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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe unexpected loss of a loved one is tragic regardless of the circumstances but losing a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident is often especially heart-wrenching. Knowing that your loved one’s last moments involved a violent vehicle collision can cause you agonizing grief that lasts for years. If you have lost a loved one in this manner, you know that personal grief is not the only consequence of such a tragedy. You must also find a way to survive the burdensome financial consequences of the loss. One way that you may be able to receive financial relief is through a wrongful death claim.

Determining When a Successful Wrongful Death Claim Is Possible

In January of this year, a 46-year-old woman died after being struck and killed in a Waukegan hit-and-run accident. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident after striking a pedestrian are likely to face serious criminal consequences for their actions. Drivers involved in pedestrian accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) will also face criminal charges. Although criminal charges are not a requirement for a successful personal injury claim, criminal charges are likely to make the process of recovering damages easier.

If the pedestrian accident was not the result of DUI, hit and run, reckless driving, or another violation of the law, the driver’s fault for the accident will need to be established. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence and examine information that may prove the driver’s negligence.

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Waukegan wrongful death attorneysEveryone faces death eventually. However, some people are taken from this earth too soon. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident or other incident caused by negligence, you may be completely unsure of what to do next. The unexpected loss of a loved one not only causes sorrow and grief but often great financial harm as well. Your loved one may have undergone expensive medical treatments before he or she passed away that now leave your family burdened with medical debt. The death may have left the deceased person’s spouse and children without their main source of income and healthcare benefits. These are only some of the damages that may be available through a wrongful death claim.

Illinois Law Regarding Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims are civil claims brought against a party who is liable for a death. A wrongful death claim could follow a fatal drunk driving accident, fatal work accident, death caused by medical malpractice, or many other scenarios. Illinois law states that a party may be entitled to recover damages when death is caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” Under Illinois law, a personal representative of the deceased—often the executor of the state—may bring a wrongful death “for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin of the deceased person.”

What Can I Receive Compensation For in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

No amount of money can compensate someone for the loss of human life. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can help a grieving family avoid being bankrupted by the death. Through a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive damages such as the loss of economic support, loss of services, and loss of society caused by the death. You could be compensated for the loss of the deceased person’s income as well as the loss of the deceased person’s services such as caring for children. The term “loss of society” refers to the loss of companionship and guidance previously provided by the deceased person. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering and your own grief, sorrow, and mental anguish. Damages may also be awarded for funeral and burial expenses and medical expenses incurred before the deceased person passed away.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysPedestrians deserve to be safe walking down public sidewalk and walkways. Unfortunately, fatal car accidents involving pedestrians happen every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a pedestrian is struck and killed by a motor vehicle every 1.5 hours in the in the United States. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be considering bringing a wrongful death claim against the driver. It is important to know the elements of a wrongful death case involving a pedestrian accident in Illinois.

Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident

If you are deciding whether or not to bring a wrongful death claim after a loved one was hit by a car, you should consider several factors. Successful wrongful death lawsuits generally involve proving negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing on behalf of the defendant. If a driver in a fatal car accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she will likely be presumed to be responsible for the accident. Drivers have a duty to drive with caution and attention. A driver who was distracted or simply not paying attention may also be considered negligent and therefore liable for damages caused by the accident.

If the person killed in the accident was partially at fault for the accident, it may still be possible to collect compensation. Illinois comparative negligence law states that if an injured party is less than 51 percent responsible for an accident, the injured party or the party’s estate can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if your loved one was “jaywalking” or crossing the street not at the designated crosswalk, he or she could be considered partially at fault for the accident. However, if the driver of the vehicle is found to be at least half at fault for the accident, you can still bring a wrongful death claim against the driver.

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Lake County wrongful death lawyersLosing a loved one in an unexpected accident can take a massive toll on surviving loved ones. Not only does a death in the family cause heartbreak, it can also be create a tremendous financial burden to those left behind. When another party’s negligence causes a death, the deceased person’s loved ones may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. Through a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family can pursue compensation for medical expenses, loss of companionship, and more.

When is a Wrongful Death Claim Appropriate?

Tragic accidents happen every day, but not every unexpected death warrants a wrongful death claim. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, when an individual’s death is caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or default” and the deceased person would have been eligible to recover damages if he or she survived, the personal representatives of the deceased person may pursue compensation for the benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate in the following situations:

  • A drunk driver causes a deadly car accident.
  • An employer fails to maintain a safe work environment and an employee dies in an accident as a result.
  • Medical negligence or medical malpractice causes the death of a patient.
  • Someone texting and driving veers off the road and kills a pedestrian.
  • An individual dies after using a defective product created by a negligent manufacturing company. 

These are only a few examples of the many circumstances which can lead to a wrongful death claim. To learn more about whether or not your loved one’s passing constitutes a wrongful death, contact a qualified personal injury attorney. 

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Lake County Wrongful Death Lawyer

Nothing compares to the pain of losing a family member. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon on our roadways. More than 40,000 Americans lost their lives in car crashes in 2017, and the vast majority were caused by driver negligence. While moving forward after a family member is tragically killed is incredibly difficult, facing the financial problems of life without a spouse or parent can compound the difficulty. 

If your loved one was fatally injured in a car accident, it is critical to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. An experienced legal team can help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. 

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