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Can Family Members Receive Compensation for a Wrongful Death?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled---2023-08-25T102140.291.jpgLosing a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone can experience, especially in situations where a person’s death was caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. In Illinois, family members of a person who was killed because someone else acted negligently have the right to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Even though money received through a lawsuit will never be able to fully address the loss of a loved one, financial compensation can help ease the burdens that come with such a devastating loss.

Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In Illinois, wrongful death lawsuits aim to compensate surviving family members for different types of losses they have experienced following the death of their loved one. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows a person’s immediate family members, including their spouse, children, or parents, to seek compensation from the person or parties who were responsible for a wrongful death. The types and amounts of damages available will depend on several factors, including the circumstances surrounding the incident, the ways the family has been affected by the loss, and the expenses paid before and after the person’s death.

Here are some common types of damages that can be sought in wrongful death cases:

  1. Economic damages: A family may be able to receive compensation for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of the wrongful death. These damages may address medical bills incurred before a person’s passing, funeral expenses, and the loss of future income or benefits that the person would have earned had they survived.

  2. Non-economic damages: The intangible losses experienced by surviving family members may be addressed through a wrongful death lawsuit, and they may be compensated for the ways they have been personally affected. These damages can address the pain and suffering endured by a person before their passing, the grief and mental anguish experienced by surviving loved ones, and the loss of companionship the deceased person would have provided to their spouse, children, or other family members throughout the rest of their natural lifetime.

  3. Punitive damages: Unlike economic and non-economic damages that are based on compensating family members for the losses they have suffered, punitive damages aim to punish wrongdoers for particularly egregious conduct. They are typically awarded when defendants display wanton disregard for human life or act with malice. For example, a drunk driver who killed someone in a car accident may be required to pay punitive damages because they acted in a way that they knew was likely to cause harm to someone else.

The specific damages that may be available will depend on the circumstances of a wrongful death case. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on the forms of compensation that family members may be able to receive, and they can make sure the correct steps are taken to demonstrate a family’s losses and hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.

Contact Our Illinois Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligent actions, a skilled lawyer can help you navigate through this challenging time while protecting your rights. At Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices, we provide strong, effective representation for grieving families, helping them pursue justice. Our dedicated Champaign wrongful death attorneys understand the immense emotional toll the loss of a loved one can take, and we are committed to providing compassionate support throughout the legal process. To discuss your case and explore your options for compensation, do not hesitate to contact us at 630-585-2320 and schedule a free consultation.



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