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Relief & Recovery in Illinois After a Wrongful Death

Handling a wrongful death lawsuit alone is a mistake. Insurance companies know these are expensive cases and try to resolve wrongful death claims quickly, quietly, and for as little as possible. You need someone to carry the weight and put pressure on those responsible.

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Jared Staver
Ally. Advocate. Advisor.
How we can help

1. We Reduce Financial Stress after a Tragic Loss

You have enough to deal with after a sudden death. You’ll need to plan a funeral and want to be with your family. You shouldn’t have to worry about bills. That’s why there’s no up-front cost for our services.

Our contingency fee policy also means you won’t owe us anything unless you receive compensation.

Free case evaluation
$0.00 out of pocket expenses
No fee unless you win

Average Payout Amount*

w/attorney $1,600 on your own $1,600
Difference of $1,000.00

*According to the 2017 Martindale-Nolo Research.

2. Our Wrongful Death Experience Equals More; Faster.

Our experience and success with Illinois wrongful death claims usually mean more compensation in less time for clients when they need it most. Wrongful death cases frequently come down to efficiency, documenting losses, establishing fault, and clarifying liability.

We make every effort to negotiate a fair wrongful death settlement. But if an insurance company doesn’t offer enough, Staver won’t hesitate to fight for you in court.

Building Your Case

Illinois Wrongful Death Laws & Info

Although we have the legal side covered if you lose a loved one, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of the unique laws and possible obstacles that may apply to your case.

Building your case

Chicago Wrongful Death Cases & Damages

Sometimes establishing responsibility for your lost loved one is obvious. Other times, it takes an investigation to determine if someone was negligent.

Common Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois

Any number of accidents or mistakes can lead to fatal injuries. Some common wrongful death claims in Illinois stem from:


Wrongful Death Compensation: Losses & Damages

Damages in a wrongful death suit vary widely, depending on the circumstances and which losses their surviving family members suffered as a result.

Wrongful death compensation you may include:

  • Medical expenses between the time of injury and death
  • Wages lost while the decedent was receiving treatment
  • The victim’s pain and mental suffering before death
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of future income
  • Punitive damages
  • Funeral expenses and burial costs

Punitive damages are also available in Illinois wrongful death cases, but only in egregious situations. Reckless and drunk driving are common examples of when punitive damages may be possible after a fatal accident.


Negligence, Fault, & Liability after a Fatal Accident

Succeeding in a wrongful death lawsuit requires you to establish negligence. This means that another party acted unreasonably or failed to act and caused your loved one’s death.

Establishing Fault for a Wrongful Death

Someone needs to be held responsible for your family’s loss. This means the physical and financial harm done. In legal terms, this is ‘liability.’ To determine liability, you must typically identify who’s responsible and how they ignored their duty to act responsibly, thereby causing your loved one’s death and various losses.


Wrongful Death Laws in Illinois

Wrongful death laws vary from state to state and knowing how Illinois defines them can help determine whether or not you have a case and the amount of compensation you could receive.

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act

This gives survivors the right to sue for their own monetary losses and allows spouses, children, and parents to seek compensation.

Read about the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

The Illinois Survival Act

The other relevant law is the Illinois Survival Act, under which the victim’s estate can recover economic and non-economic damages sustained between the injury and the time of death.

Read about the Illinois Survival Act.


Time Limits, Insurance Disputes & Wrongful Death Defenses

A wrongful death lawsuit or insurance claim can get complicated fast. Insurance companies and the parties at fault will be quick to diminish your loss, suggest that your loved one was to blame, and use stall tactics so you accept less.

The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

In Illinois, a lawsuit must be started within two years of the victim’s death.
The statute of limitations may be extended if the death was caused by violent, intentional conduct. No matter how much time you have, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after a loved one’s death.

The sooner an attorney begins working on a case, the easier it is to preserve evidence and speak with witnesses.


How Insurers Dispute Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims are often settled with the liable party’s insurance company. There are several ways that insurance issues can delay, lower, or prevent a settlement.

Disputed Wrogful Death Liability

Insurance companies frequently dispute their client’s liability in an accident. Unfortunately, proving liability is often more complex in wrongful death cases than in personal injury cases, as the primary victim of the other person’s negligence cannot give their account of events. While this can complicate a wrongful death case, it is also something that attorneys anticipate and prepare for.

Uninsured Parties in a Wrongful Death Claim

Seeking compensation from a responsible party without insurance can leave a family with few options. For example, if a victim dies in a car accident and it comes out that the responsible party did not have vehicle insurance at the time of the accident, the family would need to seek compensation directly from the driver.

Wrongful Death Coverage Limits

Wrongful death cases are typically limited by the amount of insurance the responsible party has. This may mean that a victim’s family receives less than they truly should.


Wrongful Death Laws in Illinois

Wrongful death laws vary from state to state and knowing how Illinois defines them can help determine whether or not you have a case, and the amount of compensation you could receive.

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act

This gives survivors the right to sue for their own monetary losses and allows spouses, children, and parents to seek compensation.

Learn more about the Illinois Wrongful Death Act

The Illinois Survival Act

The other relevant law is the Illinois Survival Act, under which the victim’s estate can recover economic and non-economic damages sustained between the injury and the time of death.

Learn more about the Illinois Survival Act

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, a lawsuit must be started within two years of the victim’s death.

The statute of limitations may be extended if the death was caused by violent, intentional conduct. No matter how much time you have, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after a loved one’s death. The sooner an attorney begins working on a case, the easier it is for them to preserve evidence and speak with witnesses.


Wrongful Death FAQs

Look for an attorney with extensive experience in wrongful death cases. You’ll also want to dig deeper and make sure that the attorney you choose has worked with your specific type of wrongful death case before, as previous knowledge and experience are essential when negotiating with insurance companies. This case will be an important part of your life until it is resolved, so make sure you choose an attorney who is easy to contact and will respond quickly to your questions. Finally, don’t be afraid to follow your instincts. If you meet with an attorney who seems preoccupied, forgets details you have already told them about, or is unable to answer your questions, move on to an attorney you feel confident working with.

‘There is no hard-and-fast answer to this question. Much depends on the willingness of the responsible party’s insurance company to settle the claim quickly. If the claim cannot be settled out of court, the process could take years. If the insurance company wants to settle quickly, the claim could be finished in a matter of weeks or months.

This is not uncommon in a wrongful death case. For example, in a wrongful death case involving a car accident, both the driver and the manufacturer of the car may have some liability. The same is true for medical malpractice cases, as liability is often split between the medical provider and the institution. In these situations, we will pursue compensation from all liable parties.

Most of the time, compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit is not taxable in Illinois. There are exceptions, such as punitive damages and interest payments. Since tax law is complicated and the consequences for misunderstanding tax situations can be steep, we recommend discussing your specific circumstances with an attorney.


Is There a Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me?

We cover the whole of the Chicagoland area:

Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Naperville, Joliet, Waukegan

Our Process

Our Wrongful Death Case Process is all About YOU

Staver will not only listen and explain all of your options to recover financially after a death caused by negligence. Our attorneys will also guide you through the legal process toward an outcome tailor-made for what you and your family endured.

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Share Your Story with Us
We'll do the rest
How we can help

01

Consultation

02

Case Value

03

Evidence

04

Settlement

If Needed

Trial

It Starts with a Free Consultation

This is your chance to discuss what happened with an experienced attorney. We’ll talk about what led to your loved one’s death and what you might expect from a wrongful death lawsuit.

Here are some things you may want to have or be ready to discuss

  • Your Story: We’ll want to know how your loved one died, who you think is responsible, and what you’re going through.
  • Documents & Photos: Make sure to get a copy of the police report if applicable and any medical reports or bills for the treatment your loved one received before death.
  • Receipts for Expenses: The costs and expenses associated with a preventable death add up and should be accounted for. This includes medical bills and funeral expenses, among others.
  • Witness Info: Any information you have about the responsible party, their insurance company, or legal representation will be helpful. Also, try to keep any witnesses’ names and contact details.
  • Insurance Communication: You’ll be surprised by how quickly the insurance company reaches out for your statement, a medical release form, or a settlement offer. Avoid agreeing to anything until you’ve consulted a lawyer near you, and keep a record of any communications you have with the insurer.
| Next Step: Determine the Value of Your Case

We’ll Determine the Value of Your Case

You can back up damages with a variety of evidence, including bills, photographs, or expert testimony asserting expected future damages.

This stage is vital. It’s simple really, the better your proof, the more compensation you’ll get.

Damages in a wrongful death suit vary widely, depending on the circumstances of the victim’s death and which losses their surviving family members have suffered as a result. Types of compensation you may be entitled to from the negligent party include:

  • Medical expenses incurred between the time of injury and the victim’s death
  • Wages lost while the decedent was receiving treatment for their injuries prior to death
  • The victim’s pain and mental suffering before their death
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of future income
  • Punitive damages
  • Funeral expenses and burial costs

We’ll work to get you the best outcome possible.

| Next Step: Evidence

Collect Evidence and Prove Your Wrongful Death Claim

To make your case, you’ll need various evidence that another person’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. This usually includes medical records, photographs, or witness testimony.

For example, in a fatal car accident, we may provide testimony and other evidence that the at-fault driver was intoxicated or driving recklessly, thereby neglecting their duty to obey traffic laws.

Procedure & Proof in Death Claims

| Next Step: Settlement

We’ll Reach a Wrongful Death Settlement If It’s Right

Most wrongful death cases settle, and this may be the most desired option for your family. But insurance companies use this to pressure people into accepting low settlement offers that don’t cover everything they need.

At Staver, we’ll take the time to ensure you recover everything possible. We’ll consider things like the loss of income related to your loved one’s death and won’t let you settle for less than what’s right. We’re also relentless in identifying who to hold accountable so no one else gets hurt.

Read more about the value of your claim.

| Next Step: Trial

If Necessary, We’ll Take Your Case to Trial

No one wants to go through a wrongful death lawsuit, and most cases settle before court. However, sometimes the sides don’t agree, or a trial is the best way to resolve things in your favor. Whatever the case, we’ll explain the process and advise when the best option is going to trial.

More about Personal Injury Lawsuits.

| Next Step: Consultation
Ready to get started?

It all starts with a free consultation.

Why Staver?

Why Staver Is for You in a Wrongful Death Case.

Every wrongful death case is different. But all who have lost a loved one share the same struggles: stress levels are heightened, there are funeral preparations to be made, and they are dealing with an abundance of other logistical things that need taken care of when someone has died. On top of that, dealing with legal deadlines and answering calls from insurance companies gets in the way of what they really need – space and time to grieve. And of course, compensation.

That’s where Staver comes in.

We take care of the heavy lifting in your wrongful death claim so you can focus on your mental healing. We keep you informed so you’ll always know where your case stands. And most importantly, we act fast because we know the importance of spending this time with those closest to you. And we don’t want the legal process to be another roadblock that gets in the way of you coming to terms with your loss.

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3500+
Clients Helped
Why Staver?

We’re Your Advocates

When you hire Staver, consider us an extension of your support system.

We’re here to listen when you need someone else to talk to. We’re here for advice to help you navigate through the legal process. And we’ll be with you every step of the way to speak on your behalf with the insurance companies. And also in court, if it comes to it.

We’ve been there for thousands of clients who have lost loved ones, and we’ll be there for you.

We’ve Earned the Support from Our Clients

We dedicate ourselves to client success and satisfaction. This shows in our 4.95 star Google rating 185+ reviews left by clients on Google.

My family suffered a devastating loss, losing a loved one to a reckless hit & run; Tyler along with Staver Law were there for me every step of the way making sure my rights were protected.

D. W.

★★★★★

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Our Wrongful Death Snapshot is Proof of Our Success

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we fight hard for our clients. And we don’t just say that. We have helped families and loved ones of wrongful death victims get the compensation they deserve.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

Read more results

Our Industry Recognition Helps Us Serve YOU

We’ve won awards for over 3,500 clients. And with every award we get, the more it proves our quality. Years of credibility, glowing ratings from the BBB and a place on the top 100 trial lawyers of America.

The recognition we’ve accumulated speaks for itself.

Awards Memberships
Better Business Bureau A+ Rating
American Association of Personal Injury Attorneys
The AV Peer Rating
Top 100 Trial Lawyers of America
The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
The Chicago Bar Association
The Illinois State Bar Association
The American Bar Association
Brain Injury Association of America ‘Preferred Attorney’

Visit our Awards Page  

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Wrongful Death: Related Reading

Here are some additional resources that may be of help.

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