In Illinois, when someone dies prematurely due to the negligence or intentional act of another person or entity, that’s referred to as a “wrongful death.” It may be an auto accident, hospital negligence or an instance where someone intended to harm the other person.
A wrongful death action is a statutory cause of action that provides monetary compensation for the benefit of a victim’s (the decedent) next of kin or surviving spouse when an actual wrongful or negligent act causes the death.
Who can bring a wrongful death action?
Not everyone can sue for the wrongful death of a loved one. Certain relationships have to exist and if you’re not sure whether you can sue, you should talk to an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as you can.
With a wrongful death case, it’s the next of kin in addition to a surviving spouse, any blood relative of the decedent, and anyone who is part of the decedent’s estate, which means that they would receive part of the decedent’s estate under law if there was no Will.
Can more distant relatives bring a wrongful death action?
If there is no surviving spouse, no children and if the parents of the decedent were already deceased before the wrongful death occurred, then any siblings who are alive or, if need be, we would have to continue down the line for relatives or next of kin. Again, if you’re not sure if you can sue for the wrongful death of a loved one, please talk to a lawyer who knows about wrongful death lawsuits.