Death may be inevitable, but it’s never easy. When a loss is the result of another person’s negligence, however, the pain can be even harder to bare. A wrongful death is when one person dies due to another person’s negligence or malice, and has a variety of causes, including vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, boating accidents, construction site accidents, and property liability.
Illinois law defines wrongful death as when a person’s death results from a wrongful or neglectful action and the action entitles the affected person for compensation, as if the death did not happen
How do you file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois?
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Illinois involves a few different steps. First, you must determine whether or not your claim fits the definition put forth by the state. Then, like in other legal and judicial proceedings, you gather evidence and submit your evidence to court. You must prove that:
- A human death indeed occurred
- The human death indeed resulted from another person’s negligence or malice
- The deceased has surviving relatives experiencing financial trouble due to the deceased’s death
- A representative for the deceased’s estate has been named
In a wrongful death lawsuit, who can sue and who can be sued?
Under Illinois law, the deceased’s wife, husband, or offspring can file a wrongful death lawsuit. At our firm, our Chicago wrongful death lawyers often file claims and lawsuits against:
- Drivers responsible for auto accidents
- Owners of the property where impaired drivers received alcohol
- Trucking companies that don’t supervise or train their employees
- Manufacturers or installers of unsafe or defective products
- Property owners who don’t keep their premises safe
- Doctors and healthcare facilities which commit negligence or malpractice
Any entity or party who bears responsibility for the death of your loved one should be held accountable for his or her role in that loss. That could be an individual, a manufacturer, a hospital, or an insurance company that refuses to pay out your claim.
In the past, wrongful death lawsuits could be filed only within 24 months of the deceased’s death. However, that changed in January 2017. Named after wrongful death victim Molly Young, “Molly’s Law,” or Public Act 099-0587, allows wrongful death lawsuits to be filed within half a decade or twelve months after the conclusion of criminal cases.
Moreover, Public Act 099-0586, a companion to “Molly’s Law,” enables people to have the Illinois State Attorney General’s office review their requests for information after their initial requests were denied, and if the office decides that the Freedom of Information Act has been breached, it and/or the requesters will send out enforceable opinions related to the requests. People who do not comply with the opinions face a fine no more than $5,000 for every instance of noncompliance and an additional fine of no more than $1,000 per day for every 24 hours the noncompliance persists.
Sometimes, a person’s death results from negligence and/or malice, and under past Illinois law the deceased’s relatives had only 24 months to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, Public Acts 099-0587and 099-0586 changed all that.
If your loves one. died as a result of another person’s negligent and/or malicious actions in or near Chicago, contact the wrongful death attorneys at Gainsberg Law P.C. We work with grieving families throughout the Chicagoland area. Please call 312-600-9585 to schedule a free consultation with us.