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Molly’s Law and Wrongful Death Cases in Illinois

What is Molly’s Law?

Losing a loved one is always a tragic experience.  Losing a loved one and not being able to seek justice because of legal time limits is unconscionable.

Until 2016, any wrongful death action had to be brought within 2 years of the date that the decedent passed away. In 2012, a young woman named Molly was killed by a gunshot wound to the head under mysterious circumstances. Molly’s father attempted to gain information about the incident through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, but they were not processed in a timely manner. By the time her father was able to bring a claim, the 2-year statute of limitations had passed, and the court dismissed his case as being untimely.

Fortunately for people who have lost loved ones in violent attacks, House Bill 6083 and House Bill 4715 were signed into law in 2016. Collectively known as “Molly’s Law,” these measures allow family members to file a wrongful death claim within 5 years of losing a loved one if the decedent was killed by violent intentional conduct and increase fines on agencies that fail to release information pursuant to an FOIA request. In addition, the law allows wrongful death claims within one year of the conclusion of a criminal case if the defendant was charged with:

  • First-degree murder
  • Intentional homicide of an unborn child
  • Voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Drug-induced homicide


Do You Need an Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Case?

It is highly advisable for anyone that has lost a family member in an accident or a violent incident to discuss their case with an attorney. Wrongful death litigation is often extremely complicated and the stakes high, meaning that insurance companies and at-fault parties will fight tenaciously to settle cases for as little as possible or deny liability completely. Some of the ways that a lawyer can help include:

  • Review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a claim
  • Investigate the facts surrounding the loss of your loved one and developing evidence in support of your case
  • Assessing all of your compensable losses
  • Attempting to negotiate a settlement offer with the at-fault party or their insurance company
  • Filing a lawsuit on your behalf

Importantly, when you work with our firm, you will never have to pay up front for our legal help. In addition, we will only collect legal fees from you if we win your case.


Call Us Today to Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Chicago

If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional act, there is a good chance that you and your family are entitled to compensation. Michael Brennan has been helping people in Cook County and throughout Illinois recover compensation since 1985 and will review the facts of your case at no cost to you. To schedule a free case evaluation with Michael, call our office today at 708-460-9300 or contact us online.

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