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What Are My Legal Options if My Loved One Was Killed by a Drunk Driver?

 Posted on October 16, 2020 in Wrongful Death

Winnebago County wrongful death attorneysDrunk driving takes the lives of over 10,000 Americans each year. If your loved one was killed in a car accident involving a driver under the influence of alcohol, you may be interested in learning about your legal options. While no legal remedy can ever truly make up for your tragic loss, a wrongful death claim may enable you to recover compensation for the financial harm caused by your loved one’s death.

Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim

Drunk drivers who cause fatal auto accidents can face significant criminal consequences. Surviving loved ones of those killed in drunk driving accidents also have the option of bringing a civil claim against the drunk driver. Through a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive financial compensation for:

  • The loss of your loved one’s financial support
  • The loss of your loved one’s household services, including homemaking and caring for children
  • The medical bills incurred between your loved one’s accident and his or her death
  • The loss of your loved one’s companionship
  • The loss of parental guidance experienced by minor children of the deceased person
  • Mental suffering and grief experienced by surviving family members
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Wrongful death claims involving fatal drunk driving accidents may also include an award of punitive damages. Unlike damages intended to compensate a victim’s family for financial losses, punitive damages are intended to penalize the drunk driver for his or her actions.

Bringing a Claim for Damages After Losing Someone in a Car Accident

In Illinois, a wrongful death claim is brought by a “personal representative” of the deceased. This is often a spouse, parent, adult child, or sibling, or another close relative. Damages in a wrongful death claim are paid to the deceased person’s surviving spouse and children or the next of kin. There is a one-year statute of limitations for Illinois wrongful death claims. If you do not file your claim within this time period, the court may refuse to hear the case. Therefore, it is important to get started on your claim as soon as possible.

Contact a Winnebago County Car Accident Lawyer

A civil claim may help hold a drunk driver responsible for the harm he or she has caused. It may also provide financial relief to the deceased person’s immediate family. To learn more, Contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law. Call our office today at 815-215-7561 today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Rockford wrongful death attorney.




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