Wrongful death cases are complex legal matters involving an individual's death due to another party's negligence or misconduct. Despite their importance, several misconceptions surround these cases that can cause confusion and hinder the deceased person's family from seeking justice. Today, we will discuss four common misconceptions regarding wrongful death cases and clarify the truth to help you better understand your rights. If you have questions regarding a wrongful death claim, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney who works in wrongful death cases to help you understand your legal options during this difficult time.
What People Get Wrong About Wrongful Death Cases
Here are four examples of the most common misconceptions, including:
- Wrongful death and murder are the same – Many people mistakenly believe that wrongful death and murder are synonymous. While both involve the death of an individual, they are distinct legal concepts. Wrongful death is a civil lawsuit brought by the deceased person's family against the responsible party to seek monetary compensation for their loss. Murder, on the other hand, is a criminal charge prosecuted by the state.
- Anyone can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of another person – This is incorrect. In Illinois, only a personal representative of the deceased individual is the one who can bring forth a wrongful death claim. If the deceased person left a will behind, whoever the will names as an executor will likely be the personal representative. In cases where the deceased person did not have a will, the court will likely appoint someone. This person is typically nominated by the party with interest.
- Wrongful death claims must be filed immediately after the death – While it is crucial to file a wrongful death claim as soon as possible, there is no need to rush immediately after the death occurs. Illinois's statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. Consult with an attorney to ensure no deadlines are missed.
- Compensation in wrongful death cases is only for funeral expenses – One of the most significant misconceptions surrounding wrongful death cases is that the compensation sought is limited to funeral expenses. In reality, wrongful death cases can be much more expensive. They may include medical bills incurred before the death, loss of the deceased person's income and financial support, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and even punitive damages in cases of egregious misconduct.
Contact a Kane County Wrongful Death Attorney
For competent legal representation, consult with the experienced Aurora, IL wrongful death lawyers with Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C.. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.
Source - https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&;ChapterID=57