Joliet, also known as the Crossroads of Mid-America, is home to various leading companies that have selected the city because of its diverse economy and multi-modal infrastructure.
Unfortunately, from traffic accidents and medical malpractice to violent crime, people can die from the negligence or intentional actions of other people. When this happens, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to seek justice and recover compensation. Our Joliet wrongful death lawyers at Zayed Law Offices explain the process of wrongful death claims below.
How Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help You
Our experienced Joliet personal injury lawyers can help you in various ways throughout your wrongful death claim.
Understand the process
Hopefully, you've never had to go through the process of dealing with a wrongful death situation before. It's only natural that you won't understand the complicated legal process. Our Joliet wrongful death lawyers have gone through the process multiple times. We know it like the back of our hands. We know what needs to happen, the evidence you need to prove your case, and the deadlines to follow to ensure the court doesn't throw your case out.
More importantly, we will share this information with you. We will help you understand each step of the process and update you on your court dates.
Understand the value of the case
Without an experienced eye, you could easily underestimate the value of your case. When you tragically lose a loved one due to the negligence of another person, you may feel emotionally distressed and confused. You need an experienced attorney who can put the right value on your monetary compensation.
An attorney will carefully evaluate your situation and understand how your family and your life were hurt by the loss of your loved one, and help you come up with the proper value of your wrongful death claim. Our attorneys will consider several factors when evaluating these cases, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and the pain and suffering the victim suffered through the unfortunate ordeal.
We do our best to help you get the monetary and emotional losses you have suffered through a wrongful death claim.
If you're still coping with the death of your loved one, thinking about legal issues, though necessary, can be impossible to balance with your grief. A Joliet wrongful death lawyer from Zayed Law Offices will provide you with the support you need during this difficult time. We not only look out for your interests and protect your rights but also give you a listening ear.
Wrongful death cases often have a deadline. Usually, that deadline is within the grieving period. Hiring us will give you time to grieve and recover while we handle the legal aspects of the case. This way, you don't miss an opportunity to receive the compensation you deserve.
Going to trial, if necessary
Not all wrongful death cases go to trial. If yours doesn't come to a fair settlement agreement, you should be prepared to go to court. Our attorneys will be by your side to represent you in court and get the best possible outcome if your claim becomes a wrongful death lawsuit.
Communicating with other parties
Joliet wrongful death lawyers can help manage communication between you and the insurance companies, if any, and also negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Our goal is to represent your interests and ensure you get fair compensation.
Your lawyer might hire financial and accident reconstruction experts to show and explain how the accident happened.
Evidence is critical to your case. But in negligence cases, it can disappear quickly. A personal injury lawyer will use investigators to collect and preserve evidence to prove fault and negligence if the case goes to trial.
Understanding Wrongful Death
Recently, the Symphony of Joliet faced a wrongful death claim, and the widow of a victim of a fatal crash in Joliet filed another high-profile wrongful death lawsuit. Both lawsuits shine a light on wrongful death lawsuits and the importance of hiring a wrongful death lawyer.
Illinois law describes wrongful death as “death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another or by an accident happening through the negligence of another.”
Any party, person, or property injured can recover monetary damages from the one who wrongfully injures another through a personal injury lawsuit. If the injury results in death, there may be recovery for loss of society and services and expenses in a wrongful death suit.
Types of Wrongful Deaths
Plaintiffs may bring four general types of wrongful death cases against legal entities like individuals and corporations.
Negligence is among the most common causes of wrongful deaths. In negligence cases, the party fails to take proper steps to avoid harming someone else, resulting in death.
Examples include a driver running a red light and causing a fatal accident or a medical practitioner failing to follow protocol resulting in death.
Product liability cases
Defective products can cause wrongful deaths. In this case, you may hold the manufacturer or seller of the product liable for damages. But there is a burden of proof. You must show that the entity knew or should have known about the defect. Depending on the nature of the case, the lawsuit can spill over to anyone in the production line that sold the product to the customer, including the component manufacturer, supplier, designer, packaging team, wholesaler, and retailer.
Intentional Tort Cases
You may file intentional tort cases when someone dies due to another's deliberate actions like assault or murder. While Joliet has come a long way from its past, it has a high Crime Index of 31, with 2,690 crimes reported annually. About 800 of these cases are violent crimes.
However, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit under this category in medical malpractice cases, death during a supervised activity, or an automobile or airplane accident.
Wrongful death case filed on behalf of minors
Under the Illinois wrongful death act, parents of a deceased minor child may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Conversely, the surviving children can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit if the decedent is their parent. If the children are minors, the court appoints a guardian of the children to make the claim.
Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
For a wrongful death claim to be valid, you must be able to prove the following key elements:
You must prove that the death of the deceased was caused either partly or in whole by carelessness, recklessness, or negligent actions of the defendant to be considered a wrongful death claim.
Breach of duty
You will also need to prove that the plaintiff owed the deceased a duty. Motorists must drive carefully, safely, and obey traffic laws. Doctors and other medical health professionals have a duty to care for and maintain a person's health.
You must establish the defendant's duty and how they breached this duty through their negligent actions.
When filing a wrongful death case, you must prove how the defendant's negligence caused the wrongful death.
As part of the wrongful death claim, you will also need to generate quantifiable damages.
These can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of potential earnings
- The pain and suffering of the victim before their death
- Loss of guidance, protection, and inheritance
Consulting with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can ensure you have the proof necessary to prove your case and recover the damages.
What Is the Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It is your duty as the plaintiff to prove the case. You have to provide clear evidence that convinces the judge or jury that the defendant is likely responsible for the deceased's death. In wrongful death cases, the burden of proof is at least 50 percent probability.
It is a lesser burden of proof than beyond reasonable doubt, which is expected in a criminal case. But, it can still be difficult to gather enough evidence to support your case without assistance from a wrongful death lawyer.
Types of Compensation
Victims in wrongful death cases and claims may recover:
- Medical bills consisting of the cost of treatment, hospitalization, and care
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering of the victim and relatives, if any
- Emotional distress to the victim or relatives
- Punitive damages
- Reasonable funeral expenses
The damages or compensation awarded depends on the circumstances surrounding the occurrence of the wrongful death.
There are economic damages, which include compensation for medical bills and loss of income. There are also non-economic damages that include emotional distress, suffering, and pain by the victim or their relatives.
Do I Need a Joliet Lawyer?
Yes. Wrongful death lawsuits and claims are a complex area of law. Not all cases entitle the surviving or the immediate family members to compensation. Many factors can affect the outcome of the case. Consulting an experienced wrongful death lawyer increases your chances of winning the lawsuit or claim and recovering compensation for your loved one's death.
A Joliet Wrongful Death Lawyer for You
Although nothing can replace your lost loved ones, the damages from a wrongful death lawsuit can soften the blows and provide you with funding and support during the grieving process. The proceeds from the damages can cover medical expenses, loss of income, and funeral expenses, among other bills.
Under the Illinois Survival Act, the losses suffered by the deceased's family before and as a result of their death are compensable.
Zayed Law Offices is a law firm experienced in wrongful death cases. With immense experience as a trial law firm, we don't shy away from taking on the most complex and catastrophic cases in Joliet. Our mission is to seek complete remedy for our client's losses.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit or claim doesn't guarantee you will recover compensation. But no matter what happens or how hard it gets, you can always count on us to be in your corner, doing our best to get the best results for you. We remain loyal to our clients and their interests.
Why Choose Zayed Law Firm?
Choosing a qualified, competent, and experienced attorney can drastically improve your chances of successful wrongful death claims. We take a vigorous and result-oriented approach with every wrongful death case in Joliet. Here are some reasons why you should hire us to represent you:
Legal industry recognition
We have received numerous awards for our advocacy from the most selective legal organizations in the country. Our passion and zeal have developed us into a reputable and respected legal firm among clients and our peers.
Years of trial experience
We have decades of trial experience. We have helped many clients battle cases in Joliet for years.
We never settle for less
We don't shy away from taking cases to trial. If we don't feel you're getting the best settlement for your wrongful case, we are ready to leverage our experience, financial resources, and our experts to go to court and maximize your compensation.
Our Joliet wrongful death attorney and legal team have been part of numerous wrongful death cases. We have taken on large corporations and insurers to fight for a fair outcome for our clients. If your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, we can help you too. Contact us at Zayed Law Offices online or by phone at (815) 726-1616 for a free case evaluation.