Wrongful Death Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of the wrongful conduct of someone else, we can help. If a loved one is killed by the wrongful conduct of someone else, the family has a right to pursue those responsible to obtain compensation. However, the family must act quickly because there is a limited amount of time (a “statute of limitations”) that applies to wrongful death lawsuits.
Should I Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Money never provides complete closure, but pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can help ease the families’ loss of income and emotional support that the deceased provided or would have provided to his or her spouse, children, and other next of kin. Pursuing such a claim can also help bring some closure by holding the responsible party accountable.
How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?
Under Illinois law, there are two primary statutes that apply to wrongful death claims. One statute, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows the family to recover compensation to replace the money, goods, and services and emotional support that the deceased would have contributed to the family. The second statute called the Illinois Survival Act allows the family to sue to recover damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering that their loved one experienced between the time of the accident and death, which equates to the pain and suffering that the deceased experienced prior to death. The family can also use the Survival Act to recover funeral expenses. In almost every wrongful death lawsuit, the family should pursue claims under both the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act. To win on a wrongful death claim under either Act, the family must prove that the person, company, or government being sued caused the death and acted wrongly in doing so.
Special Considerations in Police Shooting Cases
In police shooting cases, the deceased’s family can also sue under Federal Civil Rights laws. While these laws do not typically increased the amount of damages the family will recover, they provide another avenue–opening up new legal theories–to hold the police responsible for what they did.
When to Contact and Attorney?
While grieving and the funeral both come first, getting an attorney on board to help you as early as possible is extremely important. The statute of limitations to sue a government entity, such as the City of Chicago or a police officer under the Wrongful Death Act is one year. The statute of limitations on federal civil rights claims is two years, but the most important claims are typically the state-law Wrongful Death claims, which must be brought within one year.
How Do I Find and Choose a Wrongful Death Attorney?
The internet is a good place to start. Recommendations from family or friends is another good way to find an attorney. In any case, you should talk to as many attorneys as it takes to find one that you feel comfortable with. When you first meet with an attorney, a good way to know if the attorney is right for you is to gauge how well the attorney explains the law and process of bringing a lawsuit. Does the attorney use legal terms that you don’t understand? How well does the attorney break down complicated legal concepts in a way that makes sense? Do you feel like the attorney listens to you? Most importantly, you have to trust your gut and be comfortable with the person you are choosing to represent you.
Why Choose Us for Your Wrongful Death Case?
Civil rights attorney Dan Nixa has significant experience dealing with wrongful death cases, including deaths and injuries cause by police shootings. He has also litigated dozens of wrongful death cases caused by negligence and defective products. Dan knows how to fight for you and your family in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. But just as importantly, he listens to you. He takes the time to get to know you. And he explains your case in a way so that you understand what is going on.