What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?

A wrongful death lawyer has two primary functions. The first and most fundamental of these functions involve fully grasping the specifics of this area of the law. The most germane aspect in Illinois involves the Wrongful Death Act, which was amended in May 31 of 2007. For roughly a century and a half prior to that date, damages could not be awarded damages for “grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.”

Indeed, since 1867 in Chicago and throughout Illinois, the law has stated that there will be “no recovery for bereavement” and “nothing can be given as solatium.” In other words, no matter how painful the bereavement, pain and suffering is and has been for the widow or next of kin; compensation for such considerations was not available. As is easily imaginable, this was an aspect in wrongful death cases heavily depended upon by defendants, insurers and their attorneys. It hampered what juries were allowed to award plaintiffs.

Nowadays, however, the act has been amended; rather than favoring the interests of defendants and potentially powerful parties, Illinois law provides a distinct course of action for families and loved ones of the decedent. The act now provides a cause of action allowing for survivors to recover money damages they are suffering due to their decedent’s death.

The act now reads the following: “In every such action the jury may give such damages as they shall deem fair and just compensation with reference to the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death, including damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, to the surviving spouse and next of kin of such deceased person.” – 740 ILCS 180/2

In such cases, a lawyer can explain something as complex as these changes (and their causes) or simpler aspects of legal speak and definitions, such as what pecuniary means (consists of or is measured by money). This guidance and navigation about all phases of your legal challenges relates to the second primary function of being a lawyer in this field, and that is the actual service to the client.

The law can be a complex and sophisticated discipline that is confusing for many. When you add to that the pain and confusion of someone who has recently lost a loved one, navigation of these matters can seem impossible. A skillful Davie personal injury lawyer can inspire confidence and clarity from the initial visit.