Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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The Survival Act of Illinois, 755 ILCS 5/27-6 was enacted to preserve causes of action that accrued and existed before the death of the plaintiff.  Under the Common Law, while the plaintiff was alive after an injury, a claim could be made for medical expenses, lost earning, and pain and suffering.  Prior to the creation of the Survival Act, the law was such that these causes of action died with the plaintiff.  The Survival Act created a way for the representative of the decedent to preserve the actions for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering from the time of the occurrence to the time of death.

The Survival Act of Illinois is actually found within the Probate Act.   Section 27-6 (Actions which survive) states, in part, that  in addition to the actions which survive by the common law, the following also survive: …actions to recover damages for an injury to the person(except slander and libel), actions to recovery damages for an injury to real or personal property.

Medical expenses are defined as the reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment, and services received and the present cash value of reasonable expenses of medical care, treatment and services reasonably certain to be received in the future.

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The Wrongful Death Act of Illinois, 740 ILCS 180/1, 180/2 was created to allow a cause of action or lawsuit brought in the name of a personal representative for the benefit of a widow, next of kin, and heirs, to recover for their pecuniary injuries and damages. In Prendergast v. Cox the Court held that a surviving spouse or lineal next of kin, the law presumes substantial pecuniary damage arising from the relationship alone.

Pecuniary Damages include money, goods, and services received by the next of kin of the deceased. Damages can include loss of consortium by the surviving spouse.  In the event of loss of a child the damages can include the loss of the minor child’s society by the parents.  Unlike damages claims for physical injuries, for a Wrongful Death pecuniary damages from the death of an adult, in determining pecuniary loss, a jury may consider the evidence of the following: Continue reading →

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