A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to compensate you and your family members after losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence. The grief and sadness your family is feeling is likely compounded by the loss of the decedent’s income, companionship, and much more. After the death of a loved one, your financial situation might be on shaky ground. With the help of an Elgin wrongful death lawyer, your family could recover the financial compensation you need to support yourselves. A skilled injury attorney could provide legal guidance and emotional support during this difficult time.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when a person loses their life due to neglectful or careless action from another individual. If the decedent had survived and been entitled to take legal action to recover for damages, then certain family members can also do so in a wrongful death action. These lawsuits are designed to help the family members who were left behind following an accidental death. It can address financial hardship due to the loss but it can also compensate for the emotional or psychological effects.
Common Fatal Accidents
Almost any type of accident holds the possibility of a wrongful death. Some of the most common examples include:
- Medical malpractice: Mistakes made by doctors and others in the medical field can be potentially lethal. Even if they had good intentions, medical professionals can be held responsible for their mistakes.
- Motor vehicle crashes: Car accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents can quickly become deadly, and is one of the highest causes of death in the United States.
- Work Accidents: Accidents that lead to death at a worksite occur frequently, especially those that involve construction or hazardous machinery, and may be the basis for a lawsuit.
- Product Liability: Defective products, whether by design or manufacture, can have deficiencies that put the user at risk. The manufacturer can be held responsible when its negligence caused the death of a loved one.
If any of these scenarios was responsible for the accidental death of a loved one, their surviving family should call a lawyer in Elgin to discuss their next steps.
Who May File a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Under state law, only the decedent’s personal representative for their estate is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This person is usually listed in the decedent’s will or estate plan. If a representative is not named, a court can appoint one. This person may be:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s adult child
- The parent of a deceased minor
This representative is the named plaintiff in the case and is permitted to hire a local attorney to represent them. It is highly suggested that this representative works with an experienced attorney in Elgin because wrongful death actions can be complicated to prove without skilled legal help.
Statute of Limitations in Elgin
Under state law, a wrongful death action must be filed within one year from the date of death, or within the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of death. When the cause of death would have qualified as an injury lawsuit had death not occurred, the statute of limitations may be two years. In every case, a plaintiff should seek the help of an attorney in the area right away. If the statute of limitations passes, the court will likely throw out the case, barring the family from recovering any compensation.
Contact an Elgin Wrongful Death Attorney to Address Your Loss
If you lost a loved one as a result of another person’s negligence, a wrongful death action could result in significant financial compensation. To do this, you need quality legal representation to guide you along the way. Place a call to an Elgin wrongful death lawyer for help with your case.