Wrongful death occurs when one person takes the life of another. It can happen in a variety of ways and be intentional or unintentional.
Illinois law allows you to bring a claim for wrongful death to court to seek damages from the other party. But you will need to show his or her actions and negligence led to the death of your loved one. There are a few ways one person could cause the death of another which would fall under the wrongful death law.
Probably the most common wrongful death situation is a car accident. Whether the situation was truly unintentional or the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or doing something that was clearly dangerous, any fatal car accident situation opens the door for a claim. Generally, there is at least one point you can prove to show the other person’s fault and therefore liable for the death of your loved one.
A defective or otherwise dangerous product is another basis for a claim. If your loved one died because they used a product that had a defect, then there is the chance to hold the manufacturer liable. Keep in mind, in these situations, you must show your loved one was using the product out of the package according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Victims of crimes also have wrongful death claims. If someone killed your loved one, then you can go after that person. Remember, wrongful death is a civil matter. The state will go after the person for the criminal element of the death. You may have to wait for the criminal case to go through court, but you still retain the right to go after the person for a wrongful death claim.
The bottom line is any situation where someone’s negligence or intentional actions killed your loved one is a basis for a wrongful death claim.