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Honoring Loved Ones: Compassionate Legal Support in Wrongful Death Cases

When lives are tragically changed because of a death caused by the negligence of another person, recovery of damages can never adequately compensate the loved ones left behind. If you are searching for the very best Chicago wrongful death attorney, you have found the right law firm. At Meyers & Flowers, compassion and vigorous advocacy are the cornerstones of our representation of families who have been forced to deal with unnecessary tragedy.

Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit under Illinois law?

Most commonly, wrongful death actions are brought by the closest family member such as the deceased's spouse or the deceased's children. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any surviving children, other next of kin that are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit include parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. If the deceased was a child, parents and siblings are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any next of kin, the deceased's estate itself can bring a wrongful death action.

Man holding a rose at a funeral.

What If the Deceased Person Survived for a Period of Time After Sustaining Injuries?

If the deceased individual survived for any period of time after receiving the fatal injuries, his or her personal representative is entitled to bring a suit, referred to as a survival action, on behalf of the deceased person, to recover damages for the personal injury suffered before death.

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What Are My First Steps in a Wrongful Death Suit?

Your very first steps should involve asking yourself whether or not you think your situation meets the criteria outlined above. According to Illinois law, those four factors — duty, breach, causation, and damages — must be able to be clearly identified. Of course, we’ll help you determine whether these circumstances are met, from a legal standpoint, but it certainly helps to evaluate these issues on your own.

If you think that they have, in fact, been met, then your next step is to reach out to the legal team at Meyers & Flowers. We’ll meet with you, and determine whether or not your case is valid. If it is, the process will likely involve the following steps:

  • Investigation, during which we go through all the evidence that pertains to your case. We’ll work with experts and whomever else we need to, in order to uncover everything there is to know about your case and the party that should be held legally responsible.
  • Negotiation involves the process during which we’ll meet with other parties (like insurance companies, for example), in the hopes that we can all reach an agreement when it comes to a settlement.
  • Litigation will be what happens if we’re not able to reach an agreement during the negotiation process, and it turns out your case must go to trial.
  • Resolution involves ensuring that your compensation is delivered to you in a way that is prompt and appropriate

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Case in Illinois?

Simply put, a wrongful death is any instance where someone is killed, and it’s someone else’s fault. This often involves a situation like a fatal car accident, or a serious error that resulted in death during a medical procedure. To qualify as a wrongful death in the state of Illinois, these criteria must be met:


This means the defendant owed a specific duty to the victim. In a general sense, this could imply a driver’s duty to operate their car safely and prevent the deaths of other drivers. In a more specific sense, this could refer to a doctor’s duty to safely operate on their patient.


A breach implies that the defendant didn’t perform their duty, and it caused the victim’s death. This could be something like a drunk driver’s decision to operate a vehicle under the influence, or a doctor’s failure to operate safely.


This criteria shows that it was specifically the defendant’s actions that caused the victim’s death. In other words, if the defendant had not done what they did, the victim would almost certainly still be living.


Survival damages involve the period of time during which the victim was alive after the injury, but before death. Family members who would have lost either services or monetary benefits from the victim are also entitled to compensation.

What Can a Wrongful Death Suit Do for Me?

Wrongful death cases allow families to seek compensation from the negligent party for damages suffered after the loss of a loved one. Generally, family members who are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit include a surviving spouse and/or surviving children.

These family members bring a lawsuit for injuries the deceased family member suffered, injuries the family members themselves have sustained due to loss of society, and future damage, such as wages lost as a result of loss of a loved one.

The top wrongful death attorneys at Chicago based Meyers & Flowers, retain nationally-recognized experts, to aggressively seek and obtain the full compensation available to surviving family members.

What Are Some Examples of a Wrongful Death Case?

  • Car Accidents are one of the most common causes of leading death, and can come either from road issues or driver negligence
  • Medical Malpractice cases often involve misdiagnosis or the failure to properly diagnose an issue, but can also involve surgical errors and other problems.
  • Workplace Accident suits involve deaths that occur at high-risk jobs, especially if safety precautions weren’t properly observed.
  • Product Defects that result in the death of an individual often warrant a wrongful death case, and can involve anything from toxic foods to dangerous toys.
  • Trucking Accidents are distinct from auto accidents, in that semi-trucks are far larger vehicles that cause death with more frequency.
  • Pedestrian Accident suits can involve driver negligence, but also sometimes involve the fault of the city or county, due to problems with the roadway.
  • Plane Accidents tend to be fairly rare, but can involve high numbers of deaths when they actually do occur.

It costs nothing to meet with our top Chicago wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation. There will be no fee unless we win your case. For more information on Wrongful Death cases, contact our offices to speak to a Meyers & Flowers wrongful death attorney.

What Types of Compensation Are Available?

Wrongful death damages often include the damages that are visited upon parties related to the deceased victim. In other words, those that survive the wrongful death will be missing out on these items, that were a regular part of their lives when the victim was still living.

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of consortium

Damages, in a more general sense, tend to include losses that were incurred by the actual victim. These losses would have been made available to survivors in the event of the victim’s death, and are often incurred during a time period between injury and the victim’s eventual passing:

  • Medical expenses
  • Past lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disability
  • Property damage

Frequently Asked Questions on Wrongful Death Cases

What is the definition of a wrongful death case?

A wrongful death case can be defined as a legal claim filed on behalf of a deceased person who died as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In most regions of the country, immediate family members, including spouses, children, and parents of the deceased, are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Some jurisdictions also allow extended family members or dependents to file.

What types of incidents can result in a wrongful death case?

Various incidents can lead to wrongful death cases. These can include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, product defects, premises liability, and more.

What types of compensation can be sought in a wrongful death case?

Compensation in a wrongful death case can encompass a range of factors, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial expenditures, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, and additional relevant factors.

What is the burden of proof in a wrongful death case?

The burden of proof in a wrongful death case is typically the same as in a civil lawsuit—preponderance of evidence. This means that the evidence must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant's actions caused the death.

Is there a time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Yes, there is a statute of limitations that varies by jurisdiction, which sets a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Clients who miss this deadline may lose the right to pursue their claim.

Can a criminal case and a wrongful death case be filed simultaneously?

Yes, a criminal case and a wrongful death case can be pursued simultaneously. While a criminal case focuses on punishing the defendant, a wrongful death case seeks compensation for the victim's family.

How does the court determine liability in a wrongful death case?

Liability is determined by establishing that the defendant's negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions directly caused the death. This often involves presenting evidence and expert testimony.

Can a settlement be reached in a wrongful death case?

Yes, many wrongful death cases are resolved through settlements. The parties negotiate a compensation amount outside of court. If an agreement is reached, the case is typically dismissed.

Do I need an attorney for a wrongful death case?

If you're contemplating pursuing a wrongful death case, it's strongly advisable to seek the expertise of a seasoned wrongful death attorney. A skilled and experienced attorney can help clients navigate the legal proceedings, assist in assembling evidence, engage in settlement negotiations, and provide representation in court if the situation demands.

As laws can vary by jurisdiction, it's important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your area if you have specific questions about a wrongful death case. At Meyers and Flowers, we have years of experience in serving the greater Chicagoland area and other regions of Illinois. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation and discuss your options.

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