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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Illinois?Wrongful death is defined as a death that occurred due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. Wrongful death lawsuits may follow a death caused by a drunk driver accident, workplace accident, construction accident, assault, medical malpractice, and more. Through a wrongful death claim, a surviving loved one may receive compensation for the expenses and losses incurred by the death. This may include compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, mental anguish, and the loss of companionship. If you have recently lost a loved one, you may wonder who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in Illinois.

Determining Whether a Successful Wrongful Death Claim Is Possible

Not every unexpected death qualifies as wrongful death. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states that a party may be liable to an action for damages if:

  • The death of a person was caused by the party’s neglect, wrongful act, or default; and
  • If the person had not died, he or she would have been entitled to recover damages for his or her injuries

Most wrongful death claims involve a party who was negligent. A successful wrongful death claim based on negligence is possible when the responsible party has a duty of care, the party breached that duty, an individual dies as a result of the breach of duty, and damages are incurred.

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An Overview of the Wrongful Death Act in IllinoisA life cut short by carelessness can cause physical and emotional distress, potential financial disruption and depression for the surviving family members. Our attorneys understand that losing a loved one is never easy and will handle your case with care and compassion while providing representation. If you are unsure whether you can receive compensation for your loved one’s death, the following information on Illinois’ wrongful death laws should answer your most important questions.

Language of the Law

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act defines wrongful death as someone dying due to a wrongful act or neglect. Survivors of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased would have been allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived the incident.

Causes of Wrongful Death

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in any situation when someone is killed because of recklessness, carelessness or negligence by another party. Situations include but are not limited to: 

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Will County wrongful death attorneysThe US Bureau of Labor Statistics operates a program called the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, often referred to simply as CFOI. This program helps to compile statistics on the deaths that occur in the workplace such as:

  • Where the fatal injury took place;
  • What job the person was performing;
  • What industry the person worked in; and
  • Other details that can help determine new laws and regulations to make the workplace safer for all employees.

In Illinois, the CFOI program has noted a significant drop in the number of deaths in the workplace in 2017, the most recent year for which data has been compiled, from 2010. While this is a step in the right direction, any death in the workplace is a tragedy that can leave a family in an emotional and financial mess. 

Types of Injuries Sustained

Over half of the workplace fatalities in Illinois that occurred in 2017 were due to either slips, falls, and trips or those involving transportation. Slips and falls are usually, but not always, due to a dangerous work environment whether something was not cleaned up promptly or properly, or even due to equipment being left out where it can cause someone to trip. 

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