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Fatal Car Crashes & Auto Accidents

It’s any person’s worst nightmare to have a trooper knock on the door of your home and tell you that your spouse, parent, or child is never coming home again. That was the tragic reality experienced by nearly 1,000 families in 2013 that lost loved ones to fatal car crashes in Illinois.

When you lose a loved one in a sudden, unexpected way, you may feel like your life has been torn apart. You’re coping with the shock and grief of the loss, and the unfathomable burden of making funeral arrangements, sorting through insurance policies, and details like transferring assets from your loved one’s name into yours or another family members. There’s an overwhelming amount of bureaucracy that goes along with such an enormous loss.

Compensation For Your Loss

If your loved one’s death resulted from the negligence, reckless, or intentional action of another person, that adds another layer of process that you probably don’t want to think about. But it also means you may have an avenue for compensation for your loss, and a way to secure your family’s financial future during this devastating time. You may be able to make a claim to recover compensation for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages your loved one would have contributed to your family
  • Loss of your relationship with your loved one
  • Grief, sorrow and mental suffering
  • Medical bills related to your loved one’s treatment for injuries from the accident before he or she passed away

No insurance policy or jury award can replace your loved one, but Illinois does have a couple of relevant laws that allow you to seek recovery of monetary damages that can help your family in the wake of your family member’s death.

  • Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 180 — This statute allows for a personal representative of a surviving spouse or next-of-kin to file a lawsuit when someone dies because of another person’s negligence or wrongful act. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for loss of economic support, loss of consortium (relationship), and grief, sorrow, or mental suffering.
  • Survival Act, 755 ILCS 5/27-6 — This statute addresses the scenario when your family member didn’t immediately pass away following the accident, but survived for some period of time before succumbing to the injuries sustained in the accident. This statute allows you to seek recovery for the potential personal injury claim your family member might have had if he or she had survived. Compensation may include payment of medical expenses and other personal injury damages.

Whether you are able to obtain compensation will depend upon the individual circumstances of your case. If your loved one was killed in an accident involving a car, motorcycle, truck, airplane, boat, motorhome, ATV or recreational vehicle, bus, train, or as a pedestrian, you should discuss with an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney whether you might have a claim.

Let an Attorney Help

You don’t have to carry the burden of your loss alone. A personal injury attorney can help take care of some of the details and paperwork so that you can focus on healing your family in the aftermath of your loss. Your lawyer can investigate the accident and gather the facts and evidence to identify the responsible party, and then be your voice in the process of making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit. Call us today for a free consultation of your rights as a beneficiary: .