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Who Can Sue and Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Personal Injury

Losing a loved one in an accident is traumatic but when it leaves you burdened with medical bills and struggling financially when you weren’t before, that loss can feel even more devastating. If the death happened because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit with help from your Chicago wrongful death lawyer. But before you can file, you need to make sure that you have the legal right to do so and what you can expect in terms of compensation if you win the case.

Who Can Sue?

In Illinois, close family and relatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one passed away as a result of someone else’s negligence or actions. This may be a surviving spouse, child, parent, sibling, or other blood relative. In most instances, close friends cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if these friends were the beneficiaries of their loved one’s estate, they may be able to file the lawsuit.

Every case is unique. Your Chicago wrongful death lawyer will be able to review your situation and help you decide if you can file the lawsuit.

What Is the Compensation Usually for?

When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, it can feel like you’re trying to punish the responsible party. While holding them responsible for their actions and their negligence is important, punishment isn’t the reason that the court hears the case. The goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide you with compensation to help offset the costs you’re facing as a result of your loved one’s death. The compensation is usually for the following categories:

  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages

The exact types of compensation you can pursue will depend on the type of claim you file. Your wrongful death attorney will help you determine the best path forward and can identify the types of compensation you’ll want to pursue.

Who Usually Receives the Money?

Typically, the individuals filing the lawsuit will receive the settlement awarded by the court. But the money may also go to other beneficiaries depending on the situation. Since every case is unique, your attorney will be able to tell you who is eligible to receive compensation from the lawsuit.

How Much Can You Expect to Receive?

The amount you’ll receive in compensation depends on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, their level of responsibility in the incident, and the types of settlements you’re pursuing. However, wrongful death settlements can range from $100,000 to several million dollars.

Your attorney will do their best to present your case and argue for as large a settlement as possible. You may want to discuss any bills, income challenges, and other expenses you’re facing as a result of your loved one’s passing. This may help them more accurately represent your needs with the court.

Work With an Experienced Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney

If your loved passed away and you’d like to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible, it’s essential that you work with an experienced attorney. At Anesi Ozmon, our team will help you navigate this difficult situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.