Wrongful Death of a Child
The loss of a child is one of the most tragic events a parent can experience. The loss is rendered even more heartbreaking when it comes through the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another person.
For a parent, the impact of such a loss and the overwhelming grief may seem immeasurable. Nonetheless, you may have a claim for monetary compensation for your loss that may help cover funeral costs, any medical bills resulting from the accident that resulted in your child’s death, and the loss of your child’s companionship and contributions to your family.
If you have lost a child because of an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether a wrongful death claim may be the right course of action for you and your family. Our team of wrongful death lawyers can evaluate the circumstances of your child’s death and discuss with you what options for compensation may exist.
Illinois generally has two statutes that cover compensation when you lose a loved one through someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or professional malpractice.
Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180)
This statute allows one representative of the child’s next of kin to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Damages that can be recovered under this statute include monetary payment for the loss of your child’s contributions to your family, loss of your relationship with your child, and the grief you’re experience because of your loss. Your personal injury attorney can discuss with you what types of compensation might be available to you if your claim is successful.
Survival Act (755 ILCS 5/27-6)
This statute applies when your child survived for some period of time after the accident, but eventually passed away because of injuries suffered in the accident. The Survival Act allows you to make a claim for funeral expenses and medical bills associated with the accident, and for any other personal injury damages that you might have been able to claim on your child’s behalf if your child had survived.
Wrongful Death of an Adult Child
If you’re a parent who lost an adult child, you may have a wrongful death claim if your adult child didn’t have a spouse or children. Only the next of kin can make a wrongful death claim, and in Illinois, your adult child’s next of kin would first be any surviving spouse, followed by a descendant. If your adult child had no other next of kin, you may be able to make a claim for the loss of your relationship with your child, and for any economic contributions, your child made to you. If you depended upon your adult child for financial support, you may be able to get compensation for the loss of that support.
Wrongful Death of an Unborn Child
If you were an expectant parent involved in an accident that caused the death of your unborn child, Illinois may allow you to recover damages for the loss of your baby. The state allows compensation for the loss of an unborn child when your child was developed enough that he or she would have been viable outside the womb at the time of the accident.