How does a court determine damages in a wrongful death case?

The death of a loved one in an accident can be traumatizing, but it is important to understand the facts of a case before thinking about possible legal action. Illinois law should be considered to ensure that the actual elements needed for this type of litigation exist in the case. Although each state may differ in specific requirements, there are several common matters that are essential when filing a lawsuit.

In order win wrongful death claim, it must be shown that negligence or intentional behavior has caused the incident leading to the death. Additionally, there must be a pecuniary loss on the part of at least one family member of the decedent. Pecuniary losses could include the medical and burial costs resulting from the incident in question. They could also include lost wages and other support and services that the survivor might have otherwise had available. This type of claim must be filed by an individual appointed to represent the estate of the deceased party. The final compensation amount will be determined by the level of pecuniary injuries.

An incident causing a death that could be subject to wrongful death action might occur because of premises problems, poor road conditions, or bad oversight of an activity. Criminal action can also lead to a wrongful death suit. In such cases, the alleged perpetrator might face criminal action as well as civil trial. Neither type of court action requires that the other occur; however, a conviction in criminal court could strengthen a wrongful death case. It should be noted that a civil trial has a lower standard of proof, which means that a not-guilty verdict in criminal court does not prevent success in a civil action.

Before embarking on a civil case for wrongful death, an individual might want to meet with an experienced lawyer to identify the facts of their specific claim. Additionally, this allows a lawyer to begin to assemble evidence in support of the action.