CHICAGO FATAL CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
Experienced Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago
Non-fatal car accidents are traumatizing enough on their own. Millions suffer car accident injuries every year, and thousands die unexpectedly. These sudden deaths are crushing for any family or community. Struggling with grief and feelings of intense loss is common for those in the aftermath of a fatal collision. An experienced Chicago fatal car accident lawyer will understand that after this tragic event, you won’t have the mindset or energy to deal with a complicated lawsuit. So, why not let us handle the case while you focus on getting your life back in order?
At Curcio Law Offices, we offer compassionate legal services to those experiencing real tragedy in their lives. We know that all the monetary compensation in the world could not replace the loved one you lost. However, it can help honor their memory by covering funeral costs, and ensure that your family does not encounter financial struggles. With more than 50 years securing emotional and financial compensation for our clients in Chicago, we use our experience to litigate on behalf of your family. If you suffered a tragic loss, please call our office for a free consultation at 312-321-1111 today. Enlisting the help of an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney is the first step to compensation for the loss of your loved one.
What Happens After a Fatal Car Accident?
Not all accident-related deaths happen at the scene. Some people make it to the hospital, but unfortunately do not recover from their wounds and injuries. What happens then? Below, we outline some of the possibilities for what transpires after a fatal car accident.
Reckless Driving that Lead to Fatal Car Crash
If the driver responsible for the crash acted in a careless or reckless manner, they may very well face criminal charges, such as vehicular manslaughter. However, district attorneys often decide what to do in these cases. They often consider the following elements:
- If the accident resulted from the driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the DA will usually pursue criminal charges in Chicago.
- When the accident results from the at-fault driver ignoring traffic laws or driving recklessly, the DA usually brings criminal charges against the person.
No Fault Fatal Car Crash
Maybe certain factors existed that were not in the driver’s control. Examples include:
- mechanical failures,
- poor road conditions, or
- weather conditions.
These cases usually do not result in criminal charges.
After a fatal car accident, it is not uncommon for the family of the deceased individual to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago. Every accident has unique circumstances. The family usually works with a fatal car accident lawyer in order to determine legal liability, as well as conduct a thorough investigation.
What Happens if You Cause a Fatal Car Accident?
This depends on many of the factors we listed above. First, you will likely hire an attorney to assist with your case. Then, there are three possibilities:
- An arrest on criminal charges. Sometimes, accidents are exactly that: accidents. Other times, however, the unsafe driving habits of the at-fault driver lead to the death of another person. When this happens, the district attorney will likely decide to press criminal charges.
- A civil wrongful death suit. Even if the DA does not decide to have you arrested, you might still face a lawsuit from the family of the deceased person. Typically, they seek compensation from you in the form of your personal assets.
- Higher insurance rates. Many times, insurance rates go up after a non-fatal accident. After a fatal one, however, this gets tricky. Keep in touch with both your insurance provider and your attorney to determine how the accident affects your rates.
How Long Does a Fatal Accident Investigation Take?
What is the Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Chicago?
A statute of limitations is the time period in which you have to file a lawsuit. In Chicago, if you wish to file a wrongful death suit, you must file it within two years after the death of your loved one. However, exceptions exist to this rule, which we list below:
- If you file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a minor victim, you have two years past the date that they reach maturity. To put it simply, you have two years from the date that they would have become a legal adult.
- In medical malpractice cases, survivors must file their claim within two years after they knew or should have known of the injury. However, claims must still be filed no later than 4 years after the medical act occurred.
- If you are suing a government agency in Chicago, you only have one year to file your claim.
Is the Family Entitled to Compensation After a Fatal Car Accident in Chicago?
In Illinois, a personal representative of the deceased must file the lawsuit. However, the beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased usually receive compensation from successful lawsuits. The court determines the identity of these individuals based on the will of the deceased person. If no will exists, individuals may petition a probate court to achieve the status of the deceased’s personal representative. Survivors might receive compensation in the below forms.
Measurable Losses: Financial Loss Related to the Person's Death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of benefits through the deceased’s employment
- Medical bills prior to the death
- Loss of future income from the deceased
Immeasurable Losses: Financial Losses That are Not Financially Measurable
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Loss of parental guidance for children
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Pain and suffering of survivors
- Punitive damages
How Can a Chicago Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Help?
In almost every personal injury case, a lawyer is extremely beneficial. An experienced fatal car accident attorney serves as a legal guide and advocate for your right to just compensation. After the death of a loved one, you shouldn’t have to do mental gymnastics to determine what your case is worth. An attorney will do that for you. Below, we list the factors we take into consideration while valuing cases.
- Medical bills, including surgeries, hospitalization, and medications
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial resources, such as wages, insurance, or other financial benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering of both you and the deceased