This is the first post in a series of articles discussing issues that commonly arise in wrongful death cases in Peoria, Illinois. The tragic loss of a loved one after an accident can leave the victim’s family members reeling, both emotionally and financially. When the accident was caused by the negligence or misconduct of others, survivors are entitled to recover damages from those responsible. Wrongful death cases can be particularly complicated and the legal process may seem overwhelming. The goal of this series is to provide information about pursuing a wrongful death action and what plaintiffs may expect during the process. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help preserve your family’s legal rights. Contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
In this series, I will discuss the following key topics:
- Wrongful death cases involving multiple defendants
- How Illinois’ comparative fault laws may impact a wrongful death case
- Dealing with insurance companies after an accident
- The importance of discovery in wrongful death cases
- Taking a wrongful death case to trial
- Calculating damages in a wrongful death case
If you have lost a family member in a catastrophic accident, it is important to understand these points for a variety of reasons. First, it is not uncommon for serious accidents to involve multiple defendants. This is especially true when a commercial entity is involved, such as semi truck accidents, workplace accidents, or products liability cases. It is essential to identify all possible defendants to ensure that you are fairly compensated. Second, many families believe that they are not entitled to damages if the victim was partially responsible for the accident. This is not the case. If the victim was fifty percent or less responsible, survivors may recover a reduced amount of damages under Illinois’ comparative fault laws. Third, the process of negotiating a potential settlement with insurance companies can be contentious and complex. Retaining counsel to handle this process on your behalf can help ensure that you are not pressured into accepting an inadequate settlement. Fourth, if your case cannot be settled, your attorney will file a lawsuit and begin gathering evidence through a process known as “discovery.” This important legal tool is essential to proving that the defendants were responsible for the accident and establishing damages. Next, wrongful death trials can be lengthy and may involve complicated procedural matters. Survivors should understand what to expect during the process and retain counsel with trial experience to assist them. Finally, calculating the damages to which the victim’s family may be entitled is an essential element in a wrongful death action. This often involves the use of various expert witnesses to quantify losses related to medical expenses, burial costs, and future lost wages. Depending upon the facts, survivors may be entitled to additional damages.
The loss of a spouse, child, or another family member can be devastating. Our firm will focus on holding those responsible accountable for their actions so your family can focus on recovering. If you need assistance, contact our office to speak with a Peoria wrongful death attorney. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.