, but when a family member dies unexpectedly due to the negligence of an individual or a company, it is the surviving next of kin that suffers due to the unexpected expenses and grief. A wrongful death case must follow circumstances in order for the family to receive compensation, but needing to file a wrongful death is not something you plan for, so it is understandable not to know what is next.

The strength of a wrongful death case relies on the fact that the deceased would still be alive if it was not for the negligence or intentional act to cause harm, by another party. The family also needs to be directly affected by the death of the person - either with significant financial and/or emotional strain. These two things need to be proved by a family in order to receive compensation for a wrongful death.

A wrongful death can occur many ways. A few examples are car accidents, medical malpractice, work-related incidents, or violent crimes.

In order to file for wrongful death, a personal representative must be assigned to the estate of the deceased. If the person died with a will, the personal representative is typically named. Otherwise, the court will assign a personal representative. A personal representative is most likely a close family member such as a parent, spouse, or child, and it is their decision whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

There is a two-year statute of limitations in Illinois for wrongful death cases. The case must be filed within that time, which starts the day the person died. If an accident caused injuries that resulted in the eventual death of a loved one, then the two years would still start at the actual death, not the date of the accident.

The case for wrongful death starts after the complaint is filed in court. However, before that, you will want to have the following information ready. Evidence regarding your cause of action for the wrongful death of a loved one should be collected, but does not need to be complete by initial filing of the complaint. Find out which court should hear your case that has jurisdiction in the matter. If you are the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, then only you have the right to file under Illinois Law.

Contact an Orland Park Wrongful Death Attorney

There is specific formatting required to file a wrongful death case. Not following the court’s rules may have your claim denied, so contact an experienced Orland Park wrongful death attorney to ensure your family’s security after the unexpected death of a loved one. Set up a free consultation by calling our office at 708-966-2408.


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