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  • Best Law Firms
    Best Law Firms

    Power Rogers & Smith has not only been honored with one Best Law Firms designation, but five!

  • Inner Circle of Advocates
    Inner Circle of Advocates

    This is a rare and exclusive legal honor limited to the top 100 attorneys in the US, and we are proud to have three of our attorneys included.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    Membership in this organization is invitation-only, and extended only to the very best trial lawyers who display the highest degrees of professionalism and ethics.

  • Best Lawyers in America
    Best Lawyers in America

    All three of our firm’s partners have been included in the list of The Best Lawyers in America for exceptional representation of plaintiffs in cases.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Membership is invitation-only and only extended after a careful vetting process during which lawyers are evaluated on criteria such as experience and integrity.

  • Law Dragon
    Law Dragon

    Lawdragon recognizes the top attorneys in the nation based on a process of law firm nominations, votes and comments from legal professionals, and editorial research.

  • Illinois Super Lawyers
    Illinois Super Lawyers® Top 10 Lawyers

    Super Lawyers® is a prestigious rating services that recognizes the top 5% of attorneys in each state based on a process of peer review and independent research.

Illinois Wrongful Death Act: 740 ILCS 180/1

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act is detailed in 740 ILCS 180/1 (ILCS here refers to the Illinois Compiled Statutes). It affords family members of wrongfully killed individuals the right to recover financial compensation.

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Illinois?

According to The Illinois Wrongful Death Act, wrongful death actions must be commenced within two years of the death of the individual. Wait longer than this, and you will be barred from pursuing legal action against the offenders, absent a special circumstance. Read more about the statute of limitations.

Are there caps on damages in Illinois?

Some states have a cap on damages that limit the amount of money plaintiffs can recover in a wrongful death action, particularly noneconomic damages, which include compensation for things like pain and suffering. In 2010, Illinois overturned a five-year-old law that limited noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. From 2005 until 2010, Illinois plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases could not recover more than $500,000 in noneconomic damages in actions against doctors and not more than $1 million in actions against hospitals. Read more about caps on damages.

Who can recover wrongful death compensation?

If the victim of the wrongful act is deceased, who has the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim? According to Section 2 of the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the surviving spouse and next of kin to the decedent have the right to pursue wrongful death claims. Read more about who can recover.

What types of damages can plaintiffs recover?

The purpose of damages in wrongful death claims is to benefit the decedent’s surviving spouse and next of kin. This might include compensation for things like grief, sorrow, mental suffering, and funeral expenses. In all wrongful death actions, the jury is allowed to award compensation in an amount that they determine is fair and just. Read more about wrongful death damages.

Contributory Negligence

In some cases, the defendant may argue that the decedent was partially responsible for the events that led to his or her death. This is called contributory negligence. Contributory negligence does not invalidate a wrongful death claim, but it can reduce the damages recovered. In Illinois, if the jury determines that contributory negligence exceeds 50%, then the case may be dismissed. If the jury determined that the decedent was between 1 and 49% responsible for his or her injuries, their award will be proportionately reduced.

Want to learn more? Contact our Chicago wrongful death attorneys!

The Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. have extensive experience dealing with these types of claims. In fact, our largest settlement (and Illinois’ largest injury award to a single family) of $100 million was a wrongful death case in which a Chicago family lost six children in a crash caused by an unqualified truck driver. You can read more about our case results here. For a free evaluation of your wrongful death case, contact us today!

  • Experience

    Since 1993 when we first opened the doors of our law practice, Power Rogers & Smith has handled some of the largest personal injury cases for plaintiffs in the state of Illinois – and won. With our experience, we aren’t afraid to stand up to large corporations and insurance companies in court.

  • Success

    Power Rogers & Smith has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for its clients – that’s $800 million more than our closest competitor since 2000. These results include many record-setting and regulation-changing outcomes as well, including a $100 million settlement for victims of a trucking accident – Illinois’ largest injury award to a single family.

  • Contingency Fee

    Victims of tragic and life-altering accidents are suffering – physically, emotionally, and financially. We take the financial burden off victims by working on a contingent fee. This means that you do not pay unless/until we secure a financial recovery for you. You focus on healing. We’ll take care of the rest.

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Questions About Wrongful Death Cases

  • What is Considered “Wrongful Death”

    A: A wrongful death case is a tragic event when a loved one dies due to someone else's wrongful negligence.

  • Is a Wrongful Death Case a Criminal Case?

    A: No. A wrongful death case is allows the plaintiff to obtain money damages from those responsible for the death of a loved one.

  • What Kind of Attorney do I Need?

    A: Wrongful death cases can be complex and difficult to navigate. It’s imperative that you seek out a skilled attorney who specializes in this area of law.