Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer
After the loss of a loved one, the prospect of filing a wrongful death claim can be particularly difficult to deal with. The Chicago Law firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, is made up of lawyers specializing in wrongful death cases who offer experienced representation for those coping with the shocking and painful aftermath of a wrongful death. We can provide much needed advice for clients hoping to recover emotional and monetary damages for the loss of someone close to them. Our Chicago wrongful death lawyers understand the complexity of each individual case and will work one-on-one with clients to ensure that they will receive the damages that they are entitled to. Contact us today.
Why Work with Our Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys
Our wrongful death legal team uses a new-age modern approach to attain the maximum compensation for our client’s cases. Count on us to conduct a thorough investigation of your case, collect evidence from multiple sources to find the cause, and represent you in court aggressively to hold the erring party liable for the death of your loved one.
Previous Case Results
- $2.9 million settlement, plus a waiver of $180,000 workers’ compensation lien, in a product liability claim for the wrongful death of a 67-year-old mechanic when a fabric sling used to lift a piece of equipment was cut causing the load to fall.
- $2 million wrongful death settlement against two subcontractors working at a roofing project at a warehouse in Waukegan, IL on behalf of the estate of a 20-year-old roofer who fell through an open and unmarked skylight, and died as a result.
- $1.5 million settlement from a trucking company and freight broker for the wrongful death of a 74-year-old woman.
- $1.5 million policy limits settlement for a family of three killed in a motor vehicle crash in suburban Chicago.
We understand that no amount of monetary damages can turn back the clock. While we cannot change the outcome of the accident, our skilled wrongful death attorneys will provide you with compassionate and dedicated counsel. This allows you to focus your time, energy, and attention on other matters during this difficult time.
Navigate this Page:
- What is Wrongful Death?
- Who Can I Hold Accountable for a Wrongful Death?
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago?
- Chicago Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
- How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago
- Understanding Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
- Chicago Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term describing the demise of a person due to negligence or recklessness of other individuals or entities. Immediate family members of the deceased victims are usually the parties that file a wrongful death lawsuit or claim. With the help of a trusted wrongful death lawyer, they can obtain fair and full compensation for their financial and emotional damages.
In the case of wrongful death, we can aid those experiencing loss of companionship, financial loss, and mental pain and suffering. In Illinois, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed if a loved one dies due to the fault of another person. This can be due to negligence, which may arise from auto accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, construction accidents, explosions, nursing home negligence, slips and falls, spinal cord injuries, dangerous and defective products, medical malpractice or other circumstances.
In a wrongful death case family members of the victim may be permitted compensation for any medical bills, pain and suffering, and funeral costs that arise. One of the main purposes of filing a wrongful death suit is to lessen the financial stress of the family members of the deceased. Although no monetary compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, it is the first step towards gaining justice after such a traumatic event.
Additionally, family members may seek compensation for loss of future income and benefits, loss of future inheritance, loss of parental guidance, loss of spousal companionship, protection and care, grief, sorrow and mental suffering of surviving spouse and next of kin, medical expenses, and punitive damages (if defendant’s actions were intentional).
Who Can I Hold Accountable for a Wrongful Death?
There may be various parties who could be held liable for your wrongful death in Chicago. The wrongful death law in Illinois states that these claims arise due to the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, but what does that mean?
Some of the most common ways that wrongful death cases arise in this area include incidents involving:
- Traditional car accidents
- Crashes with large commercial trucks or buses
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
- Incidents caused by defective products
- Premises liability accidents
- Intentional acts of violence, including assault and deadly weapons cases
- Medical errors
This is certainly not a complete list of the ways that wrongful death claims arise. As we will cover in a moment, proving wrongful death can be challenging but not impossible. An attorney needs to examine your case to determine whether or not you have a viable wrongful death claim to move forward with.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago?
It is crucial to understand that not every individual can file a wrongful death action claim in Illinois. In many other states, at least reviving family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. However, the responsibility for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois falls to the original representative or executor of the deceased’s estate.
If an individual died without appointing a personal representative to their state, the court can appoint a personal representative. This individual will be responsible not only for pursuing them off death claim but for carrying out other tasks related to the estate.
However, the damages awarded if a wrongful death claim is successful are paid to both the survivors of the deceased as well as the estate. Typically, the damages are paid first to the deceased’s surviving spouse and then next of kin according to the level of dependency on the deceased individual.
Chicago Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Every state is allowed to set time limits for how long plaintiffs have to file personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. In Illinois, the wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the individual’s death. However, if the individual lost her life as a result of intentional violent conduct, the lawsuit can be filed within five years from the date of death.
In most situations, failing to file a wrongful death lawsuit within this two- or five-year time frame will likely mean that the plaintiff’s case will be dismissed, leaving the family members and the estate unable to recover compensation.
For deaths involving ongoing criminal cases, the plaintiffs for the wrongful death civil claim can file their case within one year from the day the criminal case is completed if the person is charged with the following crimes:
- First- or second-degree murder
- Involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide
- Involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide of an unborn child
- Intentional homicide or voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child
- Drug-induced homicide
How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago
Proving a wrongful death occurred can be exceedingly difficult, particularly for those who do not have much legal experience. Family members and the personal representative of the deceased are typically not the ones who will be proving this case to the insurance carriers or to a wrongful death civil court jury.
A skilled Chicago wrongful death attorney will get involved and help figure out what happened. They will use their resources to fully investigate every aspect of the case. This will include gathering evidence such as video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, police or accident reports, and more.
An attorney will seek to show that a duty of care existed between the defendant and the deceased and that the defendant somehow breached their duty of care through their negligent actions. An attorney will show that this breach of duty led to the death of the deceased, and they will also establish the compensable losses sustained by the estate and surviving family members.
Understanding Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
There is no dollar amount that can erase the pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one, particularly if that person lost their life due to a tragedy. However, compensation can help ease the loss by providing family members with the compensation they need to move forward appropriately.
Damages awarded if a wonderful death claim is successful are intended to compensate the deceased individual’s survivors not just for the economic losses associated with the death but also for the intangible losses they suffer.
Damages is the word the law uses to refer to compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death case due to another’s negligence. During a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim several items of potential damages related to economic loss and emotional harm. You and your skilled wrongful death lawyer may pursue compensation for economic damages, including:
- Burial and Funeral Expenses
- Medical Costs Incurred Prior to the Death of Your Loved One
- Loss of the Deceased Individual’s Income and Benefits, such as Pension and Health Insurance
You also have the option to seek compensation for non-economic damages, including:
- The loss of consortium, which includes the loss of companionship, society, and sexual relations the deceased would have had with their spouse had they lived.
- The loss of education, moral training, instruction, and guidance the deceased would have provided to any surviving children.
- The sorrow, grief, and mental anguish of survivors.
Many states in this country place limitations or caps on the total amount of damages that can be awarded to plaintiffs in a wrongful death case. However, Illinois does not have any such limitations in place. A wrongful death lawyer in Chicago will work with trusted economic and financial experts to adequately calculate the total losses that the family and the estate are expected to incur as a result of the injuries leading to the untimely fatality.
If you lost your child, spouse, or parent in an accident and believe that someone acted recklessly or negligently, get in touch with our Chicago-based wrongful death law firm. Schedule a free consultation with our attentive and seasoned attorneys by calling (312) 586-1700 or using our website contact form.
Chicago Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have to go to court if I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Like any lawsuit, there is a likelihood that the action will require a court proceeding. You’ll need to bring your case to a jury if the negligent party refuses to settle out of court. Since trials can be complex, you’ll need a skilled wrongful death lawyer to represent you in court, protect your rights, and properly litigate your claim.
Are the laws concerning wrongful death the same for all states?
No, since states have their wrongful death laws. If you’re going to seek compensation for the death of your loved one, you should turn to a qualified wrongful death law office that understands the relevant laws in your state.
How quickly should I get in touch with an attorney?
As soon as possible, preferably following the accident that resulted in the demise of your loved one. There are many steps to take to obtain just compensation, including gathering and securing evidence, interviewing witnesses, performing testing of vehicles or products, and so on. It is vital that these steps are done immediately, as the insurance company will certainly be taking these same steps on behalf of the defendant.
It’s also important to file a claim in a timely manner as the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois is two-years from the date of death.
Contact a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost somebody that you love as a result of the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual or entity in Chicago, reach out to an attorney immediately. At Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, we have an extensive track record of success handling complex wrongful death claims throughout Illinois.
“I had a great experience with Mr. Sean Murray along with his team. Everyone I interacted with was very helpful and answered any questions that I had. They were great through the entire process and won me more than I thought possible. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for legal counsel. Thank you again to Sean Murray and his team!”
– Jesse S
Our team has the resources necessary to fully investigate every aspect of your claim to seek justice and help make sure that your family’s needs are met. We want to make sure that you recover full compensation for your losses and that you gain closure through this process.
Areas We Proudly Serve Around Chicago, IL
Berwyn | Calumet City | Chicago Heights | Crystal Lake | Barrington | Barrington Hills | County Club Hills | Batavia | Arlington Heights | Bensenville | Elmhurst | Cicero | Carol Stream | Lincolnwood | Chicago Ridge | Bridgeview | Algonquin | Buffalo Grove | Aurora | Carpentersville | Channahon | Elmwood Park | Westchester | Winnetka | Naperville | Bloomingdale | Westmont