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What is a Claim for Wrongful Death of a Child?

wrongful death of a child attorney

The loss of a child is one of the most tragic events for a parent.  No words can express the loss felt every day.  When you feel that loss was from the negligence of another from a car accident, truck crash, medical malpractice, or other negligent act, that loss is more difficult.  Vinkler Law Offices helps families who have lost a loved one by recovering damages for your loss.  Vinkler Law Offices has recovered millions of dollars for families with record settlements and verdicts. 

A lawsuit brings a claim for the loss of a child.  The lawsuit is filed in the county where the responsible person, hospital and/or corporation are.  All the responsible parties, both individuals and corporations, are included after a thorough investigation by your attorneys. They become the defendants.

Many times the facts are so clear the defendants do not want to go to trial against Vinkler Law Offices, and we are able to settle your case before trial.

How Often Does The Wrongful Death of a Child Happen? 

About 12,000 children lose their lives each year according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A child dies needlessly when someone does not do their job.  This is called a wrongful death.  If you feel you lost your child needlessly because someone did not do their job, you are not alone. You need to know what to do to bring a claim for your loss.

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Who Can Make A Claim for the Wrongful Death of a Child?

Either parent has the right to file the lawsuit.  This right is available in the states where the wrong occurred and the lawsuit must follow that state’s laws.  Vinkler Law Offices knows the law in every state and may file your lawsuit in any state.  In Illinois, where we have two offices, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act sets out the requirements. 

In Illinois, under 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180, wrongful death is:

  • A death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default.
  • If death had not occurred, the deceased would have been eligible for damages through a personal injury lawsuit because of the injuries resulting from the wrongful act, neglect, or default.

If both parents are deceased, including from the same occurrence that caused the death of the child, a family member (the “next of kin”) may bring the lawsuit. If your child is no longer under 18 but is unmarried, then either parent may file the lawsuit. Vinkler Law Offices can walk you through all the requirements.

What Is the Recovery for A Wrongful Death Claim for a Child? 

A wrongful death lawsuit recovers money damages from the defendants.  In Illinois, there is no limit to this recovery.  The amount is decided by a jury following a trial. A jury decides the amounts based on the specific facts and circumstances of what happened, and on the close relationship between the parent and the child. 

All states allow similar damages for a Wrongful Death. In Illinois, the damages are: 

  • Hospital and medical expenses 
  • Funeral and burial costs 
  • Lost companionship of the child for the future
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress 

If your child had survived before death occurred, then there are other damages that are provided.  These are called Survivor Damages, and are part of the recovery allowed to the family. 

In some cases there are punitive damages.  These occur when a defendant acted in a way that was reckless, wanton, or willfully egregious.  They are designed to make sure this does not happen again.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Each state has a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for when a Wrongful Death lawsuit must be filed.  In Illinois, the deadline may be one year, but it is usually two years.  If this deadline is missed, then the lawsuit cannot be filed and is barred forever.  This is why time is precious and must not be wasted.

There must be a complete investigation before a lawsuit is filed.  If the Wrongful Death involves medical malpractice, then an expert doctor must review all the medical records and prepare a report to be filed with the lawsuit.  If a truck crash caused the death, there must be a complete reconstruction of how the event happened to make sure all defendants are included.

Speak to a Top Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Today

Wrongful death claims and lawsuits are complicated legal matters. If your child died due to the negligent or reckless actions of another, it is important to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney with expertise in Wrongful Death claims. At Vinkler Law, our skilled team of personal injury lawyers has spent more than 35 years litigating wrongful death cases and obtaining justice for families that have lost loved ones of all ages. Contact Vinkler Law Offices today to schedule a free case review and consultation.