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Wrongful Death

Posted by attorney Richard Schroeder

A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or entity. Understandably, this can have devastating emotional and financial consequences for surving family members. As a result, a surviving spouse, child or parent can file a wrongful death lawsuit. To have a wrongful death lawsuit, it must pertain to the death of a person as a result of someone else's negligence and there must be surviving family members who are suffering or will suffer a monetary loss due to the death. Wrongful death lawsuits may be applicable when death is due to:

  • car or trucking accidents
  • medical malpractice
  • defective products
  • dangerous construction sites
  • nursing home abuse and neglect

Wrongful death lawsuits are governed by a different two-year statute of limitations that begins to run on the date of death. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 180/2 (Westlaw 2010). However, such an action can only be brought if, on the date of death, the decedent could still have commenced a malpractice action for the injury that caused the death. Wolf v. Bueser, 279 Ill. App. 3d 217, 664 N.E.2d 197, cert. denied, 168 Ill. 2d 629, 671 N.E.2d 745 (1996).

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