Chicago Wrongful Death
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, our Chicago wrongful death lawyers understand that you are going through an incredibly difficult time. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, our compassionate and experienced team is ready to help.
When you need a Chicago wrongful death attorney, our law firm will investigate every aspect of your claim in order to secure the compensation you need and gain the closure you deserve.Wrongful Death Resources
- Why Hire Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP
- Should You Hire an Attorney?
- Understanding a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois
- Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
- How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact A Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
After experiencing something as traumatic as the loss of a loved one, you need a team with vast experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP is ready to help.
- Our Chicago personal injury lawyers are committed to offering personalized attention to every client, which means we will take the time to get to know you and your family's unique situation.
- Our wrongful death lawyers will not hesitate to take on any defendant, and we are not afraid to take a case to trial in order to secure the maximum possible compensation.
- We take Chicago wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that grieving family members will owe no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for their case. We only collect legal fees after securing the compensation families deserve.
Chicago wrongful death cases can become incredibly complex. In most cases, a family member does not have the legal experience or resources necessary to conduct thorough investigations into the incident. A wrongful death attorney in Chicago will be responsible for:
- Obtaining all evidence related to the wrongful death. This can include any video or photo surveillance from the incident, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and more. For cases involving companies or other entities, this could involve obtaining safety records and internal organizational memos.
- Working with economic and medical experts to properly calculate the total losses the deceased's family members have incurred.
- Handling communication with all parties involved, including insurance carriers and legal teams, to reach a fair settlement for the deceased's relatives.
According to 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180, wrongful death occurs "Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages."
Anytime someone is killed due to the negligent, careless, or intentional actions of another, the deceased person's family has the right to recover compensation that the deceased would have been entitled to how they lived as well, as well as compensation for their own losses caused by the death.
At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, our Chicago wrongful death lawyers regularly help families of victims who have passed due to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Children's injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice claims
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Premises liability incidents
- Birth injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Electrocution and explosion incidents
- Construction site injuries
This is certainly not an all-inclusive list of the ways wrongful deaths occur. Please speak to our Chicago wrongful death attorneys about the particular facts relating to your case when making a decision about whether to pursue a claim.Who Can Bring Wrongful Death Claims In Illinois?
Under Illinois law, wrongful death claims need to be filed by the personal representative of the deceased's estate. In many cases, the personal representative will be a close relative, such as:
- The spouse of the deceased person
- The adult child of the deceased person
- The parent of a minor child who is deceased
- If a person died without appointing a personal representative to their estate, the court may appoint a personal representative (usually a family member).
There are various types of compensation available to family members in the aftermath of the wrongful death. Settlements or jury verdicts in these cases are meant to provide compensation for both economic and non-economic losses a family may sustain, including the following:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of future earnings of the deceased
- Loss of care and companionship of the deceased
- Loss of consortium damages
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Coverage of any medical bills incurred before death
The total amount of compensation awarded to family members in these cases will vary depending on the specific factors related to their case. Damages in Illinois wrongful death claims are distributed by the court to the deceased's surviving spouse and/or their next of kin, based on their level of dependency on the deceased person.Chicago Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations in Illinois
Every state is responsible for setting a time limit for how long victims have to file wrongful death claims against alleged negligent parties. These time limits are called statutes of limitation. In Illinois, the time limit for wrongful death claims is dictated by the statute of limitations of the underlying cause of death or within one year from the date of the deceased person's death, whichever date is later.
For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two years. This means that representatives of wrongful death victims in cases caused by injuries will have at least one year, and as much as two years, to file their lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
Wrongful death statutes of limitation can be complicated to understand, and we strongly advise you to speak to one of the Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP as soon as possible.FAQ: Wrongful Death
What is the difference between a civil and a criminal case for wrongful death?
After a wrongful death, two courses of action can be taken in the legal sphere. The first, criminal, involves charges brought against the person or people responsible for the death, according to the criminal code. Usually, there is one charge or a number of charges that require evidence and "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" for a conviction. After a conviction, those convicted face punishment, which is often prison time and/or fines.
The second course of action, civil, is brought against those responsible for your loved one's death based on the civil code. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by eligible family members seeking restitution in the form of monetary damages for their losses.
Can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed in the case of children, the elderly, or an unborn child?
In Illinois, it is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a child, elderly person or unborn child dies. The stipulations for damages differ in each case, and in situations involving unborn children, there are strict rules and regulations for determining viability or other details of the situation.
What are punitive damages and can I file for them?
Punitive damages are monetary damages that are levied to ensure that the wrongdoer is punished for his or her actions. Often when families face a situation where there is not enough evidence for a criminal case or there are external licensure proceedings, families may seek punitive damages after reckless or malicious incidents.
In Illinois, the Wrongful Death Act does not allow families to seek punitive damages in a wrongful death case. Other statutes may allow for these damages to be sought, however, so it is important to speak with one of our attorneys to learn whether this option may be available to you.
How are damages calculated if my loved one never held a job?
Family contributions happen in many ways. Even if your loved one did not work and provide for your family monetarily, he or she provided in many other ways; child care, love and companionship, housekeeping, and other services can be compensated for in a wrongful death suit because those losses are real to you and your family, and you now must deal with life without him or her. If he or she was in school and preparing for a career, this may also be taken into account in a wrongful death suit.Is there compensation for my loved one's pain and suffering?
In Illinois, any pain and suffering your loved one endured can be compensated for in a wrongful death suit. It is included only if it was in relation to the injuries that eventually caused his or her death, and he or she must have been conscious to experience this pain and suffering.Contact A Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person or entity, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, our compassionate and experienced team of wrongful death lawyers will investigate every aspect of your claim in order to secure justice and compensation on your behalf. We will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. When you and your loved ones need a Chicago wrongful death lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case or calling (312) 781-1977.Additional Resources ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I was referred to Melanie Fairman to represent me for my brother's case. She was outstanding and went above and beyond to represent me during a very stressful time in my life. She is very professional and loyal to her clients. She fought hard for my case and did not let me give up and I am very satisfied with the outcome, thanks to her. Thank you so much for everything you have done for my family!" -Nancy R.