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DuPage County Wrongful Death Lawyer

Abogados Mark Mathys y Mark T. Schneid

Did you lose a loved one in a fatal accident in DuPage County, Illinois? You may be able to take legal action and recover compensation for things like your loss of consortium, pain and suffering, medical bills, and out-of-pocket expenses. Mathys & Schneid Personal Injury Lawyers are here to assist as best we can during this trying time.

Our DuPage County wrongful death lawyers are some of the most well-respected and experienced in all of Illinois. With over 75 years of combined experience and more than $150 million collected, our attorneys know what it takes to successfully handle any type of personal injury case.

We offer a confidential, free initial consultation to review your case. Contact us online or by phone at 630-848-9294 to get started.

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How Mathys & Schneid Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With A Wrongful Death Claim In DuPage County

Losing a family member is never easy, especially when the death was preventable. No amount of money can ever make up for the tragedy you and your loved ones are going through. But if there is a responsible party for the fatal accident, you deserve compensation to move forward financially as best you can. A monetary award can provide you with a sense of financial justice and security as well.

Mathys & Schneid Personal Injury Lawyers has been helping personal injury victims in DuPage County, Illinois, and the surrounding areas since 2005. Attorneys on our team have been named to the Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers as well as The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100. We will be able to assist with your case in the following ways once you hire our DuPage County personal injury attorneys:

  • Undertake a comprehensive investigation into the accident to gather evidence and determine all sources of damages
  • Negotiate a settlement agreement with the ability to bring your case to trial if necessary
  • Hire experts to analyze and bolster your compensation claim

For additional insight into how our personal injury law firm can help with your case, reach out today to set up a free case review. We’ll work hard to recover the compensation you and your family need so that you can focus on grieving and healing as best as possible.

What Qualifies As A Wrongful Death Claim In Illinois, And Who Can File?

Each state sets its own laws defining what constitutes a wrongful death and specifying who has the right to pursue a legal claim. In Illinois, a wrongful death is one caused by the “wrongful act, neglect or default” of another party. That could be a person, business or organization. The kinds of incidents that would warrant a wrongful death claim are the same as those that would warrant a personal injury claim (auto accidents, dangerous and defective products, dog bites, etc.).

Because the victim cannot bring a lawsuit on their own behalf (as they would in a personal injury suit), someone else must serve as the plaintiff. Illinois law specifies that the only person with legal standing to pursue a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate. This person likely would have been named in a will. If no will exists, the personal representative must be appointed by the court.

What Types Of Damages Can Surviving Family Members Receive In A Wrongful Death Case?

According to Illinois’ Wrongful Death Statute, the personal representative (or executor, as it is sometimes referred to) of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim on the deceased’s behalf. This is as opposed to some states where surviving family members can bring the claim directly. However, family members will generally receive all of the compensation that is awarded due to the claim, aside from certain expenses that the executor has paid.

An Illinois wrongful death lawsuit can aim to collect both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages represent the financial consequences of the fatal accident, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial support

Noneconomic damages intend to make up for the other, less quantifiable aspects of the accident. These include things like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

Illinois does not have a cap on damages as many other states do, which could be to the benefit of the plaintiff bringing the claim. However, punitive damages are not available in any wrongful death case in the state of Illinois. These damages are normally awarded to “punish” the at-fault party for their conduct. They are usually only awarded in rare cases involving especially egregious behavior.

How Is The Amount Of Damages Determined?

Wrongful death cases are highly fact-dependent when it comes to assessing their value. Because no two cases involve the same people or the same circumstances, no two have quite the same value. Many factors go into determining how much a DuPage County wrongful death claim might be worth, such as:

  • The impact of the death on the surviving family members
  • The nature of the accident
  • The victim’s age, life expectancy and earning potential
  • Whether the victim has any children

Our lawyers will work hard to explore every possible avenue of compensation for you and your family. We understand that it can be difficult to discuss subjects like placing a dollar value on the death of a loved one, and we’re here to provide legal advice and assistance in a comfortable environment to the best of our ability.

How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim In Illinois?

Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act also establishes when wrongful death lawsuits must be filed in the state. If you file your claim too late, a court can refuse to hear your case, and you won’t be able to receive compensation.

The default statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Illinois is two years from the date of the person’s death. However, many exceptions could apply, depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, there is a five-year deadline instead if the death was due to “violent intentional conduct.”

Illinois law also provides that a wrongful death claim can be filed up to a year after a related criminal proceeding concludes. Importantly, a wrongful death claim can still succeed even if the at-fault party is acquitted of their criminal charges.

Considering this nuance, it’s best to reach out to our legal team as soon as you can if you have questions about whether you can still file a claim, given your situation.

How Does The Wrongful Death Claim Process Work?

Once the personal representative (PR) to the estate has been identified or appointed, they will consult an attorney with experience in wrongful death claims. The attorney will investigate the details of the death to determine how it happened and who was at fault.

The attorney will also help the PR calculate what are known as “damages,” which refer to money owed for harms suffered. These could include compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial costs, a lifetime of lost earnings, and personal losses suffered by family members. Based on these calculations, the attorney will issue a demand for payment from the relevant party – usually the insurance company for the at-fault person.

If the insurance company or other liable party is willing to settle the claim for an amount close to what the attorney is demanding, this is often the fastest and easiest resolution for all involved. If the settlement offer is inadequate and/or the liable party will not negotiate, the attorney can then proceed to file a wrongful death lawsuit and prepare the case for trial.

Schedule A Free Case Review With A DuPage County Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one in an accident is one of the most tragic experiences imaginable. The last thing you should have to worry about is how you’ll make ends meet going forward. If you hire Mathys & Schneid Personal Injury Lawyers, you can be confident that you’ll have a trusted legal team dedicated to helping your family to the maximum extent possible.

Our DuPage County wrongful death attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only receive attorneys’ fees if we obtain a financial award for you. You also won’t pay us anything upfront to represent you; we’ll receive payment as an agreed-upon percentage of the financial award.

Contact us online today or at 630-848-9294 to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.