How To Win Your Wrongful Death Claim

Do you have questions about how to win your wrongful death claim? Check out our article, then contact our Naperville attorneys to get started,

Choosing the Right Lawyer

How To Win Your Wrongful Death ClaimI was talking to someone the other day and, unfortunately, they had lost a family member to something that they believe was a wrongful death, that their family member had wrongfully lost their life because of the fault of another party. They asked me, “How do we go about choosing the attorney we want to use for this wrongful death case?”

To me, the most important thing you can look for is a connection and communication with the lawyer that you’re going to be working with. Oftentimes, wrongful death cases can take two, sometimes even three, years to reach conclusion. During that time, there will be a lot of emotional conversations, a lot of big emotional decisions that need to be made, and it’s important that you’re working with someone that has experience, has gone through that process before, is familiar with the different stages that a wrongful death case can go through, and is available at all hours of the day, all of the time, to go through the process and help you with your wrongful death case.

If you have any questions about a situation that you believe is a wrongful death, we’d be happy to talk to you. Please give us a call.

Available Damages

One of the most common questions that we’re asked in Illinois about a wrongful death case is – what are the different damages? In other words, what are the things that I can recover as a family member of someone that I think died because of the negligence of another?

You would be entitled to the wage loss, in other words, the lost earnings that you’ve suffered because the person has passed away. If they contribute to your family and your family’s income, and you no longer have that income, you would be entitled to the loss of that income because of the death of the person. You’re also entitled to compensation for all the other things that the person may have done, be it helping around the house, cutting grass, providing aid and assistance to the children – any other things that the person did to contribute to the overall happiness, health and well-being of the family is also something that you can be compensated for. In addition, in Illinois, you are also entitled to compensation for the grief and sorrow that you’ve suffered.

While it is almost impossible to put an exact value on a loss of someone’s life, these are just some of the categories that we take a look at in helping decide what will be a fair value or a fair amount in the event of someone’s wrongful death. If you have any questions about any of these categories, or any other questions about someone’s wrongful death, please give us a call.

Filing a Claim

One of the questions we sometimes receive is, who can pursue a wrongful death case? What family member typically can pursue a wrongful death case? The truth of the matter is, any duly appointed or properly appointed executor of the estate, who believes that there’s been a wrongful death, can pursue a wrongful death case. In reality, we mostly see it being brought by the spouse; that’s usually the first person that will bring a wrongful death case.

The second group of people we normally see bring a wrongful death case are the children of the decedent, of the person that’s passed away; we’ll see those children bring a case. Sometimes it can be a sibling; a brother or sister may bring a wrongful death case if they think that their brother or sister was inadvertently or negligently killed. Sometimes, not as often but rarely, we’ll see a parent who will also possibly have the right to bring a wrongful death case for the death of one of their children.

If you have a question about anything involving the wrongful death or any other family member that you believe might have been wrongfully killed, please give us a call. We can answer any questions you have.

Punitive Damages

One of the questions we’re often asked is, “Are punitive damages available in Illinois, if I believe my relative has suffered a wrongful death?” The short answer is no. Punitive damages are typically not available in a wrongful death case.

However, there are other elements of damages that are available. You’d be entitled to the economic loss that you’ve suffered as a result of the wrongful death of your family member. You’re entitled to compensation for the guidance, assistance, helping around the house, helping raise the children— the personal work the deceased provided. Those things can also be compensated for. Also, you’re entitled to the grief and sorrow that you’ve suffered as a result of the wrongful death.

Even though punitive damages usually are not typically available in a wrongful death case, there are other elements of damages that need to be explored and looked into. If you have any questions about a wrongful death case and what potential recovery you can make for that wrongful death, please give us a call.


Have you lost a person that you love in a preventable accident in Illinois and have questions about how to win your wrongful death claim? Contact our experienced Naperville wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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