Bloomington Wrongful Death Lawyer
Nothing is as shattering as the sudden and tragic loss of someone you love. When a beloved family member is killed because of someone else’s negligence, consider contacting a Bloomington wrongful death lawyer. A dedicated personal injury attorney can work to hold those who are responsible for your loved one’s death liable for their actions and pursue just compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Wrongful Death in Bloomington
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, a wrongful death is one caused by the neglect, default, or wrongful act of a party. When a loved one loses their life, the family members of the decedent may file a lawsuit to recover financial damages for their own losses.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Bloomington and throughout Illinois, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative may be a close family member of the deceased, such as:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s adult child
- The parent of a deceased minor child
If the decedent dies and they have not appointed a personal representative in their estate plan, the court may appoint one instead. The personal representative would bear the responsibility to pursue a wrongful death claim and carry out other important tasks in connection with the decedent’s estate.
Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Bloomington
In the state of Illinois, the law requires that a wrongful death lawsuit be filed by a set statutory deadline. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-209, a wrongful death claim must be filed with the courts within one year of the decedent’s death, or by the statutory deadline for the underlying case, whichever date is later.
Generally, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, which means that personal representatives usually have at least one year and up to two years to file an initial lawsuit in the Illinois court system. However, if the lawsuit is not filed by the applicable deadline, the court may refuse to hear it and dismiss the case altogether. A wrongful death attorney in Bloomington can explain in detail how the state’s filing deadlines apply to a specific case.
Recovering Damages in a Bloomington Wrongful Death Case
According to 740 ILCS 180/2, a jury may award the decedent’s surviving spouse and next of kin any damages deemed to be just and fair compensation for the losses resulting from the death. Damages would be distributed by the court to the decedent’s surviving spouse or next of kin on the basis of their level of dependency, relationship, and closeness to the decedent, as determined by the court.
The financial damages an experienced Bloomington attorney could help a claimant recover in a successful wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Funeral bills — Including the expenses associated with providing burial and funeral services.
- Pain and suffering — Compensation for the pain and suffering incurred by the decedent prior to their death.
- Lost income — Including the value of the decedent’s financial contribution to the family, such as lost income and benefits.
- Loss of consortium — Refers to the emotional anguish incurred by the loss of a family member and member of the community.
- Punitive damages — These may be awarded if the at-fault party’s negligent behavior or act is considered to be especially egregious or reckless. Punitive damages are intended provide the decedent’s family with justice while making an example of the negligent party to deter similar behavior in the future.
Certain types of damages are only payable to specific parties in a Bloomington wrongful death case. A Bloomington wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate what damages each party can recover.
Speak with a Bloomington Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you lost your loved one in an accident, do not hesitate to reach out to a qualified Bloomington wrongful death lawyer today. While no amount of compensation could ever fully make up for losing a family member, an attorney could help you hold those at fault accountable for their negligent actions.
Contact the office today to schedule your confidential consultation with a wrongful death attorney.