When someone sustains injuries in an accident caused by another person’s careless or negligent behavior, it can be a traumatic experience. However, when a person dies from their injuries, the surviving family members are left devastated, heartbroken, and unsure of what to do. Accidental deaths not only impact a family emotionally, it can be financially devastating as well. If you’ve lost a loved one in this type of tragedy, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer about your legal options as you may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death claim.
How do I determine if I have a Wrongful Claim?
According to the Legal Dictionary of Law.com, “wrongful death” is defined as “the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person. … Wrongful death is the basis for a lawsuit (wrongful death action) against the party or parties who caused the death filed on behalf of the members of the family who have lost the company and support of the deceased.”
If you’ve recently suffered the loss of a loved one in an accident that was caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence, there is no amount of compensation that will ease your pain. However, enlisting the services of a Personal Injury Lawyer in St. Catharines can help you and other family members get on with your lives by providing the resources that will enable you to live comfortably emotionally and financially.
Common Wrongful Death Cases
In personal injury law, wrongful death cases can be extremely complex and take years to resolve before a settlement is reached. Some of the more common wrongful death cases include:
• bicycle accidents
• defective products / product liability
• medical malpractice
• motor vehicle accidents (the most common cause)
• motorcycle accidents
• nursing home abuse and neglect
• pedestrian accidents
• workplace accidents
In order to sue an entity or individual for the wrongful death of a family member, you and your personal injury lawyer must prove that the at-fault party breached a duty or care by not acting responsibly.
Who can file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Chicago and throughout Illinois, a personal representative of the decedent is allowed to file a wrongful death claim and sue the at-fault party. A “personal representative” is defined by law as an immediate relative of the deceased including:
• the spouse of the deceased
• the parent of a minor child who is deceased
• the adult child of the deceased
If no personal representative has been appointed by the decedent in their estate plan, one may be appointed by the judge hearing your case. Just keep in mind that having a personal injury lawyer litigate your claim will give you a better chance of winning your lawsuit and ensure that your rights to fair and reasonable compensation are protected.