If a loved one has died as a result of somebody else’s negligence, you’re no doubt ready to begin the legal proceedings. But how do you even start? Even if one knows that they have a viable case on their hands, beginning the quest for justice can be overwhelming, let alone seeing it through.
As a team of injury lawyers serving the Chicago region, JD Haas is here to help. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago, guiding you around common mistakes and pitfalls.
Know if You’re Eligible to File a Claim
Even if you know you have a viable case, in Chicago and the Illinois state as a whole, you must be of a certain relation to the deceased in order to file a claim. Family members, spouses, and children generally can go forward with the legal proceedings—but keep in mind that if you were in a long-term partnership without being married, you cannot file a claim. You also must be a representative of your loved one’s estate.
Keep in mind that ultra-specific local laws can apply, too, depending on where the event took place. It’s best to contact a skilled injury attorney to help you work through the fine print.
What Does the Claims Process Look Like?
This varies depending on the case. The first and most important step is to contact a wrongful death attorney with experience working in the Chicago area, since familiarity with local law is obviously an asset. Broadly and generally speaking, you’ll then work together with your wrongful death attorney to do the following:
In other words, you’ll work with your wrongful death lawyer to collect evidence. This can range in nature from police reports—which are available via a FOIA request, per the Chicago Police Department’s official website—to medical expenses and photographs. These help to build up your case’s credibility.
Proceed to Court or With Insurance
Even in a wrongful death case, you don’t need to go to court if you don’t wish to. Sometimes, you can receive a settlement by arbitration. This, per the Legal Dictionary, is “a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution in which the parties work out the disputed issue without going to court.” To learn more about this topic, read our car crash injury lawyer blog that touches on the subject in that context.
JD Haas: Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers Determined to Do What’s Right
Don’t wait a second longer to get the justice you deserve. To learn more about our wrongful death attorney team, reach out to us at 952-345-1025. We’re licensed to practice in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, and New Mexico.