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.”
Any type of catastrophic injury from someone else’s negligence can result in a wrongful death. We often see wrongful death cases arise from motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents and medical malpractice.
Intentional acts leading to wrongful death
Q: Can I bring a wrongful death action in the case of a manslaughter, homicide or murder?
You absolutely could bring a wrongful death case for a homicide and that conduct goes beyond simple negligence. It may bring into question whether that person has available insurance coverage.
A common example is the O.J. Simpson case where he was acquitted of murder, but the victim’s families were able to bring a wrongful death action against him and got a judgment against him for the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. While there was no insurance coverage for his wrongful act, he was a wealthy celebrity.
Q: Is a property owner liable if someone is murdered on the premises?
It would depend on the circumstances that prompted or allowed that murder to take place. If there was any type of security issue that could have prevented it, then that’s something that we would look into. It is a very facts-specific case and you should contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer if you think it may have been a factor in your loss.
For example, people get robbed at ATMs. Is the bank responsible for keeping the ATM safe and lit and the cameras working? Maybe, but every situation is different. We look at what could have been prevented and research every potential avenue for recovery to determine if it could have been prevented but for the negligence of somebody else, like the bank for having inadequate security.