Wrongful Death and Survival Actions — Who Can Bring These Cases?


Every state has its own wrongful death statute. The Illinois statute is found at 740 ILCS section 180. As opposed to some other states, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows the family members of a deceased accident victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages. According to our wrongful death lawyers in Joliet, here are some examples of the types of damages that family members are allowed to seek in these cases:

  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium
  • Loss of future income, benefits, and inheritance
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Survival Claims

So long as the decedent survived the fatal accident for just a few moments, an Illinois survival action is almost always added as a second count to the wrongful death case. This count is brought by the decedent’s estate. Here are some of the damages that the estate is allowed to seek in a survival count:

  • Medical expenses until the time of death
  • Property damage
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability until the time of death

Common Wrongful Death Actions

A criminal act might be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit, but most wrongful death cases are brought under the law of negligence. Here are a few examples of the types of accidents that might result in a wrongful death action:

  • Airplane, train, or bus crashes
  • Auto, truck, and motorcycle crashes
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Accidents occurring on real estate that is owned or occupied by somebody else
  • Dangerously defective products
  • Medical malpractice

You Must Proceed Carefully

Wrongful death cases raise complicated issues involving negligence and damages. They need to be investigated thoroughly so that all proper defendants are included in the case. Families contemplating the filing of a wrongful death case are encouraged to retain an experienced, aggressive, and effective law firm. Without such representation, they’re likely to be offered far less than the actual value of the case. By accepting a low offer from one defendant, a family might inadvertently terminate its right to proceed against other defendants.

If you lost a family member in or around Will County as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, contact the wrongful death lawyers in Joliet at Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C. You can arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation with a wrongful death lawyer from our law firm. You can also use our easy contact form at (815) 726-9999. Our mission is to maximize and proceeds that you might receive through a settlement or award.