Wrongful Death Lawyer in Chicago, IL
No matter how hard we try to avoid it, life brings surprises. Unfortunately, they’re not always pleasant, such as with severe accidents on roadways, at work, at home, or in other places. Sometimes these accidents lead to the worst possible outcome — someone’s death.
If you’re a survivor of someone who’s died in an accident, you may have the right to compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit. In Illinois and other states, wrongful death statutes cover circumstances where someone acts recklessly or negligently and causes the death of another. The law seeks to hold those people accountable for their actions through civil litigation.
Our experienced team of wrongful death lawyers at Alvarez Law Office in Chicago can explain the law and evidence, help you understand your rights, and assess your case. Here are the most important things you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois.
What’s a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act applies when someone dies from “a wrongful act, neglect, or default” committed by an individual or an organization, such as a company. The wrongful death law is an extension of the state’s personal injury law that allows survivors to receive compensation for their loved one’s injuries, pain, or suffering. Wrongful death lawsuits can apply after overt acts, such as someone driving a car recklessly, or through a failure to act, such as by missing a step in a medical procedure.
$8.5 Million Semi-Truck Accident
$4 Million Steel Mill Explosion
$3.55 Million Injured Tradesmen/Steelworker
$3 Million Prescription Medical Defect
$2.5 Million Amputation in Illinois
$2,028,000 Trucking Settlement
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Like other states, Illinois has a statute of limitations law that puts a time limit on filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative must file the wrongful death case within two years, or a court may decide to dismiss the case or decline to hear arguments.
While two years may seem like a long time, gathering evidence and evaluating the law can be labor intensive. As painful as it may be at the time, you should consult with a wrongful death attorney to make sure you meet all appropriate deadlines. The Alvarez Law Office attorneys can help ensure your case moves forward promptly.
I recommend the Alvarez Law Office; Friendly, helpful, and needful advice and also very knowledgeable regarding workman's comp claims. I appreciated their professional representation and skill.- Faith F.
Got me more money back than I expected for my injuries! Thanks Alvarez law firm. You guys are awesome!!!- Jerry G.
My experience with the Alvarez Law office was outstanding. They took my case and completed it in a timely manner. Ms. Theresa was outstanding with my case and made sure that I had everything I needed. If anyone needs a law firm that would fight for you like no other this is the Law firm for you. Thank you Anna Gallo- Anna G.
Everyone that I have spoken with at Alvarez has been polite, positive, & professional. These interactions have inspired my confidence in this firm. It’s reassuring when you’re not well to have a team like this on your side. My attorney, Steven Alvarez a great communicator, very helpful, and kind. He has already been a huge help. I’m grateful I have Alvarez Law working on my behalf.- Lilly P.
The whole entire staff IS GREAT from the front desk to the top. Very nice very friendly honest and reliable!- Joseph L.
The office staff was always polite answering the phones. The paralegals are always there to answer my questions through email or by phone calls it may have taken time to get back to me but just had to be patient. The legal secretary called to go over and make sure I understood what and how it was going to be finalized. Attorney Steve Alvarez not settling and making sure he went the extra mile for me.- Brandy F.
The Alvarez Law Office helped me with a personal injury case and did a superb job. Everyone from the office staff to Walter Alvarez are very personable and friendly. My experience was great. Shout out to Steven Alvarez for a great job! Thank you so much!- Marci W.
Very pleased with this law firm Brandon has kept me updated throughout my case. Brandon and Nicole are Rock Star's. I would definitely encourage anyone to use this law firm. If you want a Rock Star lawyer then Brandon Morford at Alvarez Law that's the guy you need.- James C.
The Alvarez Law Office helped me settle a workers compensation case. I am very pleased with the results thus far! Brandon along with the paralegal staff have been very professional and friendly. If you are in need of legal representation, consider Alvarez Law Office. Thank you so much!- Laura J.
I was in an awful wreck in January and I contacted Mr. Alvarez. He has been such a great attorney but an even better friend! From checking up on me and making time for calls with both of our busy schedules. I can honestly say in an awful circumstance Steve Alvarez did his absolute best at all times. I Highly recommend this attorney to anyone!!! Thank you- Collin S.
This is a firm you want on your side. They did an amazing job on my car accident case. They really are 24-7. Brandon answered all my questions promptly even on the weekends. Steven got me an amazing settlement. He is the man! He even got my medicals lowered. This is a powerhouse lawyer you want on your side.- Moses V.
- Hailey S.
Brandon was great at getting back to me and answering all of my questions. It was nice having someone that would answer 24-7 and Attorney Alvarez got me a great resolution on my case.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death lawsuits allow the personal representative of someone who’s died to seek compensation for specific damages, many of which relate to the wrongful act or omission. These include a mixture of direct expenses and non-monetary losses.
For example, a plaintiff in a wrongful death case can seek damages for the cost of care for their loved one, including time spent in the hospital and other medical treatment before the person’s death. The suit can also include claims for burial and funeral expenses. Depending on the case’s specific facts, plaintiffs may also be able to sue for more subjective types of losses, such as the suffering of their loved one, grief and loss from their passing, and the loss of future companionship and earning capacity.
Under Illinois law, wrongful death cases must be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative, also known as the estate executor. The personal representative may or may not be a family member. However, even though the personal representative initiates the case, any compensation recovered goes to the surviving spouse or next of kin.
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?
Many personal representatives and next of kin are anxious to know how long a wrongful death case takes. The unsatisfying answer is that it depends on the facts of each case. In general, you shouldn’t expect a fast resolution. Wrongful death cases often require a complex and lengthy process that includes exchanges of documents and depositions as each side gathers evidence to evaluate the strength of their position. Often these cases involve insurance companies that may seek to exclude certain information from consideration.
On average, wrongful death cases take anywhere from one to four years. However, there may be exceptions. Insurance companies are sometimes anxious to settle to avoid the cost of litigation and may offer a settlement quickly. Refrain from dealing with insurance companies yourself, however. Use the services of an experienced wrongful death attorney who can negotiate on your behalf to get what you deserve.
When you work with the professionals at Alvarez Law Office, we’ll do what it takes to obtain fair compensation. Our team has over 200 years of combined experience, and we have a proven track record of recovering damages for the loved ones of people who’ve died unnecessarily. No matter how long it takes, Alvarez Law Office in Chicago will stand by your side.
Do You Have to Pay Taxes on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The IRS deems all settlements awarded for suits related to physical injury or illness as non-taxable and considered compensatory rather than a “gain.” This law includes damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit because they stem from a third party being found responsible for the injury or illness that caused the death of the individual.
Now that you have a better understanding of wrongful death lawsuits and who can file, what to expect in the process, and what damages may be awarded, you may be ready to proceed with a lawsuit. In addition to Chicago, our attorneys also provide experienced counsel in Gary, Goshen, and northern Indiana.
Contact Alvarez Law Office in Chicago for legal counsel in your wrongful death case.