Former State's Attorney With Over 35 Years of Experience

When a person dies as a result of another person or entity’s misconduct or negligence, the surviving family members might decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The death might be a result of a car accident, medical malpractice, drowning or boating accident, or premise liability accident.

Wrongful death cases are a complex area of legal practice and they require knowledge, experience, and compassion. At Michael J. Brennan, our wrongful death lawyers have a unique blend of experience, professionalism, and sympathy that we bring into play on behalf of grieving family members.

We understand that a loved one’s death can be emotionally traumatizing for the surviving family members. As such, our wrongful death attorneys work tirelessly to help clients seek compensation for loss of companionship, burial expenses, and the deceased’s lost wages, and bring the responsible parties to book.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We are prepared to help you recover just and fair compensation and get you the peace you deserve.

 

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

To understand what a wrongful death claim is, we must first understand what it is not. A wrongful death claim does not result in criminal prosecution. It will not lead to fines with a conviction or result in prison time, and the district attorney does not participate in bringing these causes of action.

Rather, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit. If you file a wrongful death lawsuit and your claim is successful, you will receive financial compensation from the responsible party. These claims are brought about by any death resulting from a negligent or intentional act of another 

individual or entity.

Wrongful death claims can result from various negligent acts. The commonest examples of wrongful death claims include medical malpractice, slip and fall injuries, car accidents, violent crime, motorcycle accidents, and sporting accidents, just to mention but a few. Usually, wrongful death claims lead to wrongful death lawsuits, which are filed against the responsible party.

Wrongful death claims are complex and they usually come at a time when your family is emotionally distraught. If you have a viable wrongful death claim, do not handle it yourself. Let our experienced wrongful death attorneys take the pressure of handling legal claims off your shoulder so that you can focus on dealing with your grief.

 

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful deaths are commonly caused by:

Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents describe any type of accident involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, and pedestrians that are hit by vehicles. In 2020, Americans drove less due to the pandemic; however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that an estimated 38,680 individuals died in motor vehicle crashes. Aggressive, drunk, or distracted driving can result in the death of another driver or pedestrian.

Medical Malpractice: Doctors and nurses whose substandard care results in the death of a patient(s) commit medical malpractice. Serious medical errors include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, improper transfusions, or over and under treatment.

Work-Related Accidents: If your loved one falls at work and breaks his/her arm, that is a valid personal injury case. However, if your loved one falls at work and dies because of the injuries, you can file a wrongful death suit. The surviving family members of a deceased worker can go beyond workers’ compensation benefits if another employee caused the death of their loved one.

Working with a law firm that understands your case is ideal. Here at Michael J. Brennan, our wrongful death lawyers can handle all types of wrongful death cases, as well as your wrongful death action. Our law firm is committed to bringing the individual or entity responsible for your loved one’s death to justice, and recompensing you or your family for the burial expenses, emotional trauma, and the loss of future income of the deceased.

 

How Much Is A Typical Wrongful Death Settlement?

There is no “typical” or “average” settlement amount for a wrongful death case. This is because cases differ and no two outcomes are the same. For example, a jury awarded $150 billion to the parents of Robert Ray, who was horrifically burned when he was 8 years old and died 12 years later of skin cancer. On the other hand, a New York Pharmacy agreed to pay $22 million in damages after the pharmacy truck careened into Shirley Miller, causing massive brain injury.

Because case outcomes differ, an experienced wrongful death attorney can evaluate your wrongful death claim and determine how much compensation you should pursue. A wrongful death attorney from our law firm can look at the extent of your losses and the circumstances of your case and help you recover compensation.

 

Can Pain and Suffering Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

If you are thinking about bringing a wrongful death case on behalf of a deceased victim, you can sue for various damages, including pain and suffering. While the victim may not have survived the accident, the physical and mental pain and suffering that the victim experienced before passing away can be calculated and claimed by the victim’s family. This can include medical expenses that accumulated between when the accident occurred and when the victim passed away and lost wages for the time the victim spend out of work.

At our law firm, we provide compassionate representation for families throughout Chicago with wrongful death claims. If you have sufficient evidence that your family member did not pass away immediately but suffered before his or her death, a wrongful death attorney from our law firm can pursue a claim for your loved one’s pain and suffering and help you recover fair compensation for your pecuniary losses.

 

How Do I Prove a Wrongful Death Claim? 

To prove a wrongful death claim, you need to prove four elements:

  1. Negligence: A surviving spouse, children, or parents (plaintiffs) of the deceased must prove that the deceased’s death was caused partly or entirely by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of the accused.
  1. Breach of Duty: The plaintiff needs to prove a breach of duty by showing that the accused was negligent.
  1. Causation: After proving breach of duty, the plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of their loved one.
  1. Damages: The plaintiff will also need to prove quantifiable damages, including medical bills, burial costs, lost wages, and a loss of inheritance, guidance, and protection.

Proving these points yourself can be difficult. A wrongful death lawyer from our firm can help you produce strong and convincing evidence and help you build your case around the evidence and facts that you have gathered. We can go to where the accident happened and gather all the relevant information that will help you win your case. Feel free to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer from our firm.

Is Wrongful Death Hard to Prove?

How hard or easy it is to prove wrongful death depends on the case. Some cases require witness statements, thorough investigation, and evaluations by experts. Other cases are more clear-cut. To recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit or claim, you need to prove negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages. You should work with a wrongful death lawyer to walk with you throughout the entire process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

 

What Damages Can You Claim in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim three types of damages: punitive, non-economic, and economic.

Punitive damages are geared toward punishing the accused and are purposed to deter similar behavior in the accused and the larger public. Usually, punitive damages are awarded if the accused was negligent or reckless to the point of criminality.

Non-economic damages are the psychological and emotional impacts of losing a family member. These include:

Economic damages are the financial losses resulting from the victim’s death: these include:

On your own, you may find it difficult or daunting to claim damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. This is where we come in. Our wrongful death attorneys have proven successful results in wrongful death damages and can help you receive the monetary damages you are entitled to. 

Our law firm has the training, experience, and resources to help with your wrongful death case. Call us to schedule a free consultation. We will handle your wrongful death case with the highest level of professionalism and compassion.

 

Who Can Recover for Wrongful Death in Chicago?

Just like only certain family members can file a lawsuit, only certain family members can recover for wrongful death. When the victim’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person, wrongful death can be recovered by the victim’s surviving spouse, children, and domestic partner. If they were dependent on the deceased, the putative spouse and the putative spouse’s children, stepchildren, or parents can recover in wrongful death. A minor who has been dependant on the deceased and has been living in the deceased’s household can also recover for wrongful death.

If you are any of the above to a deceased loved one, a wrongful death attorney from our firm can help you recover for wrongful death. We understand that you may be left with medical bills and may have to cover funeral costs; as such, we do everything possible to get you compensated and hold the responsible parties accountable for their wrongdoings

 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Chicago, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is an individual that is named in the deceased person’s estate plan or will. If the deceased left no estate plan or will, the personal representative will be appointed by the court.

 

Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help with a Personal Injury Claim? 

Wrongful death lawsuits can apply to nearly all types of personal injury situations, including medical negligence, falls, and auto accidents. This is because a wrongful death claim works just like a personal injury case. As such, a wrongful death lawyer can also help with a personal injury case.

At Michael J. Brennan, our personal injury lawyers focus on cases related to car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, and wrongful death, just to mention but a few. If someone else’s negligence has caused you serious injuries, we are here to get you the justice you deserve and prevent you from risking financial ruin because of another individual’s actions.

If you have been involved in a fatal accident caused by another party, our personal injury lawyers can help you file a serious injury claim. We fight for the injured person and guarantee that the turning point in your case will happen when you work with us. 

 

Let Our Trained, Experienced, and Professional Attorneys Handle Your Wrongful Death Claims

There are hundreds of law firms in Chicago. Here is why you should choose ours.

At Michael J. Brennan, we concentrate our legal practice in areas concerning medical malpractice, serious personal injury, wrongful death, and auto accidents. Whether your loved one has passed away due to a truck accident or a car accident, we are here to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf and get you the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you cannot afford an attorney to handle your wrongful death action, you can rest easy knowing that our wrongful death lawyers provide free initial consultations on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay for our legal services unless we secure a settlement or verdict for you.

Our attorneys can help you file a legal claim within the required period so that you do not miss out on the deadline. We also review your case for free and once you have signed a contract with our firm, we prepare your case with a plan tailored to your goals. We want the insurance companies to know that we mean business so we do not take chances when it comes to preparing your case.

Contact us at 708-460-9300. If you choose to contact us by completing the contact form on our website, do not include any confidential or sensitive information because the contact form sends information by non-encrypted mail, which is not secure. Bear in mind that completing a contact form, sending a text message, or calling our office does not establish an attorney-client relationship.