The Basics of Wrongful Death in Illinois

While everybody dies at some point, some do due to the neglect or fault of others. Take, for example, a machine operator who meets an accident in the workplace because of a lack of proper protective equipment or cleaning standards. When this happens, the deceased family may sue the person (or company) responsible for the wrongful death and receive compensation.

The rules of this personal injury, however, can differ among states. If you’re in Illinois, here are the basic facts you need to know:

Wrongful death is not a criminal case.

In other words, winning the case doesn’t convict the person responsible but only rewards you with monetary compensation through damages. Nevertheless, you can file a lawsuit in the civil court as well as prosecute the person in a criminal court.

The law divides the fault.

Before you can file any personal injury lawsuit, you need to identify who is at fault. The state practices comparative negligence, which compares and divides the blame. This only means the law recognizes you also share the blame. The result of the comparison can affect your claim as your “share” reduces your amount of compensation. For example, if you are 20 percent at fault, then you get only 80 percent of damages. If you are 50 percent or more at fault, you may not get any.

There is a time limit.

You cannot wait forever to file a wrongful death in Illinois. Based on the statute of limitations, you have within two years from the date of the accident to one year from the date of death, whichever is later, to make a claim.

A personal injury lawsuit doesn’t ease your sadness or grief from the loss, but the compensation can be a big help financially. If you think you have a good case, discuss it with a personal injury lawyer in Springfield, IL. Often, the firm provides you with a free consultation and representation while it gets only a percentage of your win as a fee.