A wrongful death happens when there is a negligent or intentional action of another party that resulted in the death of your loved one. In Rockford, IL, these types of accidents can be the result of incidents such as car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and more. After losing your loved one in an accident, it is essential to hire an experienced Rockford wrongful death lawyer who can determine whether you have a claim against another party and, if you do, will fight to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve for your loss and make sure your legal rights stay protected throughout the legal process.
What Kind of Lawyer Handles a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It is important to hire the right type of lawyer for a wrongful death case. While any personal injury lawyer can handle a wrongful death claim, you will want to look for a lawyer who has specific experience in handling wrongful death cases. A wrongful death lawyer will understand the complexities of the case in your state, and work to get you a fair settlement.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Rockford, IL, can do the following to help with your claim:
- Determine if your case is eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit
- Investigate the cause of your loved one’s death to show negligence or intent of another party
- Determine who can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages
- Calculate the value of the claim
Negligence and Fault in Wrongful Death Cases
To have a valid wrongful death case, you will need to prove that another party was negligent in their actions and is liable for the death of your loved one. This can be done by proving the following factors:
- That the defendant owed your deceased loved one a duty of care
- That defendant breached the duty of care by failing to act in a reasonable manner
- That the breach of the duty of care resulted in your loved one’s death
Our Rockford wrongful death attorney will help prove what led up to the death of your loved one and ultimately caused the accident and their death. They will help prove that the defendant was negligent and is at fault and what damages you are entitled to receive for your loss.
How Does an Attorney Prove Wrongful Death?
A skilled wrongful death attorney in Rockford, IL, does several things to prove your case. First, they will represent your legal interests and work to ensure that your case is handled fairly. Next, to have a wrongful death claim, an attorney will need to prove liability. This will be done by thoroughly investigating what happened to cause the death of your loved one. An experienced attorney will gather and preserve the necessary evidence that can be used to support the case and hold the other party at fault.
Evidence is essential for proving a wrongful death case. An attorney may use the following as evidence for your claim:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Videos showing the accident or incident that led up to the death of your loved one
- Copies of medical records
- Accident and police reports
- Physical evidence preserved from the scene of the incident or accident scene
- Eye witness testimony of the accident
- Testimony from expert witnesses
- Death certificate of your loved one
- Other documentation
When to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Rockford?
Hiring a Rockford wrongful death lawyer may not be something you think about soon after losing a loved one due to wrongful death, but it is definitely something you will want to consider. There are many reasons why you do not want to wait to hire an attorney. The longer you wait, the more likely evidence needed to prove your case will become lost or unavailable. Witnesses that can be used for the case may not be able to recall the details of the accident if they are not contacted soon after your loved one’s death. In addition, hiring a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible will ensure that your legal rights and potential compensation stay protected and that you are not faced with the stress of a lawsuit but instead can focus on grieving the loss of your loved one while the attorney handles the case.
Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois
There is a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois. Hiring a lawyer soon after your loved one’s death can guarantee you file a claim within the required time limit. In Illinois, the statute of limitation for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. If you miss this deadline, your claim will be dismissed, and you will not be able to recover any compensation for your loss or be able to seek future damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rockford?
In Rockford, IL, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is appointed to oversee the estate of the deceased. They are typically a family member, but this is not always the case. If the deceased had a will, the personal representative might be named in it, and if they did not, the court will name who it would be.
Even though the personal representative is the one to file the wrongful death lawsuit, this does not mean they are the person who is awarded damages. The court will determine who is to be compensated for the wrongful death. Damages will belong to the estate of the deceased and will be distributed according to the guidelines of the estate. Distribution of damages may be given to family members such as the surviving spouse and next of kin such as children or parents of the deceased.
If the person filing the wrongful death lawsuit does not have the legal standing to do so, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the case. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will determine who is entitled to file a wrongful death claim and ensure it is filed correctly.
Damages that may be awarded for a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
How to Find the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Rockford
It can be overwhelming to find the right attorney in your area. There are many ways to choose the right Rockford wrongful death lawyer for your case. Asking friends or family members for referrals of lawyers they may have used personally is a good way to start your search. You can also start your search online. Most law firms have websites filled with information that can be used to narrow down your choices. Make sure that the lawyer you choose has experience handling wrongful death cases similar to yours and the resources available to take your case to court if needed.
Some factors you may want to consider when researching various lawyers include the following:
- Case Results. Check out the case results to get examples of what other Rockford clients have been awarded as settlements for their wrongful death cases. You will want to choose someone with a history of favorable settlements and winning outcomes.
- Testimonials. Past client testimonials can give you an idea of the level of satisfaction others clients have with the lawyer they used for their wrongful death cases.
- Awards and accolades. You can find out how a lawyer rates in their local community by browsing the various awards and accolades they have received.
After identifying possible lawyers to use for your case, your next step is scheduling an initial consultation to meet with each lawyer in person. At your meetings, ask each lawyer plenty of questions since their answers will help you make a final decision. You may want to prepare the questions in advance so you don’t forget to ask anything important. Always go with your gut feeling when picking a lawyer. You will want to choose someone you feel comfortable talking to and who is the best fit for you.
Why Hupy & Abraham Is the Right Firm for Your Wrongful Death Claim
Contact Our Rockford Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
If you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent or intentional act, contact our Rockford wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced team at Hupy and Abraham is available for a free consultation to discuss your case. To set up a confidential appointment, fill out our convenient contact form online or call us at 1-800-800-5678.