#1 Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney

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If you are a resident of Chicago, or the greater Chicagoland area, and you have a loved one who suffered a fatal injury due to another party’s negligence or malpractice – you may qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf.

Contact a Chicago wrongful death attorney to discuss your legal options today!

At TorHoerman Law, we have experienced Chicago wrongful death lawyers who would gladly discuss your potential case with no obligation, and free of charge.

In this difficult time, know that you are not alone.

TorHoerman Law is here to help you through the healing process and hold those accountable whose actions, or inactions, resulted in your loved one’s wrongful death.

Contact TorHoerman Law, the best personal injury lawyer Chicago has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Illinois, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be brought by an individual harmed by the passing of a loved one.

This can include:

  • The spouse of a deceased individual
  • A parent of a minor child who has passed
  • Adult children of the deceased

Compensation in a lawsuit is completely dependent on the details of that individual case, however, suing for medical and burial costs, loss of future income and benefits, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship are most common.

No fee unless we win.

That’s our motto and will always be our reality because we do not want anyone to feel as though they cannot hire a lawyer to recover compensation for a wronged situation.

Basically, our firm works on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid unless we win your case.

Table of Contents

TorHoerman Law - The #1 Chicago Wrongful Death Law Firm

The death of a loved one is unimaginable, and the pain, distress, overwhelming expenses, and questions that follow are not easy to handle.

When that loved one’s death is caused by negligence, misconduct, carelessness, or general disregard of another - it is considered a wrongful death.

Grieving family members may file a Chicago wrongful death lawsuit and receive the compensation they deserve to aid in the costs associated with their loss.

While the victim of an accident pays the ultimate price, the agony and grief can take an overwhelming toll on the surviving family members, and that reason is why our firm is so dedicated to helping and fighting for them to receive compensation for their loss.

TorHoerman Law operates a contingency fee basis for all Chicago wrongful death lawsuits, meaning we do not charge for legal services unless compensation is achieved.

So, we are just as dedicated as our clients are to get the best outcome for their wrongful death cases.

While “wrongful death” is a broad term, it can encompass several accidents caused by the carelessness of another - a car accident caused by a driver running a red light, surgical negligence in which an incorrect operation was performed, or death caused by elder abuse at a nursing home.

The causes are unfortunately countless - but if the death was caused by negligence, a Chicago wrongful death claim can be made.

If you have lost a loved one, one of the experienced Chicago wrongful death lawyers from TorHoerman Law may be able to help you receive fair compensation for your loss.

Illinois Wrongful Death Laws

According to Illinois law 740 ILCS 180:

  • “Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages.”

Illinois Wrongful Death Act

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act, initially passed in 1853, yet amended throughout the years, allows family members of a deceased person to recover financial compensation for their losses by holding an at-fault party accountable for their negligence.

Illinois Survival Act

The Illinois Survival Act permits a deceased individual’s estate to recover the same compensation that they would have been entitled to before the time of death such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Both the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act can help the surviving family members of a deceased individual, but the main difference is that instead of focusing on the surviving loved ones, the Illinois Survival Act is primarily concerned with the victim.

However, both claims are typically pursued at the same time, against the same at-fault party(s).

Elements in Proving Fault in a Chicago Wrongful Death Case

To show liability and prove fault, you first must establish:

Negligence

The death was the result of the accused's negligence or intent to harm

Breach of Duty

The accused party owed a duty to the victim.

For example, a doctor or nurse has a legal duty to provide the best care possible to patients.

Causation

In addition to proving that a breach of duty resulted in the death of your loved one - you must also prove how the negligence occurred.

Damages

You, the plaintiff, suffered loss, monetary, or otherwise.

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, an appointment of a personal representative for the deceased's estate must be completed first.

In Illinois, the lawsuit must be filed for the statute of limitations of the underlying cause, or within one year of the deceased person’s date of death, although there are exceptions in certain circumstances.

It is important to contact one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys to ensure your case is filed within the allotted time frame.

What Type of Incident is Considered a Wrongful Death in Chicago, Illinois (IL)?

Again, wrongful death is considered an incident in which a person’s death results from negligence or misconduct by another person.

There is a wide array of incidents that could fall under the definition of wrongful death.

Some of the more common include:

Chicago Personal Injury

Any incident that may fall under the umbrella of a personal injury claim is considered a personal injury.  

Chicago Car Accidents

1,097 deaths occurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents in Illinois in 2017 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  

Chicago Truck Accidents

In 2017 alone, 4,102 people died in semi-truck crashes.  

Chicago Bike or Pedestrian Accidents

Bicyclists and pedestrians accounted for 15% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017 in Illinois.  

Chicago Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of personal injury lawsuits throughout the nation.

According to a study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die as a result of medical malpractice each year.

This makes it the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer.

However, other studies actually claim the number of deaths is much higher.  

Chicago Anesthesia Malpractice

A study of anesthesia-related medical malpractice and wrongful death claims found that between 2005-2013, 2.7% were directly related to anesthesia malpractice.

This type of negligence is one of the more common forms of medical malpractice.  

Work-Related Accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, roughly 5,147 workers were killed on the job, in 2017 alone.  

Impaired Driving

Driving while under the influence, whether by drugs, alcohol, or both, is not acceptable - ever.

Yet, according to the 2019 Illinois DUI Fact Book:

  • “330 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, which was approximately 30 percent of the 1,090 total crash fatalities."  

Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report stating that distracted driving caused the deaths of 3,142 people in 2019 alone.

Those mentioned above are the most common types of wrongful deaths, but wrongful death is not limited to this list, and special circumstances can arise in which other types are eligible to take on the role.

Contact a Chicago wrongful death attorney right away if you have any questions regarding eligibility.  

Damages Awarded in a Chicago Wrongful Death Suit

Pecuniary, or financial, injuries are the most common factor in determining damages awarded in wrongful death lawsuits.

Courts often determine pecuniary damages to include loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses.

Before awarding damages, a pecuniary loss must be determined through several evaluations of the deceased individual - age, character, health state before death, life expectancy, earning capacity, and condition of the heirs, among others.

There are three (3) types of damages commonly awarded in wrongful death lawsuits.

Many lawsuits are settled outside of court, but occasionally a wrongful death case will go to trial where a judge or jury decides the outcome of the case.

These damages encompass both compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may choose to make a demand for one or more types of damages.

Your Chicago wrongful death lawyer can help you determine which of the following three (3) damages you should demand:

1. Economic

Economic damages are the total value of financial contributions that the deceased would have made to the plaintiff(s) if they had not died, along with the costs associated with a death such as medical bills or funeral expenses.

2. Non-Economic

Non-economic damages are intangible costs to the plaintiff(s) as a result of the death - such as emotional distress and suffering, loss of companionship, care, or protection.

3. Punitive

Punitive damages are additional costs to act as punishment for the defendant.

They serve as a monetary lesson for the defendant's negligence or harmful actions.

Additionally, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act was amended in 2007 to allow family members of the deceased to recover compensation for other non-economic damages such as sadness and mental suffering.

Is a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit a Civil Lawsuit or Criminal Lawsuit?

Any wrongful death lawsuit is not the same as a criminal trial.

If a criminal trial does occur, the criminal trial is filed on behalf of the state, and the defendant is tried for breaking a state statute or law.

In Chicago, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by a family member, friend, or associate of the diseased.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed after a criminal trial, even if the defendant is found innocent in the criminal trial.

A Chicago wrongful death lawsuit would always be considered a civil lawsuit.

In most wrongful death cases, a Chicago lawsuit will follow similar procedures and use the same evidence as a criminal trial.

Because the defendant is being tried for damages, rather than a crime, the standard of proof is lower in a wrongful death lawsuit.

In a criminal trial, the defendant must be found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must only prove that the defendant was responsible based on a preponderance of the evidence.

How is a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlement Divided Among Family Members?

As part of a settlement, the agreement will determine how the damages are awarded.

If a lawsuit goes to trial, the jury will often decide how the damages are distributed.

However, there are factors to consider when dividing a settlement because, in Illinois, only the children and heirs can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased individual.

If either of the following apply, a Chicago wrongful death lawsuit can be filed:

  • The deceased individual was survived by minor children
  • If the heirs are adults, they are able to agree upon a fair division of the damages

There are special circumstances where a beneficiary, not directly related, can receive compensation as well.

How Much is the Average Chicago Wrongful Death Claim Settlement?

"How much is my Wrongful Death Lawsuit worth?"

This is a question that we, as Chicago wrongful death attorneys, receive a lot from our clients.

The specifics of any wrongful death lawsuit differ greatly case-by-case, so it's hard to give an average or expected amount for a wrongful death lawsuit settlement.

It is best to talk to your Chicago wrongful death lawyer about the details involved in the loss of your loved one. Then, he or she can better estimate your expected case value.

TorHoerman Law - The #1 Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers

The death of a loved one is never easy, especially when their death results from someone else's negligence or malpractice.

At TorHoerman Law, our goal is to help you through the difficult process by taking the burden of recovering damages off of your shoulders.

If you have any questions, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation on your Chicago wrongful death suit.

A Chicago wrongful death attorney from our law firm would be happy to discuss your case.

At TorHoerman law, we have a team of seasoned wrongful death lawyers, who are experienced and have tried many wrongful death lawsuits in the past.

There are many benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer.

We can pursue legal action on your behalf while you focus on helping your loved ones cope and on prioritizing your own mental health.

We have several decades of experience representing the families of wrongful death victims in the Chicago area.

If you choose to work with us, our attorneys will make sure that you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.

TorHoerman Law operates on a contingency fee basis for all wrongful death lawsuits, meaning we do not charge for our services unless you receive financial compensation.

Contact us today: TorHoerman Law, the best personal injury lawyer Chicago has to offer.

“740 ILCS 180: Wrongful Death Act.” Illinois General Assembly, https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&ChapterID=57

“Distracted Driving.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

“FastStats – Accidents or Unintentional Injuries.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Jan. 2017, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm.

“FastStats – Deaths and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 May 2017, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm.

“Wrongful Death Action.” Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, www.law.cornell.edu/wex/wrongful_death_action.

 

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RESULTS

MORE THAN $4 BILLION AWARDED
IN VERDICTS & NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENTS

$2.4
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ACTOS INJURY LAWSUIT
PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT

$1.5
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SYNGENTA CORN LAWSUIT
CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

$650
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$103.8
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COX-2 INHIBITORS INJURY
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$20
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TOXIC TORT INJURY
CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

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ANTIDEPRESSANT INJURY
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ANTY-PSYCHOTIC DRUG INJURY
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HORMONE REPLACEMENT INJURY
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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION INJURY
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PERSONAL INJURY

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CAR ACCIDENT
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DAYCARE INJURY
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$403
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