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David J. Brassfield
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The Difference Between an Illinois Wrongful Death & Survival Action

The Difference Between an Illinois Wrongful Death & Survival Action

A recent WREX 13 news article reported a family’s wrongful death action against an NIU fraternity for a student’s death was recently dismissed by a Cook County judge. Under Illinois law, the wrongful death statute provides the surviving spouse and/or the deceased’s next of kin the ability to file a lawsuit in court for emotional and monetary damages suffered as a result of the tragedy. State law has two different parts to a personal injury suit resulting in a wrongful death: (1) the survival action and (2) the wrongful death action. Damages awarded, as well as settlement provisions during negotiations, are determined based on the manner in which the wrongful death suit is brought. The complicated nature of a wrongful death lawsuit demands an experienced Rockford wrongful death attorney to be contacted for legal assistance during this tragic time.

What Law Governs?

Illinois probate law governs lawsuits brought under the state’s wrongful death act. This law dictates the legal process by which the court determines how a deceased’s real and personal property should be distributed. It also details requirements on how an estate can be created which. In a wrongful death claim, the deceased’s estate files a lawsuit in court on behalf of the deceased’s family. After, an administrator is appointed to represent the estate. He or she can request a special administration of the deceased’s estate in probate court. At the same time, the administrator files a cause of action for wrongful death on behalf of the estate.

Wrongful death cases are complicated because they involve both personal injury and probate law.

Wrongful Death Action

An Illinois wrongful death action seeks compensation for damages suffered by those left behind as a result of the death of the victim. The purpose of these damages is to provide support for those left behind, specifically the victim’s next of kin, which is determined by the court. Compensation that may be awarded by a judge in a wrongful death action includes grief and suffering, economic support, and loss of society. Damages awarded in a wrongful death action are paid directly to the surviving next of kin of the victim.

Survival Action

On the other hand, the survival action component of a wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for suffering experienced by the deceased before his or her death. This would include damages incurred after the severe accident, while the victim was still alive. For this reason, these damages often are sought to cover expenses that have already been incurred as a result of the accident. Compensation sought in a survival action that may be awarded by a court includes: disability, pain and suffering lost wages, as well as medical expenses. Damages awarded in a survival action are paid out to the deceased’s estate.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If your loved one has tragically passed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, contact an Illinois wrongful death attorney today for an initial consultation. Because no two wrongful death lawsuits are alike, structuring the claim can be complicated and should be done by a seasoned lawyer. Let an experienced and skilled attorney guide you through during this difficult time. The wrongful death lawyers at Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. can guide you through this complicated process and help to obtain the compensation to which you may be rightly entitled.

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