There is nothing more emotionally painful or heartbreaking than losing a loved one in a preventable accident. While no legal action could ever make up for such a devastating loss, family members of the victim deserve justice and the maximum available financial support.
Through a wrongful death claim, close family members and/or the estate of the deceased can hold the negligent defendants legally liable for a fatal accident. Here, our Rockford wrongful death lawyers explain who has the statutory right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois.
Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Who are the Eligible Parties?
Wrongful death suits are brought under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/1). Under this statute, only certain parties have the legal right to file a wrongful death suit. Specifically, the surviving spouse and surviving children of the victim have the primary right to bring a claim. These parties are eligible to recover wrongful death damages under the state’s wrongful death law.
In the absence of a surviving spouse or surviving children who are willing or able to bring the claim, legal rights can be advanced to other family members. Specifically, in this situation, parents and siblings of the deceased will then have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
In either case, Illinois requires wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by a personal representative of the deceased. In other words, the claim will be brought by the estate, instead of by the eligible family members. Still, it is the eligible parties who will be able to seek compensation for their damages.
You Must File a Wrongful Death Suit Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
Eligible parties only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/13-209), plaintiffs generally have two years to file a wrongful death suit. There are few exceptions to this rule. If you fail to bring a case before the statute of limitations runs out, then your claim will be dismissed by the Illinois court.
If your loved one was killed because of the reckless or careless conduct of another party, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Rockford wrongful death attorney right away. Your attorney will ensure that your claim is filed in time and that all relevant evidence is obtained. You may be entitled to financial compensation for out-of-pocket medical costs, funeral and burial costs, loss of income or benefits, and loss of love, companionship, and consortium.
Contact Our Rockford Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
At Tuite Law, our Illinois wrongful death attorneys are compassionate and effective advocates for people who lost family members due to the negligence of other parties. If you lost a loved one in a tragic accident, our legal team is here to protect your rights. To set up a free, strictly confidential, consultation please contact us today. With an office in Rockford, we handle wrongful death cases in Winnebago County and throughout Northern Illinois.