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HomeThe Worst Personal Injury Of All

The Worst Personal Injury Of All

A friend or loved one’s untimely demise is always a devastating blow, and the pain is even worse if another person’s negligence caused the wrongful death, which is the legal term for these situations. No amount of money can possibly make up for such a loss, but the financial compensation available to survivors will at least assuage the grief and provide a measure of security, which is what the deceased person would have wanted.

Types of Wrongful Death

Not all preventable deaths involve actionable negligence, but many of them do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common types of accidental death are:

  • Poisoning: Some people are surprised that substantially more people die from adverse medication events (38,000) than are killed in motor vehicle crashes (33,000). Sometimes, a physician negligently prescribed medication that either triggers a serious allergic reaction or should not be taken with other drugs; other times, a drug manufacturer lies about side-effects to increase sales.
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes: Although the number has dipped somewhat in recent years, thousands of people are either killed almost instantly or later die as a result of their serious injuries.
  • Slip-And-Falls: People over 65 and under 14 are the most at-risk age groups in this area, largely because their bodies are frail or they are less able to survive major trauma injuries.

Other categories include alcohol-related deaths, which could involve either poisoning or motor vehicle crashes, and assaults.

Where Do Wrongful Deaths Occur?

The location has a significant bearing on the legal issues involved in a wrongful death case, mainly because of the duty of care.

  • Streets and Highways: Drivers breach the duty of care when they disregard traffic laws, drive under the influence of a substance, do not get enough sleep before driving, and otherwise fail to behave reasonably.
  • Public Places: In most cases, landowners have a duty to inspect parking lots, supermarket floors, stairways, and other locations to ensure that they are reasonably safe; landowners also have a duty to remove or repair any hazards that they know about, or should know about.
  • At Work: If workers are killed on the job, their employers must pay economic damages. Additional damages are available in some cases.

Some wrongful deaths start at one place, like the doctor’s office and end at another place, such as the victims’ homes.

Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

Like most jurisdictions, Illinois has a wrongful death statute that outlines important legal issues, like who may file a suit and the damages available. In general, the personal representative may file a wrongful death action within two years after the wrongful death; the personal representative is usually a surviving spouse or other family member.

Claimants are normally entitled to economic damages, such as funeral and burial expenses, lost future income, and future lost inheritance. The jury may also award damages for the “grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, to the surviving spouse and next of kin of such deceased person.”

Contact Diligent Attorneys

At our law firm, we work hard to help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Schaumburg office today for a free consultation, as you have a limited amount of time to act.


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