CHICAGO WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
Compassionate Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death claims are not like any other personal injury claims. While no amount of financial compensation can make up for the loss of a family member, the law allows recovery in the event such a tragedy was caused by the negligence of another party. At Curcio Law Offices, our wrongful death attorneys are committed to providing compassionate legal service and aggressive representation to families pursuing wrongful death claims. Speak with a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer to learn more.
The Clients we represent are real families that have experienced real tragedies. Wrongful death victims are so much more than just a case number to us. The Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Curcio Law are compassionate. We understand the pain and suffering caused by deadly accidents. The last thing family members want to deal with in the time of distress and loss is negotiating with insurance companies and filing official claims to the courts. Surviving family members can enlist the help of a Chicago wrongful death lawyer from Curcio Law Offices to make this time easier.
Our firm has more than 50 years of experience helping families recover compensation for the emotional and financial consequence of wrongful deaths in Illinois. In addition to pursuing a wrongful death claim based on the medical expenses associated with injuries, our attorneys seek compensation based on future earnings, loss of consortium or companionship, and for the financial and emotional loss to the family. Our attorneys also work with forensic accountants and economists to help us assess the financial loss and future financial needs of family members.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
Wrongful death is when a person is killed due to another person or entity’s misconduct or negligence. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action. This means it is separate from a criminal prosecution. Although in the case of wrongful death, a criminal prosecution may occur, a wrongful death action is distinct from a criminal case.
How Much is an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
There is no possible way to put a numerical value on someone’s life and death. So, it’s hard to determine how much a wrongful death lawsuit will bring. The circumstances surrounding each wrongful death claim can vary by quite a bit. Damages fit into two basic categories: tangible and intangible losses.
To calculate recoverable damages for wrongful death cases, your Chicago wrongful death attorney will ask the judge to consider:
Tangible Damages for Wrongful Death Cases
The tangible damages for Chicago wrongful death claims include but aren’t limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Care-taking expenses
- Lost future earnings and missed wages
- Lost benefits
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Legal fees
Intangible Damages for Wrongful Death Cases
The intangible damages for Chicago wrongful death claims include but aren’t limited to:
- Loss of consortium
- Absence of companionship, moral support, and affection
These types of damages are considered “pecuniary.” In Illinois, “pecuniary loss” refers to the monetary and non monetary losses mentioned above. When judges and juries decide potential damages in a wrongful death claim, they begin with the presumption that the survivor endured “pecuniary loss” due to the death of a loved one.
How Do I Choose the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Chicago?
Before choosing a Chicago wrongful death attorney, do your research. Investigate their background, education, and experience with wrongful death lawsuits, specifically.
Before or during your free consultation, be sure to ask and answer the following questions:
- How many years has this attorney been practicing?
- What is their track record of verdicts and settlements?
- How frequently do they handle wrongful death claims?
- What percentage of the practice is dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for wrongful death claims?
Also, personality matters. You might have to work with your Chicago wrongful death attorney for quite some time, in order to see a favorable wrongful death case result.
Make sure that your attorney acts professionally and compassionately. You want someone who will be aggressive in court but kind in the conference room. Always make sure communication is open and transparent with your attorney. Learn about the law firm fee structure and how it will relate to your case.
What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
One of the most important and time-consuming jobs a wrongful death attorney does is investigate your wrongful death claim. An experienced attorney will take a time to gather evidence, collect necessary documentation, quantify your damages, and find out more about any misconduct or neglect. Your attorney will also help you handle communication with all parties. This includes the insurance companies.
Your attorney will conduct an insurance review. This helps you determine the maximum amount that can be recovered for your claim according to the insurance companies involved. Finally, he or she will file the correct documentation with the court and present your case in mediation or at trial.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Chicago?
If a loved one died due to someone else’s wrongful or negligent act, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death act may arise from the following scenarios:
- A deceased person was killed intentionally: In the event of a murder or homicide, the state will bring a criminal case. This is distinct from a wrongful death lawsuit. The person responsible for the death of your loved one may be sued in both criminal court and civil court. A civil lawsuit is brought in civil court.
- Car Accident fatalities due to negligence: If a car accident resulted in the victim’s death and the deceased wasn’t the negligent party, a wrongful death suit is possible.
- Medical Malpractice: In the event that a physician fails to diagnose a condition, or the physician was careless and this causes death, a medical malpractice or wrongful death suit might be possible. You would be able to file the motion against the doctor who committed the medical negligence.
This is by no means a complete list of reasons to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims might come after any type of personal injury claim. The only exception is if a work injury resulted in death. In this case, this would be filed with the worker’s compensation system.
Illinois Wrongful Death Act
If the victim contributed more than 50% in an accident to their own death, a wrongful death case cannot be pursued. Damages may be recovered if the victim’s fault was no more than 50% of the cause. Damages tend to be reduced in proportion to the victim’s fault.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Chicago?
The surviving family members eligible to make a wrongful death claim include:
- Surviving spouse
- Parents who lost children
- Children who lost parents
In some cases, Illinois law allows siblings or other close relatives might be eligible to file the claim. In the event that the person filing the claim is a minor, they will need the help and sponsorship of an adult guardian in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Depending on your jurisdiction, in some cases, parents of adult children may also sue for wrongful death. Additionally, adult children might be able to sue for the wrongful death of their mother or father. For example, our bedsore lawyers have extensive experience representing those who have lost loved ones due to Chicago nursing home abuse. Although it’s more difficult to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the familial relationship was distant, there are still some possibilities.
Even in the case of romantic partners, rather than spouses, there may be legal avenues for wrongful death action. Anybody that can show financial dependence on the deceased. In some states, parents may file a wrongful death suit over the death of a fetus. Speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney to learn more about the laws in your jurisdiction.
How Do You Establish Fault in a Wrongful Death Case?
There are several things that a family member must prove in order to win a wrongful death case. Some of these include:
- The accused had a legal obligation to the deceased that he or she breached. In general, everyone has an obligation to avoid high-risk behaviors. Physicians need to act in a way that will minimize harm and risk to their patients-avoiding medical negligence. Drivers must exercise reasonable caution to avoid a car accident. Manufacturers of products must ensure that consumers will be safe when using their products.
- Beyond this, establishing a legal duty is possible if there was a relationship between the deceased and the accused. Even if the relationship was distant or merely professional.
- The accused breached their obligation to the deceased in a negligent manner.
- How would a reasonable person act in a similar situation? If that person would have acted in a more careful manner, the accused may be considered negligent.
- The breach of obligation caused the death
- Did the accused’s action lead directly or indirectly to the death? If this is the case, then yes, a wrongful death claim can be made.
When a wrongful death occurs, in order to bring the strongest claim possible, you will need the help of a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to build your case. Chicago wrongful death lawyers know what evidence to look for and how to compile it so you receive the best possible settlement.
Experienced Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers
If a member of your family had died as a result of a wrongful act or someone else’s careless, reckless or intentional actions, please contact a Chicago wrongful death lawyer at Curcio Law Offices in Chicago by calling 312-321-1111 and scheduling a free consultation today. We’ve secured millions for Chicago wrongful death victims and will work to secure fair compensation for our clients.