Approximately 98,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical malpractice. Among these victims, approximately 7,000 die due to medication errors, such as a physician prescribing the wrong type of medication for the victim’s illness or by prescribing the wrong dosage. In fact, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death for Americans, behind only cancer and heart disease.

If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is similar to, but not exactly like, a personal injury claim. Certain damages may be compensated through a wrongful death claim, and these damages can depend on the individual who files the claim.

Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

Any of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim in Illinois:

  • An adult child of the victim;

  • The victim’s spouse;

  • The victim’s parent;

  • A personal representative of the victim’s estate.

In Illinois, damages from a wrongful death claim are required to be paid to the victim’s “next of kin,” which is usually the victim’s spouse or child. If the victim had no spouse or dependents and the victim had no will, damages may be awarded according to Illinois’ intestacy laws.

Which Damages Can be Recovered Through a Wrongful Death Claim?

A claimant can receive compensation for the following damages through a wrongful death claim in Illinois:

  • The loss of the victim’s income and employment benefits, both current and projected;

  • The loss of the projected inheritance that the victim would have provided;

  • The loss of the victim’s companionship and guidance;

  • The claimant’s own mental anguish following the death;

  • The victim’s medical expenses before his or her death; and

  • The victim’s funeral and burial expenses.

Certain damages are awarded directly to the victim’s loved ones and others, such as compensation for the funeral and burial expenses, are awarded to the victim’s estate because these costs are billed to the estate.

Work with an Experienced Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you and your family can face a substantial financial burden on top of the emotional burden you are feeling. Do not allow your loss to bankrupt you – instead, work with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for your damages. Contact our team at Baizer Kolar P.C. to set up your free legal consultation with us and learn more about your rights and your legal options for pursuing a wrongful death claim.