A family coping with the unexpected death of a loved one may suffer from severe emotional and
financial pressure. Compassionate Robert H. Hanaford wrongful death lawyer in Naples, FL has
spent over 30 years helping his neighbors through the aftermath of a painful loss. He has
proudly represented families in local communities. Mr. Hanaford can listen to the details of
your situation and guide you in pursuing justice after a tragic accident.
File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit to Seek Compensation
Illinois law, at 740 ILCS 80/1, allows the family of a person killed by negligence or
misconduct to bring an action against the person or entity responsible. This wrongful death
lawsuit belongs to the decedent’s family, since the damages are intended to compensate those
who survived the victim for the benefits and services that he or she can no longer provide.
The claim can be filed in addition to a survival action that can be filed by the decedent’s
estate. This type of lawsuit would seek damages for the harm that the family’s lost loved
one suffered before death.
To prevail in a wrongful death claim, a bereaved family must prove four elements with the
assistance of a wrongful death lawyer in Naples, FL:
The defendant owed the decedent a duty of care;
This duty was breached with careless or reckless conduct;
The defendant’s breach caused the victim’s death; and
The family incurred quantifiable damages as a consequence.
In most cases, a defendant will be expected to exercise the same level of care that a
reasonably prudent person would have used in a similar situation. The law sometimes calls
for a higher duty of care, depending on the relationship between the decedent and the
defendant. The existence of a patient-doctor or passenger-carrier relationship, for example,
may require the defendant to exercise a different level of care. Any conduct that falls
short of the appropriate standard of care in a given context likely will be considered a
breach of the duty. For example, a negligent driver may violate it by driving drunk or by
failing to check his or her blind spot before changing lanes. It is also necessary to prove
that the defendant’s unreasonable actions led to the death of the victim and inflicted
losses on his or her family that can be compensated. Damages may be recovered through either
settlement negotiations or a jury verdict. Forms of compensation available in wrongful death
lawsuits are different from those typically awarded in ordinary personal injury claims.
Since the action belongs to the decedent’s heirs, the damages provide reimbursement for the
financial harm that the survivors have suffered as a result of losing their loved one. If
the decedent was the family’s breadwinner, for instance, the lawsuit will likely seek lost
wages that the victim would have provided for relatives had he or she not suffered an
untimely death. The family may also seek damages for the lost services provided by the
decedent. This often includes loss of parenting services for minor children and loss of
consortium for surviving spouses.
Hanaford Law Offices is a personal injury attorney providing
high-quality legal services in Florida across Naples SW Florida and Chicago Illinois.