What damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?

damages available in wrongful death lawsuit

Losing a loved one is incredibly challenging, particularly if an individual loses their life as a result of the actions of someone else. 

Family members may be able to recover compensation for their losses, but these claims have to be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

It’s important to understand that Illinois law presents two types of claims related to wrongful death: claims under the Survival Act, and claims under the Wrongful Death Act. The beneficiary of a Survival Act claim is the deceased person’s estate, and the beneficiary of a Wrongful Death Act claim is the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next-of-kin.

As you can imagine, trying to make sense of these complicated laws is difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. If you suspect that someone else may have been at fault in your loved one’s death, give our firm a call. We’ll walk you through the process of filing wrongful death claims and will be by your side every step of the way. Call (800) 985-1819 now. 

Types of Compensation Available Through Illinois Wrongful Death Claims

In Illinois, there are actually two types of claims that fall under wrongful death: one is known as the Survival Act claim, and the other is known as a Wrongful Death Act claim.

In a Survival Act claim, damages are awarded for things that the deceased person could have sued for had they survived the fatal incident. By filing a Survival Act claim, the deceased person’s estate can be compensated for damages that the deceased incurred in the time between the injury and death. This includes things like doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, lost wages from missing work, the deceased person’s pain and suffering, and more.

Damages available under the Wrongful Death Act are slightly different. In Illinois, damages under the Wrongful Death Act are awarded to a deceased person’s surviving spouse and next-of-kin to compensate them for their own losses related to their loved one’s death. Potential damages include things like loss of companionship, loss of economic support, and more.

Are there caps on wrongful death compensation in Illinois?

There are currently no caps regarding wrongful death damages in Illinois.

Some states place limitations or caps on how much compensation the estate or family can receive for a wrongful death claim. In 2005, Illinois did enact laws that placed caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice wrongful death claims. However, that law was overturned five years later. 

Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Under Illinois law, wrongful death claims have to be filed within a specific period of time.

The wrongful death statute of limitations in Illinois requires that a wrongful death action be filed within two years from the date of the person’s death. However, there are exceptions to this time frame. If a person loses their life as a result of the violent intentional conduct of another individual, the lawsuit must be filed within five years from the date of death.

If there is a criminal case surrounding the death, the wrongful death lawsuit may be brought in civil court one year after the criminal case is completed, but only if the person implicated in the death was charged with certain offenses.

Because the time limits are different in different cases, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. You don’t want to wait for the statute of limitations to run out – if you do, the case will likely be thrown out.

We’ll Help in Every Step of Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It’s important to work with a skilled Chicago wrongful death lawyer when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced attorney will hold the responsible parties accountable and help you and your family achieve a sense of closure. 

We can’t bring your loved one back, but we can secure justice for you and your family on their behalf.

If your loved one died in an accident that you suspect may have been caused by someone else, call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today at (800) 985-1819.