Wrongful Death

I have used the term ‘wrongful death’ in many posts and was asked recently: What exactly does wrongful death consist of?   ‘Wrongful death’ is usually associated with a legal cause of action on behalf of the person who died but also on behalf of the people close to the deceased who depended on the person both economically and emotionally.  A ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit is usually brought by a family member or person close to the deceased.  Many states have statutes on point as to who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.  The Wrongful Death Act in Illinois is codified at 740 ILCS 180.

How much are you going to sue for?

Is a question frequently asked by clients in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.  The question of course goes to the damages sought in the lawsuit, and the answer is usually anything but straightforward.  Most states, such as Illinois, require the lawsuit to seek damages in excess of the jurisdictional minimum.  In other words we do not ask for a specific amount when filing most lawsuits.  We ask a jury or judge to actually determine the amount of damages based on the evidence we present.  In wrongful death cases damages usually consist of: medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering experienced by the survivors.  Expert testimony is typically required to help establish damages in wrongful death cases.

How long do I have to bring my case?

A statute of limitations is the time allotted to bring a cause of action.  Each state has different statute of limitations for different causes of action.  In Illinois, generally have 2 years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit.  This statute applies to both nursing home negligence and wrongful death cases.  If you do not bring a lawsuit within the prescribed time requirements, you forgo your right to recover forever.

If you believe that you have a wrongful death lawsuit or nursing home negligence case, feel free to contact me to discuss the matter.  The consultation is free and is kept in strict confidence.


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