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How long can you wait to file an Illinois wrongful death claim?

Regardless of the reason you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, the aftermath is a time of chaos and intense emotions. This is especially the case when your loved one died in a sudden and unexpected manner. It can take the bereaved some time to come to terms with their loss and longer still to decide if taking legal action is an option.

While it is easy to understand these delays in seeking a legal solution, it is unwise to take too long in reaching a decision. Like other states, Illinois imposes a statute of limitations on how long grieving family members can wait to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a civil action rather than a criminal case. In general, parties have only two years in which to file this specific type of lawsuit.

Arguably, the main reason people decide to seek a wrongful death action is to hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. This can give the bereaved a sense of closure over their loss while making sure responsible parties are unable to harm another person.

Seeking a legal remedy can also help the deceased's family with financial hardships such as funeral expenses, loss of future wages and other out-of-pocket costs. Waiting too long to file a wrongful death lawsuit means that you will not be able to accomplish these goals.

If you have additional concerns or questions about the wrongful death of a loved one you can find the answers you need by talking with a legal professional. This has the added benefit of helping you make an informed decision about the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Wrongful Death Act," accessed Feb. 13, 2018

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