Have you lost a lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person?

Get help from GWC Law's Chicago wrongful death lawyers

In the event of a person being fatally injured due to the misconduct of another individual or as a result of a dangerous or defective product malfunctioning, the families and heirs of the deceased may be eligible to file a damages lawsuit against those that may have been responsible for the death.

With more than 2 BILLION dollars having been successfully recovered by our attorneys for our clients, at GWC our Chicago wrongful death lawyers can provide the experience and determination to fight for the justice that you deserve.

We have been helping to defend the rights of Illinois injury victims and their families for more than 30 years and are ready to help you today.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death AttorneyThe unexpected death of a loved one is one of the most difficult events anyone will ever have to endure.  If that loss is the result of somebody else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against that person and his or her insurance company for financial compensation.  GWC Injury Lawyers takes a look at some of the most common causes of wrongful death in the United States.

Car Accidents

Car accidents remain the leading cause of wrongful death in the United States.  Each year, over 40,000 Americans die in car accidents.  Surviving family members may be able to go after the party or parties at fault for the car accident for damages.  However, please keep in mind that it may be challenging to identify all of the liable parties.  In addition to the driver of the vehicle, there may be a separate owner who also bears responsibility.

If the vehicle was being used for commercial purposes, there may be another company that has contracted that vehicle to transport its goods.  In cases in which the vehicle is owned by a governmental body, the amount of time that one has to file a lawsuit may be shortened, or other restrictions may apply.  For example, if the vehicle is owned by the state of Illinois, legal actions must be pursued through the state’s Court of Claims system, which may impose statutory limits on the amount of compensation that can be recovered.

In cases where a defect in the vehicle was responsible for the wrongful death, the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or the manufacturer of a defective part in that vehicle may be held responsible.  Given the number of parties that could potentially be held responsible for someone’s wrongful death, it is essential to identify and pursue everyone at fault for a fatal car accident in a timely fashion.  Otherwise, the deceased’s close family members may find themselves forever barred from obtaining proper compensation.

Truck Accidents

Large semi trucks are some of the deadliest vehicles on the road.  Due to their size and weight, accidents involving trucks often end in fatalities.  While the average motor vehicle weighs about 2.5 tons, a large tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 40 tons.  If a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, and the accident was caused by the negligent actions of the truck’s operator, a wrongful death claim or lawsuit may be pursued.

Obtaining adequate compensation for the victims of a semi truck accident can be a difficult task, however.  In most cases, semi trucks are commercial vehicles, used to transport goods for business purposes. Because of the nature of commercial activity, a crash involving a commercial vehicle may be more complex than other motor vehicle accidents.  This complexity stems from the number of parties that may be involved.

In addition to the driver of the semi truck and the driver’s employer, very often another company may have hired the commercial transport company to ship its products.  Other companies may be involved as well.  As with car accidents, given the number of potential parties involved, it is of the greatest importance to identify and pursue everyone who may be at fault.

Medical Malpractice

In cases in which the negligent actions of a medical professional or facility result in a fatal illness or injury, the surviving close family members of that person may be able to bring a wrongful death action against the at-fault parties.  Medication mistakes, anesthesia errors, and surgical mishaps can all cause wrongful death and may be considered medical malpractice.

Whether someone has been a victim of medical malpractice, however, is often a complication question. This is largely because of the complexity of medicine and the need for expert witness testimony to prove nearly all medical malpractice cases.

In Illinois, medical malpractice is said to occur when a patient is injured because a physician or other medical professional deviated from the standard of care.  For a valid medical malpractice lawsuit over a wrongful death in Illinois, the surviving close family member must demonstrate the following:

  1. Relationship – There was a doctor/patient relationship between the medical professional and the deceased.
  2. Duty – The medical professional owed the injured party a duty of care.
  3. Breach – The medical professional breached (failed to fulfill) that duty (deviated from the standard of care).
  4. Damages – The deceased sustained physical, economic, and/or emotional damages (in this case, death).
  5. Causation – The medical professional’s “deviation from the standard of care” caused or contributed to the deceased’s damages.

Failure to establish all these elements can result in the dismissal of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois.

Workplace Accidents

Thousands of people die every year in workplace accidents in the United States.  These deaths are especially common among those who work in dangerous industries, such as extraction or construction.  Among the elements that can lead to fatal workplace accidents are toxic chemicals, heavy machinery, explosions, electrocution, and falls from significant heights.  Generally speaking, if the actions leading up to a worker’s death fall within the course and scope of that worker’s employment in Illinois, surviving family members may pursue a claim under the state’s workers’ compensation system.

If, however, the employer did not follow industry safety standards as required by law, then surviving family members may have grounds for a claim for negligence.  If the workplace death was caused by an outside party who was not the worker’s employer, the surviving family may also pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against that negligent party.

Defective Products

If a person dies because of a defective product, that person’s surviving family members might be able to seek compensation from the designer or manufacturer of that product or the vendor who sold it, depending on the nature of the defect.  For such a wrongful death action to be valid, however, the victim must have been using the product as a reasonable person would have used it.  The death must also have been the direct result of the specific defect.

Am I Eligible To File a Lawsuit?

In most instances, a wrongful death claim is filed by either the spouse, children or another family member of the deceased. However, in some circumstances, other individuals may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

An example of this may be when another person was heavily dependent on the victim or relied on them for some type of financial or material support.

In order to determine if you are eligible to file a claim under Illinois Law, contact our wrongful death lawyers in Chicago for your free consultation and learn more about your options.

Proving Responsibility

As with many lawsuits, a robust argument must be built to prove that the act of the defendant was the primary factor in the death of the victim. What this means is that the wrongful conduct of the defendant must have created a direct series of events that ultimately resulted in causing a fatal injury to the deceased.

Need Help? Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

With more than 2 BILLION dollars having been successfully recovered by our attorneys for our clients, at GWC our Chicago injury lawyers can provide the experience and determination to fight for the justice that you deserve. Click here to learn more about one of the many wrongful death cases we have successfully handled over the years.

We have been helping to defend the rights of Illinois injury victims and their families for more than 30 years and are ready to help you today.

For more information about how we can help you, call us today at 1-312-464-1234 or reach us online by filling out our “Free Case Evaluation” form and we will contact you shortly after we receive your inquiry.

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GWC Injury Lawyers

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Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312-464-1234

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