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IL car accident lawyerLosing a spouse in a fatal car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident is a nightmarish experience to endure. Not only must the surviving spouse deal with profound grief and sorrow, he or she must also deal with the financial fallout caused by the death. If you have lost a spouse in an auto accident, you may be unsure of how you will pay for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses resulting from the death. You may also worry about how you will pay your mortgage and other bills without your loved one’s financial support. A wrongful death claim may enable you to recover financial compensation for these and other expenses.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Illinois law allows surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim and pursue damages if their loved one’s death was:

  • Caused by another party’s negligent or wrongful act and
  • Had the deceased person survived, he or she would have been entitled to bring a legal action for damages
  • A wrongful death claim can be thought of as a personal injury claim that is brought on a deceased person’s behalf. A successful wrongful death claim may be possible if your spouse died in a car accident involving:
  • Distracted driving including texting while driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Reckless driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Road defects
  • Vehicle defects
  • Other types of negligence

Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim is a civil claim that may or may not accompany criminal charges against the at-fault driver. Not only can a wrongful death claim enable you to recover possibly financial compensation, it can also help hold a negligent or reckless driver accountable for the harm he or she caused. Though a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe death of a loved one is difficult no matter what the circumstances are. However, losing a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence can be absolutely devastating. We trust doctors, dentists, nurses, nurses’ aides, surgeons, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to be competent in performing their duties. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, research conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that medical mistakes are the third-most leading cause of death in the United States. If you have lost a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional wrongdoing, a wrongful death lawsuit may help you hold the negligent party accountable.

When Is a Medical Professional Considered Negligent?  

As hard as doctors and other healthcare professionals try, sometimes, a loved one simply cannot be saved, and not every patient’s death is the result of a medical mistake. Knowing when a medical professional is liable for death is not always easy. A medical professional is considered negligent when the following conditions are present:

  • The professional owed a “duty of care” to the patient, meaning he or she had an obligation to provide competent treatment that meets the prevailing standard of care. The prevailing standard of care is typically defined as the care that a reasonable medical professional with a similar background and training would have provided under the same circumstances.
  • The professional breached his or her duty of care meaning the professional did not provide reasonably competent medical care.
  • The patient’s injury or death was directly caused by the medical professional’s failure to uphold his or her duty of care.
  • Quantifiable damages resulted from the patient’s injury or death. 

Damages can include medical expenses like hospital bills, nursing home bills, prescription medication costs, laboratory fees, and costs related to surgery. Through a wrongful death claim, you may also be able to get compensation for funeral and burial expenses, the loss of your loved one’s current income and future earnings, and your loved one’s pain and suffering before his or her death. If you have lost your spouse or child’s parent, you may also be eligible for compensation for the loss of consortium and the loss of parental guidance for your children.

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