Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Understanding Your Rights Under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Statute

When a loved one dies due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another, the effects can be devastating. Seeking monetary damages from the responsible party to help cover lost wages, medical expenses and emotional suffering can help ease the burden of this loss — but who is able to file a wrongful death claim under Illinois law?

The attorneys of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C., have over five decades of experience serving the Peoria area in wrongful death lawsuits. We understand how difficult the loss of a loved one can be, and our compassionate and skilled lawyers can help you understand your rights and assist you in pursuing a wrongful death claim.

Who Is Entitled To Initiate A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Illinois?

Illinois law establishes that a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This personal representative is generally a close family member of the deceased, including:

  • A spouse
  • An adult child
  • A parent (if the deceased was a minor)

If the deceased had a will, the personal representative is typically appointed in the document. In some cases, however, the deceased does not leave behind a will or the will fails to assign a personal representative; in these cases, the court is empowered to appoint someone to act as personal representative.

If you have been appointed personal representative following a wrongful death, understanding how to proceed in the lawsuit can be overwhelming. Hiring a lawyer who understands wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois can help you navigate the many issues that arise in such cases. At The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C., our long track record of success and experience in wrongful death cases can provide you with the guidance you need.

Do You Need To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit If There’s Already A Criminal Case?

A wrongful death lawsuit can — and should — be pursued at the same time Illinois is pursuing criminal charges against the responsible party. It is important to understand that the two proceedings are separate processes: a criminal case can only be brought by the state and the deceased’s personal representative cannot seek damages through a criminal case.

If you have lost a close family member due to the negligence or intentional wrongful act of another, retaining an experienced wrongful death lawyer is key to maximizing your chances of recovering damages. At The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C., our decades of experience and strong track record aid us in helping our clients get the financial compensation they deserve after losing a loved one to another’s negligence. Please call our offices at 309-673-5144, or contact us online to speak with an attorney today.