Illinois | FAQs

How do you start a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois?

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Illinois law determines the steps you must follow to start a wrongful death claim

A wrongful death case officially begins when a complaint alleging wrongful death and requesting damages is filed in state court. While settlement negotiations with the insurance company may begin prior to the complaint being filed, the lawsuit does not begin until the complaint is filed with the court.

A wrongful death complaint must be filed by someone with a specific relationship to the person who died, within the required time frame, and it must comply with the court’s pleading requirements. If even one of these conditions is not met, then the complaint may be denied by the court.

Don’t Take That Chance

Instead, it is important to make sure that you file your case correctly so that your rights are protected. You can begin by:

  • Gathering evidence. You will need to explain your cause of action in your complaint and request damages. While you need not gather all of the evidence for your case prior to filing a complaint, you may want enough evidence to support your claims.
  • Determining if you have standing to sue. Illinois law allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file a lawsuit.
  • Deciding where to file the complaint. The complaint must be filed in a court that has jurisdiction to hear your case.
  • Making sure the complaint complies with court rules. There are certain formatting rules that must be followed when filing a complaint in court.

The rules are exact, and not complying with the rules may cost you your fair and just recovery. Accordingly, it is important to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your loved one’s death.

The Burden of Filing a Case Does Not Need to Be on Your Shoulders

You can make sure that your rights are protected by working with an attorney who knows how, where, and when to file a complaint and how to protect your recovery. To get started, please contact us via this website or by phone at your convenience and let’s talk about how a wrongful death case works in Illinois and how we can make sure that you file a case in a way that protects your rights.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham