In the legal world, wrongful death claims are brought against a party who could potentially be held liable for causing another's death. These claims are typically filed by a spouse, parent of a minor, or adult child and can be filed up until two years after the incident, per Illinois regulations.
When it comes to car accident wrongful death claims, one has to prove that a driver was negligent and that resulted in a fatal accident. However, negligence is not always so easy to prove, despite these claims being quite common.
How Can Wrongful Death Be Proven?
As previously mentioned, motor vehicle wrongful death claims rely on a driver's negligence to be proven. Negligence is often defined in legal terms by four elements:
- Duty of care: your obligation to act in a certain way as not to harm others.
- Breach of care: failing to adhere to your duty of care.
- Causation: must be able to prove that the action is what caused the injury.
- Damages: Suffering a loss of property or life by another's action.
Negligence is generally determined by examining the circumstances that caused the crash. Here are a few actions that could be considered negligent when driving:
- Presence of drugs or alcohol in the driver's system.
- Running a red light, stop sign, or not yielding.
- Driving at unsafe speeds.
- Being distracted (i.e. texting while driving).
Some states even allow driving without a valid driver's license to be considered negligent when hearing wrongful death claims.
Making Your Claim
If choosing to make a wrongful death claim in Illinois, it may be best to seek an attorney specializing in this and other personal injury cases. They can advise you on the appropriate documentation needed to file, help you adhere to the specific timeline, and fight for the maximum compensation that can be received.
In any kind of wrongful death claim, you can choose to sue for damages and could receive compensation for funeral expenses, economic losses, pain and suffering, or loss of society (companionship). Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may also be able to file for punitive damages.
If your loved one has been a victim of a negligent driver, do not suffer alone. The attorneys at McNabola & Associates, LLC can work with you to ensure that your family receives the best possible outcome. Call (312) 888-8700 to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.