What Is Wrongful Death And What Recourse Do The Survivors Have?

by | Nov 28, 2017 | Lawyers

When a person dies, and the death can be attributed to the fault of another person or entity, the survivors can hire a knowledgeable Chicago wrongful death attorney and sue. The lawsuit seeks compensation for the losses suffered by the survivors, which include lost income that would have been expected had the person not died, loss of companionship and more.

Wrongful death claims cover the gamut from fatal vehicle accidents to product liability as well as medical malpractice. Anyone, including legal entities such as corporations or governments, can be held legally responsible in the event of a negligent act.

The parties in the case:

Like all civil cases, the person suing is the “plaintiff” and the person or entity being sued is the “defendant.” The plaintiff is usually a close family member; spouse or child while the defendant is the person or entity that acted negligently and the act resulted in death. Although the plaintiff is a close family member, the named plaintiff is usually a personal representative or the executor of the estate of the deceased.

What must be proven in a wrongful death case?

The Chicago wrongful death attorney working for the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the deceased a “duty of care” and that the duty was breached. The plaintiff is responsible for providing proof that it was negligence that caused the death of the decedent. The burden of proof in a civil action is lower than what is expected in a criminal case. In a wrongful death action, it is usually enough to determine that the defendant’s action more than likely caused the death wherein a criminal case the standard is much higher.

A wrongful death lawsuit is very complex and as such any actions should be taken in cooperation with a Chicago wrongful death attorney.

If you have lost a loved one and you believe the causes can be traced to negligence, you should hire a Chicago wrongful death attorney and sue for compensation. To discuss the merits of your case, contact Shea Law Group. Follow us on twitter.