Death is a tragedy under any circumstances, but a death that could have been prevented can hurt even more. In Chicago, the law dictates that the close relative of the deceased may sue for compensation. Money will never bring your loved one back, but it may make life easier for the family of the person killed. The victim may have been the main breadwinner for the family, and they may be under great financial strain without them. Damages from a lawsuit may help keep them afloat. If you feel that you have lost a loved one in a case of wrongful death, follow these steps, and see how you could sue.
Understand The Law
To bring about a claim you must first have a basic grip of the law. It varies from state to state, In Chicago, there is a time limit on how long you can file after your loved one has passed. The limit is two years so if you have overrun this time then unfortunately you won’t be able to claim. If you are still within this timeframe then the smartest choice would be to contact wrongful death lawyers. Taking legal action can be difficult, emotional, and stressful at a time when you’re already carrying the strain of losing someone you love. A Lawyer will be able to work their way through the legalities, easing the pressure on you and giving more time to focus on caring for surviving family members and grieving.
Check Your Facts
There must be a direct chain of incidents leading up to the death so ensure you have all of your ducks in a row. To even consider a wrongful death suit you will need to be armed with all of the facts. There are four things you need to be aware of when considering legal action: Negligence, Breach of duty, Causation, and Damages. These elements will need to be proven for a successful case. Learn the meaning of each below.
You will need to prove that an individual or company is directly responsible for the victim’s death by outright negligence. This is common in workplace death cases. For example, an industrial company did not carry out the necessary and legally required safety checks of some equipment and a person is killed when using that equipment. This means that their death could have been avoided, had someone maintained the equipment properly, therefore the defendants are negligent.
Breach Of Duty
Breach of duty occurs when your loved one is killed by a person undertaking a task that should come with a deep level of care. For example, a doctor has a duty of care to look after others. You must prove that the defendant did not follow through with their duty.
This element directly links to the above, you must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions and breach of duty caused the death of your loved one.
You will also need to prove that the death of the victim has caused you and your family to bring about damages to recover money spent because of the death occurring. For example, any medical expenses before they died, funeral fees, the loss of the victim’s current income and potential earnings, and a loss of inheritance. In addition to this, mental and emotional suffering, loss of moral support, and love will also be taken into consideration when calculating the damages, you are seeking.
If you can prove all four of these elements with strong evidence and the help of your lawyer, then you have the makings of a successful wrongful death claim.
Many cases may justify a wrongful death case, these include motor accidents, medical wrongdoing, death at work, and neglect. There are many more incidents that count, so speak with a lawyer if you feel as though you may have a case to bring.
As independent cases are considered civil lawsuits rather than criminal lawsuits, it is important to remember that the burden of proof will be on you so gather as much information as possible. Not all cases will make it to a trial. In many cases, your lawyer may be able to reach a settlement decision for you out of court via a demand letter. Losing a loved one can be extremely emotional, stressful, and overwhelming so select a lawyer that works on a no-win, no-fee basis. The last thing you will want to worry about is how to pay your lawyer, so this way you will only pay them if they win you a pay-out.
Do you have any advice on wrongful death suits? Share in the comments.