This is the final post in a series of articles discussing issues that commonly arise in wrongful death cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post focused on calculating damages in wrongful death actions. In many cases, potential damage awards can be significant following the loss of a loved one caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of another. Whether due to an accident at work, a pedestrian strike, or a trucking accident, wrongful death cases can be particularly complicated. The legal process may seem overwhelming to surviving family members. The goal of this series has been 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.
I have addressed the following key topics in this series:
- 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
The loss of a loved one can leave a family reeling. A wrongful death lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. It is important for those who have experienced a loss caused by another, to understand these points for several reasons. First, depending upon the nature of the accident involved, it is possible that more than one person or entity bears responsibility for the event. This is particularly true in cases involving a commercial entity, such as a trucking company or workplace incident. It is essential to identify all possible defendants to ensure that you are fairly compensated. Second, under Illinois law, victims’ families may recover damages even if the victim was partially responsible. Survivors may recover a reduced amount of damages so long as the victim was less than 50% liable. Third, wrongful death cases commonly involve contentious and complicated settlement negotiations with insurance companies before a lawsuit is filed. Working with an attorney during this process helps ensure that you do not accept a lower settlement offer than what you may be entitled to. Fourth, once litigation is initiated, your attorney will engage in the discovery process to gather information from the various parties and build evidence in support of your case. Next, to manage a family’s expectations, it is important for survivors to understand what to expect during the jury trial process. 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 punitive damages.
I am an experienced wrongful death attorney, who has helped families hold defendants responsible for their actions. If you need assistance, contact our Peoria, Illinois office to speak with an attorney. In addition to Peoria, our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.