Under common law, a civil action for a wrongful death did not exist. In response, Illinois enacted the Wrongful Death Act, thus allowing the survivors, i.e. spouse and/ or next of kin, a means to bring an action for damages based upon the wrongful act, neglect, or default that resulted in the decedent’s death.
This statue does not allow the next of kin to step in the shoes of the decedent to bring a cause of action in his place for his injuries had he not died. Rather, the statute allows for a whole separate cause of action, by giving the survivors the opportunity and legal means to seek monetary damages to compensate them for the pecuniary loss that resulted from the decedent’s death. In essence, the Wrongful Death Act is about the survivors, not the decedent.
It is important to remember that the Illinois Wrongful Death Act is just the vehicle that supplies the means for the cause of action, and that many further steps are required. Shay & Associates has the knowledge and understanding of the law to help you deal with the complexity of a wrongful death case.
This weblog does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is intended to be established due to reading this weblog. If you suffer from the above described injury, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your right to recovery is protected.