Damages in Illinois Wrongful Death Cases
What types of damages can plaintiffs recover?
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 180/1, a cause of action is brought by the Special Administrator for the benefit of the widow and next of kin for their “pecuniary injuries.” The term pecuniary injuries includes benefits of a pecuniary value such as money, goods, and services received by the next of kin of the deceased (i.e. lost wages, loss of services).
When there are surviving children, it also includes the instruction, moral training, and superintendence of education that the children would have received from the deceased parent. Pecuniary injuries also include the loss of consortium by the surviving spouse, the loss of society of a son/daughter’s parent, or, in the case of an unmarried adult, the loss of society to his/her parent, and, in some circumstances, the loss of society of a sibling.
Who do wrongful death damages benefit?
According to the Act, “The amount recovered in every such action shall be for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin of such deceased person.” The jury in wrongful death cases has authority to award damages that they deem as fair and just. This can include damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.
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If you recently lost a loved one, we encourage you to contact our Chicago wrongful death attorneys. We are here for you to help you determine your legal rights and options, as well as answer any questions you might have. Wrongful death law can be complex, so we encourage you to get in touch with a law firm that is experienced in this field. Our “Best Law Firms” rated practice has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Get your free consultation today!