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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1251541837-min.jpgLosing a loved one because of another person’s negligence is devastating. A fatal accident can bring both emotional and financial stress to an entire family that can be long-lasting. If your family member was killed due to negligence, you may be rightfully seeking to recover damages. The first step to put your family on the path to receiving compensation is determining who has standing to file the claim. If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim, it is important that you consult with a qualified wrongful death lawyer. Your family deserves compensation for their loss - an experienced attorney can advocate for you to receive everything you are entitled to. 

Who Has Standing to Bring a Wrongful Death Action in Illinois? 

In Illinois, wrongful death actions must be brought by the “personal representative” of the deceased. The personal representative is the estate administrator or executor of the person who passed away. If your deceased family member had a will or other estate planning documents, they probably appointed a personal representative. 

However, if the victim did not name someone as their personal representative, the court will need to appoint someone. Generally, the court aims to choose someone the deceased would have chosen themself - most often, this is a close family member. Spouses and adult children are common choices. However, it is not required that the personal representative be a relative. In some cases, courts or individuals will appoint a professional executor if there is a particularly complex estate involved. 

Does the Personal Representative Requirement Affect Who Receives Compensation? 

No - although the wrongful death suit must be brought by a personal representative, he or she is still required to distribute the proceeds to the surviving family members. If the personal representative is someone other than a family member, he or she is not likely to benefit at all from any lawsuit or settlement funds. Compensation in a wrongful death case is paid out to the deceased’s next of kin, regardless of who the personal representative bringing the case is. 

Contact an Illinois Wrongful Death Attorney

If another person’s negligence contributed to your family member’s death, James A. Payonk, Jr., Attorney at Law may be able to help you recover compensation for your loss. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost future earnings, emotional suffering, and other damages. Our experienced Orland Park wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to helping families during this difficult time. Contact us at 708-966-2408 for a free consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&ChapterID=57

 

James A. Payonk, Jr.

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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708-966-2408