The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 37,461 people in the United States lost their lives in fatal auto accidents in 2016. This is a 5.6 percent increase from 2015. This also means that an estimated 60 Americans died every day in traffic-related accidents. The risk of fatalities is so high because auto accidents can cause several different kinds of catastrophic injuries that often result in death. Such injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, severe skull or head trauma, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and much more. Even with emergency medical treatment, many accident victims do not survive these catastrophic injuries. At the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett, we understand the aftermath of fatal car accidents and are well-prepared to help you pick up the pieces and deal with the aftermath.
Who Can Recover After a Fatal Car Accident?
Fatal car accidents are governed by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/1). Under that body of law, the parents and next of kin of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one.
What Compensation is Available?
Wrongful death lawsuits are unique in that compensation is calculated in order to fill the void that the decedent left after he or she died. Here are some common scenarios from which compensation may be derived:
- The decedent worked and provided for the home, so compensation for loss of their income may be available.
- The decedent was married and the other spouse is still living, so compensation for loss of companionship may be available.
- The decedent left behind medical bills and funeral expenses due to the fatal car accident, so compensation may be available to pay those expenses.
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
Illinois sets a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state is generally two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Contact a Lawyer You Can Trust
For a confidential, compassionate, in-depth, free, and, most importantly, thorough consultation with a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer about a fatal auto accident injury case in Rockford, Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, Oregon, Loves Park, Byron, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton, or elsewhere in the State of Illinois, call or text message us at (815) 391-0089, or e-mail us 24/7/365. We offer in-office consultations, and routinely make visits to clients’ homes, hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other off-site locations to make retaining our services as easy as possible.