Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions is a life-altering experience. No one who hasn’t experienced it can truly understand the pain you’re in now.

While you mourn, you should also know that you have legal rights, and that the person responsible for your loved one’s passing could owe your family compensation for what they’ve cost you. While this compensation cannot undo what happened, it can provide you with accountability, justice, and financial security during an uncertain time.

Do you suspect a loved one in St. Clair County passed away due to someone else’s legal fault? Review your case with a St. Clair County, Illinois, wrongful death lawyer at Shevlin Law Group for more information. We may be able to secure financial compensation for you and your family. 

What is Wrongful Death in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, a death is wrongful if it occurs because of the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party. If the deceased would have had the right to file a personal injury claim had they survived, others may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit on their behalf.

 The following are common examples of wrongful death cases.

They may help you better understand whether you have grounds to take legal action:

Those are just a few examples. Speak with a legal professional if you’re not sure whether your loved one’s passing qualifies as a case of wrongful death. Our St. Clair County, Illinois, wrongful death attorney will answer your questions and explain your legal options.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in St. Clair County, Illinois?

In Illinois, only the personal representative of the decedent may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit on their behalf. The decedent may have named this personal representative (also called an executor) in their will.

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Per Illinois law, in the absence of a will, the court will determine who should serve as the decedent’s personal representative through a probate process. The personal representative will usually be a spouse or next of kin. The law states that the decedent’s spouse or next of kin will also receive any compensation in a wrongful death case according to their level of dependency.

In circumstances when there is no next of kin or spouse, non-relatives may serve as personal representatives. Friends and business partners are common examples of individuals who may serve as personal representatives in these scenarios.

Types of Compensation Available in an Illinois Wrongful Death Case

Common examples of losses for which you might seek compensation when filing a wrongful death claim include:

Illinois allows for a related claim called a survival action to be filed on behalf of the deceased for the harm they themselves experienced, including:

Seeking compensation in a wrongful death case is complex for several reasons, including that some of the losses for which you might seek compensation are non-economic in nature and difficult to place a dollar value on. For example, the grief you struggle with as you cope with the loss of a loved one’s companionship is profound but subjective.

However, because compensation is necessarily financial in nature, you will need to assign values to such losses to account for them in your wrongful death claim. This is a task a Belleville, Illinois, wrongful death attorney can perform on your behalf.

How a Wrongful Death Lawyer in St. Clair County, Illinois, Can Help

Hiring a lawyer can dramatically simplify the process of seeking compensation in a wrongful death case. While you mourn your loss and spend time with family, your lawyer can:

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Your wrongful death case will likely start with filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance provider. However, payouts in wrongful death cases can sometimes be high. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to fight back aggressively during negotiations.

If this happens, pursuing full compensation may require filing a lawsuit and taking the at-fault party to court. Doing so is a risk, as there’s no guarantee a jury will award damages at trial. A wrongful death lawyer in St. Clair County, Illinois, can advise you on whether going to trial is the best course of action when the insurance company’s settlement offers are low.

Can You Afford a St. Clair County, Illinois, Wrongful Death Attorney?

We don’t believe in asking our clients to take on unreasonable financial burdens when they may already be struggling with major expenses. Thus, we don’t charge upfront fees for our legal services.

Instead, we enter into contingency fee agreements with our clients. That means our fees are a percentage of the compensation we recover on your behalf. This ensures you don’t pay for our services unless you’re getting paid yourself. It also incentivizes your lawyer to pursue as much compensation as you may be eligible to receive. The more you get paid, the more our firm earns.

What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Illinois?

Don’t put off contacting our Belleville, Illinois, wrongful death attorney if you suspect you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit. Under Illinois law, you likely have two years from the date of a loved one’s passing to take legal action. You have five years if your loved one’s death resulted from “violent intentional conduct.”

You’ll likely be ineligible for compensation if you miss the deadline. Contact our wrongful death law firm in Belleville, Illinois, now to avoid this risk.

Contact a St. Clair County, IL Wrongful Death Lawyer

While nothing can replace your loved one’s presence in your life, fair compensation can provide you with a measure of justice and help you address some of the struggles you’re currently facing. Taking legal action and holding a negligent party accountable may also deter others from acting in similar ways in the future. By pursuing compensation for yourself, you could be protecting others.

Shevlin Law Group, LLC, can help. Our St. Clair County, Illinois, wrongful death attorney has decades of experience securing justice on behalf of clients like you. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us today for a free case review.

we are here to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.