Wrongful death could be caused by various acts undertaken recklessly. It could be due to defective construction, aviation accidents, medical malpractice or misdiagnosis, defective auto equipment, child injuries, etcetera.
- In cases of wrongful death, one has to prove that the death was caused by the responsible party. Also, it has to be shown that if the victim had survived the fatal injury, he or she would be able to file a claim of personal injury. In actions of wrongful death, the statutes allow the decedent’s estate to recover damages sustained by the deceased before death. The most usual damages sought are for pain and suffering.
- Pecuniary injuries can also be recovered by the spouse or kin. “Pecuniary injuries” have been defined by the Supreme Court of Illinois. It usually covers the loss of economic support, loss of services and loss of society. The definition has also been broadened to include “grief, sorrow and mental suffering”.
- There are limits to compensation in Illinois specifically for wrongful death cases. You may recover damages for grief, sorrow, mental anguish, emotional suffering, and the loss of care and company. Funeral costs and burial payments are often paid back directly to the estate and/or the person or entity that paid the expenses.
- Iowa does not specifically define wrongful death. But it is generally considered to occur if a victim’s death is caused by another person’s negligent or wrongful act. Compensation in Iowa could be sought for economic as well as non-economic reasons. Such compensation includes medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income and benefits, loss of body, mind. Victim’s services as a spouse, parent, and/or child, property damage, and pain and suffering can also be claimed.
- In Illinois, you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit only if you are a personal representative of the estate of the deceased. Personal representative includes a close relative like a spouse, parent, or adult child of the deceased. In Iowa too, only adult children, parents, and the administrator of the estate can file a wrongful death claim.
- In Illinois, if the deceased happens to have no personal representative, the court can appoint one. The court can also manage other aspects of the procedure. Similar to Illinois, if no administrator is named in the deceased’s will or estate documents, the court can appoint an administrator. This administrator for the estate shall file a wrongful death claim and manage the affairs of the estate.
- In Illinois, the period in which you can file a lawsuit for damages is not unlimited and is in fact brief. The limitation according to the statute varies from case to case. In normal parlance, by which it is one year from the date of death. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for cases of personal injury that lead to the death of the victim is generally two years.
- You must be prompt in contacting an attorney if the limitation period is one year following the death of the victim. If one fails to file a claim in the appropriate time, the court will not entertain the case. And, you might fail to collect any compensation for your loss.
- Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits and so an element of criminal charge can be done without. A conviction could be helpful to a civil case but it is not a requirement for a wrongful death claim. However, a conviction can serve as strong evidence in a wrongful death civil case.
For hiring a wrongful death attorney, contact Capron & Avgerinos for a speedy recovery of your compensation. Laws governing wrongful death lawsuits in Iowa as well as Illinois are arcane and require expertise to interpret them. They would make sure you get the compensation you deserve!