Wrongful Death Caused By An Auto Accident
According to the World Health Organization, across the globe, every 24 seconds someone dies on the road. In the United States, nearly 38,000 people lose their lives in an auto accident every year. This high death rate results in auto accidents being the number 1 cause of death in the United States for people between the ages of 1 and 54.
If you reside in the Illinois area, and a loved one has died an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. today. We will provide you with the help you need to get the compensation you deserve for the damages caused by the death of your loved one.
WHAT MAKES UP A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM FOR AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
Specific elements for a wrongful death claim may vary by state, however, FindLaw has provided a basic outline of what most states would follow.
- A driver caused an accident resulting in a fatality.
- The other driver is guilty of negligence, meaning they are at fault for the accident.
- There is a surviving family member, dependents, or beneficiaries of the deceased.
- As a result of the death there are monetary damages, however in some states non-monetary damages may also be included.
WHO CAN FILE A CLAIM?
According to AllLaw, those who can represent a deceased victim ultimately depends on the state of residence. However, in most cases the following people may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim:
- A spouse (or in some states simply a romantic partner – no marriage required)
- Parents of a deceased minor
- Minors of a deceased parent
Some confusion may come into play when determining if the parents of a child of legal age can sue for wrongful death, if adult children can sue for the wrongful death of their parent, or if extended relatives such as, cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents can sue.
If you are unsure if you have the legal capacity to file a claim for a loved one, contact your lawyer to get further information in regard to your specific case. For those living in Illinois, our lawyers here at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. are eager to assist in navigating your wrongful death
claim for a loved one.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
Once you have been approved to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and are filing within the statute of limitations according to your state, you will then want to make sure you have the appropriate documents filed to begin the lawsuit.
COMPLAINT OR PETITION
This document is the starting point for any lawsuit. It provides all of the factual and legal foundation for the case. It defines the allegations being made against the defendant and provides an outline of what kind of compensation the plaintiff is seeking.
This document is used as a notification for the defendant. It will provide them information about why they are being sued, and where/when the case will be heard.
In most cases, providing a death certificate with the cause of death listed is essential in any wrongful death case. The death certificate of the deceased person who allegedly died due to a wrongful death incident, is the quintessential piece of evidence needed for a wrongful death claim.
HOW TO OBTAIN A DEATH CERTIFICATE
The easiest way to get a copy of a death certificate is to contact the mortuary or funeral home your loved one at the time of death. You will want to request at least 10 copies as you will need one for the wrongful death claim, and the other copies to wrap up other affairs such as, insurance, social security, and others. If it is past the time of death, you will need to contact the county or state vital records office to request the death certificates.
Be prepared to pay for each copy of the certificate. Generally, the first copy will be between $10 and $15, and any additional copy should be at a lower rate. To request a death certificate in Chicago, Illinois, visit https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records .
If you have any issues obtaining any necessary documents, or need guidance for your wrongful death claim in Illinois, contact Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. for a free consultation.
WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGES CAN BE COMPENSATED THROUGH A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
After a loved one has deceased, a survivor may be able to receive compensation for a number of things. These could include:
- Funeral and burial cost
- The cost of “pain and suffering” of the deceased in the event leading up to the death
- The cost of medical treatment the deceased received following the accident
- Loss of income from the deceased person
- Loss of care, guidance, love, etc. the deceased person could have provided
HOW TO PREVENT NEGLIGENT AUTO ACCIDENTS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY LEAD TO A WRONGFUL DEATH
- Limit distractions while driving
- Be aware of the road and your surroundings
- Don’t drive under the influence
- Follow traffic signs, lights, and laws
- Be aware of road conditions and respond accordingly
WHITESIDE & GOLDBERG, LTD.
If you are in the Chicago area, Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. offers free consultations for anyone who would like to discuss their case. We know that it is never easy to lose a loved one, but we are here to help you receive the compensation that you need. The attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg Law Group never charge a fee until they win a settlement for you. You can contact them today at by calling 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Law Group Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.