Wrongful Death from Car Accidents
Coping with the death of a loved one can seem like an insurmountable challenge. While you deal with your grief, the prospect of financial recovery may be the last thing on your mind, but the time to act is now. The Staver Law Group is here to help you through the legal process of getting compensated for a family member’s fatal car accident. Nothing can replace the loss of your relative, but filing a timely wrongful death claim can spare you and your family irreversible financial hardship.
If one of your family members has passed away as the result of someone’s negligent or reckless conduct, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We have experience litigating wrongful death cases arising out of fatal car accidents caused by:
- Distracted drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Weather conditions
- Street and highway defects
- Car manufacturing defects
- Inexperienced drivers
- Elderly drivers
Recovering Through the Wrongful Death Act
Under the Illinois wrongful death act, the executor of the deceased person’s will has two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages on behalf of the will’s beneficiaries or next of kin. If the deceased did not leave a will, you can request that a court appoint you or another trusted person as executor of the estate.
If you can provide enough evidence to show that another driver’s negligence or recklessness caused your relative’s fatal car accident, you can recover damages relating to:
- Your pain and suffering and that of other members of your household
- The loss of the deceased’s contributions to household income
- Your loss of companionship and affection if the deceased was your spouse, or loss of consortium
- The loss of the deceased’s contributions to the education and rearing of your children
- Funeral expenses
If you win your case, a financial award for these damages will be distributed among the beneficiaries of the deceased’s will. When there is no will, the deceased’s children and spouse will recover the damages. If the deceased didn’t have any children or a spouse, his or her parents and siblings can recover these damages. More distant relatives can recover when the decedent has no living siblings or parents.
Understanding the Difference Between the Wrongful Death and Survival Acts
Under the Illinois survival act, a deceased person’s estate can recover any damages incurred during the time that elapsed between the injury and death. While the wrongful death act allows the deceased’s family members to recover for their own damages, the survival act permits the deceased’s estate to recover damages that would have been recoverable by the deceased had he or she not passed away. These damages can include:
- Pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death
- Lost wages between the accident and the victim’s death
- The victim’s medical expenses prior to death
- Any disfigurement or disability the victim sustained prior to death
Once the estate recovers an award for these damages, the proceeds will be distributed among the estate’s beneficiaries according to the deceased’s will or according to the Illinois intestate laws.
A Skilled Attorney Can Get Your Family the Compensation You Deserve
Successfully recovering under the wrongful death and survival acts after a fatal car accident can be particularly difficult for two reasons. For one, these lawsuits require extensive documentation such as insurance policies, bank statements, medical bills, asset titles, wills, pay stubs, and employment contracts. Secondly, the deceased’s family members are usually too overwhelmed with grief to effectively gather and summarize this information into a coherent claim for damages.
The wrongful death attorneys of the Staver Law Group can handle both wrongful death and survival act claims on your behalf so that you and your family can focus on rebuilding your lives. We’ll conduct the investigations, gather the evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and file the lawsuits that will get you the compensation you and your family need to move forward.
We have extensive experience in state and federal courts in the Chicago area, including Cook County, surrounding counties, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. We know how to litigate complex trials, but we also attempt to negotiate pre-trial settlements so that you don’t have to go through the disruptive experience of a trial.
The Staver Law Group Will Give You a Free Consultation Regarding Your Case
During your free consultation, we’ll explain the wrongful death and survival acts and how they apply to the facts of your case. We’ll discuss whether it’s best to recover through the insurance claims process or by filing a lawsuit. We’ll tell you what types of compensation you may be able to recover so that you can make a financial plan for you family’s future.
Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will be there for you at every step of the way, from the initial paperwork to the settlement or jury verdict. Whenever you have a question, we guarantee that you can speak with the lawyer who is working on your case—no matter what time or day you reach out to us. Call us today at for a free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys.