Medical malpractice, vehicle crashes, nursing home abuse, work related accidents, dangerous or defective products, and construction site mishaps; all of these can result in a wrongful death case.
All state laws authorize surviving family members to be compensated for both economic and non-economic losses, including loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society. Some states also allow surviving family members to be compensated for their personal grief and suffering. Who is entitled to sue and the damages that can be sought vary from state to state and are controlled by written statute.
In Illinois, the Wrongful Death Act creates a cause of action in the name of the personal representative of the estate of the decedent for the benefit of the next of kin. Next of kin may include the widow, surviving children, parents or siblings of the decedent. The action will cover “pecuniary injuries” – mental anguish, loss of companionship, and potential financial contributions of the deceased. Surviving children may also recover damages for the loss of instruction, education, and moral training they would have received. It is also possible to seek recovery for the wrongful death of an unborn child as long as the fetus was viable at the time of the negligent act.
In addition, the Illinois Survival Statute allows next of kin to recover damages for the pain and suffering of the decedent from the time of injury until the time of death. These damages are allowed only if it can be proven the decedent suffered. In cases where death occurred instantly, or the decedent is rendered immediately unconscious, damages are not recoverable.
At the Law Offices of William L. Barr, we have dealt with the complexities of these type of cases many times. Let us help you obtain full and fair compensation that you deserve.
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