Unexpectedly losing a loved one in a car accident or another incident can be a huge shock. You may wonder how to put your life back together emotionally and financially. Filing a lawsuit while grieving your loved one can seem overwhelming.

However, recovering compensation with a wrongful death claim can help you get your life back on track and replace your loved one’s income and contributions to the family. Damages, such as lost wages and funeral costs, can help you move forward during this challenging time. 

You don’t have to struggle alone. Bradley Law’s compassionate Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyers can take some of the weight off your shoulders. We can handle the legal aspects of your claim, allowing you to spend time with your family and adjust to life without your loved one. Get in touch today to discover your legal options in a free case review.

What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Belleville?

Wrongful death can arise in various circumstances involving negligence or intentional wrongdoing. A wrongful death claim is, in essence, a personal injury case in which the plaintiff (the person suing the wrongdoer) has passed away due to their injuries. Some of the most common causes for wrongful death in Belleville, IL include: 

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car, truck, and motorcycle crashes are a leading cause of wrongful death. In 2023, 1275 individuals died in traffic accidents in Illinois. While not all deaths on the road qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, you could be eligible for compensation if another driver caused your loved one’s death. Dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to wrongful death include driving under the influence, speeding, violating road laws, and others.

Medical Malpractice

John Hopkins Medicine says more than 250,000 individuals die each year from medical negligence in the U.S., making malpractice a top cause of preventable deaths in the country. Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Wrong diagnosis or late diagnoses
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Surgery and anesthesia errors 
  • Birth injuries
  • Medication mistakes
  • Removing the wrong organ 
  • Failing to order diagnostic tests 

When your loved one dies due to a medical error, a Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyer can assess your claim to determine your legal options.

Workplace Accidents

Some Illinois workers face employment hazards daily, especially in manufacturing, transportation, and construction. However, even an office worker can suffer a fatal incident at work. 

The family of an employee killed on the job is typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, such as burial expenses and weekly payments for dependents. However, relatives may have legal recourse in certain circumstances, for example, when a third party, such as another contractor, causes the death. They could also sue if an employer isn’t covered by workers’ compensation insurance. 

When your loved one passes away due to a work incident, Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers can determine whether you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages. 

Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to the responsibility of property owners to make their promises reasonably safe and secure for visitors and patrons. If a property owner or lessee fails to adequately maintain properties or neglects to provide security features, and your loved one passes away as a result, you could have a wrongful death case. Premises liability incidents can include slips and falls, attacks and assaults, shootings, and others. 

Other Wrongful Death Causes

The list of incidents that could give rise to a wrongful death claim is almost endless. Any negligent or deliberate act leading to the death of another could lead to legal action by the surviving family members. Here are some additional examples of wrongful death causes:

  • Dangerous and defective products
  • Dog bites
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse 
  • Aviation and boating accidents
  • Accidents in resorts and hotels

If your loved one died in an accident, and you believe you have a wrongful death claim, let us know what happened. Our Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyers can determine your options and move forward with a legal claim.

Compensation for Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence inflicts unimaginable pain on a family. We know that no amount of compensation can turn back the time and bring back your loved one. However, recovering what you deserve can help you cope with the financial losses you experience and provide you with much-needed security. Here’s what you could receive:

Economic Damages

Economic damages can be a lifeline if you have considerable expenses due to your loved one’s passing. These damages cover monetary losses such as the decedent’s healthcare costs before death, funeral costs, and the income your loved one would have contributed to your household had they survived.

Non-Economic Damages

Losing a family member can take a significant emotional toll, especially when the loss is unexpected and sudden. Non-economic damages compensate the close relatives of the decedent, such as their spouse and children, for this intangible suffering. Compensation can include loss of companionship, affection, and support your loved one provided.

Punitive Damages

In cases where a defendant was grossly negligent or willfully caused the death of your loved one, a court may order punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and act as a deterrent against similar actions. Punitive damages are payable to the plaintiffs, such as the spouse or family of the decedent. Besides the financial aspect, punitive damages can provide victims with the sense that “justice was done.” 

How Our Belleville, IL Wrongful Death Lawyers Help Families Get Justice

Handling a wrongful death lawsuit on your own or hiring a law firm without a successful track record can be a mistake. Wrongful death cases are typically complex and involve thorough investigations. You may have to obtain the opinions of industry experts and establish a direct link between the defendant’s actions and your loved one’s death. Our determined attorneys can be by your side and: 

Clarify Your Rights and Legal Options 

We can discuss the circumstances of your loved one’s death in a free case review to determine whether you have a legal case. When moving forward with a lawsuit, our Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyers will regularly keep you informed of your case’s developments and your options, such as accepting a settlement or going to trial. 

Determine the Worth of Your Wrongful Death Case

To have the best chance of recovering a fair settlement, you need to know the full worth of your claim. We can assess the impact of losing your loved one on all aspects of your life, such as the loss of income and services from the deceased and the devastating emotional toll on your family. We take into account all your damages, including future expected losses, when calculating a settlement amount.

Vigorously Fight for What Your Family Deserves 

Even during your most vulnerable time, an insurance company may try to trick you into a lowball settlement offer or even deny your wrongful death claim. Bradley Law doesn’t want you to leave money on the table. If an insurer refuses a fair settlement, our experienced litigators can take your case to trial and fight hard for maximum compensation. 

Work for You on a “No Win, No Fee” Basis

Losing a loved one can cause financial hardship, particularly if their income significantly contributed to the family’s finances. We understand that money can be tight during this distressing time. When our Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyers handle your case, you don’t pay any out-of-pocket legal costs. We only get paid when you win compensation. 


Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Belleville? 

Illinois, unlike some states, does not allow relatives of the deceased individual to file a wrongful death lawsuit per se. Instead, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the suit. Depending on what the will states, a personal representative can be an attorney, friend, the surviving spouse, or other relatives of the deceased. If there is no will, the court typically appoints a personal representative. 

How long does a wrongful death lawsuit typically take?

The duration of a wrongful death lawsuit can vary widely depending on factors such as:

  • The complexity of the case
  • The amount of damages requested
  • Court schedules
  • Settlement negotiations

Some cases are resolved with out-of-court settlements, which may only take a few weeks. However, wrongful death cases can involve high damages, and an insurance company may try to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out a large settlement. Having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can help iron out kinks in the legal process, potentially leading to a faster resolution of your case.

How can a Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyer prove my claim?

An attorney aiming to prove a wrongful death case must establish the following elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The defendant owed your deceased loved one a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive sober to avoid accidents.
  2. Breach of Duty: The defendant breached that duty. An example of breach of duty is a driver running a red light and causing an accident, killing your loved one.
  3. Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused your loved one’s death. Your attorney must prove that the death would not have occurred without the defendant’s negligence or willful action.
  4. Damages: The surviving family members suffer monetary or other damages due to the death.

To prove these elements of a wrongful death lawsuit and build a strong case, a Belleville, IL wrongful death lawyer may gather relevant evidence, including: 

  • Police reports
  • The decedent’s medical records
  • Photos from the accident or incident leading to the death 
  • Physical evidence from the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements

How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Belleville? 

The right timing for your wrongful death lawsuit is critical. Filing your lawsuit too late could cost you the right to pursue compensation. According to Illinois law, you generally have two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, certain factors may shorten or lengthen the time you have to file a lawsuit and seek damages.  

Discuss your claim with a wrongful death lawyer in Belleville, IL as soon as possible to ensure you’re not missing any vital filing deadlines. The sooner you seek legal help, the sooner you and your family can recover the compensation you need to move forward with your life. 

What is the average settlement amount for a wrongful death case?

Pinpointing an average figure for a wrongful death payout is practically impossible as every case is unique, and damages can vary drastically. What you could recover in compensation can depend on the following factors: 

  • Medical expenses before death
  • Costs for funeral and burial
  • Age of the decedent
  • income of your loved one before death
  • Services the deceased contributed to the household 
  • Defendant’s degree of fault 
  • Insurance coverage of the responsible party
  • Quality of legal representation and advocacy
  • Number of dependents relying on the deceased for support

Determine the value of your Belleville wrongful death claim by speaking to an attorney at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers. 

Contact Our Belleville, IL Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help Now

We understand that you have a lot on your plate when a loved one unexpectedly passes away in tragic circumstances. Filing a lawsuit while trying to rebuild your life is exhausting and stressful. However, the time to file a wrongful death lawsuit is limited, and missing the deadline may disqualify you from seeking the compensation you and your family need.

Our aim is to make the legal process as stress-free and straightforward as possible, allowing you to heal while we handle your case. As a small but mighty boutique firm, we treat our clients like family and fight as hard for them as we would for one of our own. Contact us now for a free consultation to find out more.