It’s traumatizing when a loved one is suddenly killed in an accident that could have been prevented. Beyond dealing with the loss of someone so dear, surviving family members also have to deal with the extraordinary costs of the accident, such as funeral and burial expenses.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., our attorneys help families understand their legal rights during these difficult times. If your loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today for help. The consultation is free.
What Costs Come with a Funeral?
You should not have to pay for the costs of your loved one’s funeral and burial if he or she was killed in an accident caused by another individual or company’s wrongful or negligent actions.
The average cost of a funeral and burial is typically thousands of dollars. This includes expenses for things like:
- Casket or urn
- Burial plot
- Tombstone, grave marker, or monument
- Facility and staff fees for the visitation or viewing
- Fees to pick up and transport the body to the funeral home
- Flowers, printed programs, a guest register book, mass cards, and other memorial items
- Fees to prepare the body, such as dressing, hair, and makeup
- Cremation fees
- A musician, a slide show, or other memorial presentations
- Burial clothes
- Staff and facility fees for the memorial service or funeral
- Death certificate and other documents required for proof of death
- Fees for the clergy or other officiant for the funeral
- Fees for the funeral home’s staff and funeral director, including costs for overhead, arranging the funeral, securing permits, and coordinating funeral and burial services
- A hearse to transport the deceased to the cemetery
- Vehicles to transport loved ones between the funeral service and the cemetery
- Fees for the cemetery lot, crypt, vault, or other burial location, including fees to open, set up, and close the grave
Most families are not financially prepared for the sudden loss of a loved one. Funeral expenses can quickly overwhelm you, so it is crucial that you learn about your right to compensation.
How to Pay for a Burial After an Accident
If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. This is a type of civil lawsuit that is meant to help surviving loved ones get compensation to cover some of the damages caused by the accident, such as funeral and burial costs.
Under Illinois law, only a deceased person’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim. Some of the family members who might be eligible include the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents. In other cases, the court might appoint a personal representative for the deceased person’s estate.
Additionally, loved ones have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. Under the Illinois statute of limitations, the deceased person’s personal representative typically has only two years from the date of death to file a claim. After this deadline passes, loved ones usually can’t recover any compensation for their losses. However, some circumstances might shorten or lengthen the statute of limitations timeline, depending on the details of the case.
To best protect your rights, it’s critical to speak with an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney. A lawyer with in-depth knowledge of Illinois’ complex wrongful death laws and exceptions can evaluate the details of your case and help you understand your legal options.
What Other Compensation Could Your Family Be Entitled To?
Beyond compensation for burial and funeral expenses, Illinois wrongful death laws often allow eligible surviving loved ones to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Grief and sorrow
- Lost companionship
- Medical bills that the deceased incurred because of the accident, such as their emergency treatment and care
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of the deceased’s income or other financial contributions to the family, such as benefits
- Lost care, support, affection, and love of a parent
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household services previously provided by the deceased, such as lawncare, cleaning, house repairs, and childcare
- Other current or future economic and non-economic losses
In rare cases, surviving loved ones might also be eligible to receive punitive damages if the at-fault party’s especially detestable or reckless behavior or act caused the death.
How a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You
If your loved one died because of someone’s else’s negligence or wrongdoing, we understand that nothing can ever truly make up for your loss. However, you might be entitled to significant compensation to help cover funeral and burial costs as well as other damages caused by this tragedy.
A knowledgeable Chicago injury lawyer from our firm can help you fight for the compensation you are owed. Our law firm manages all the details of your case, so you can focus on grieving and caring for surviving loved ones after this tragic loss. Some of the ways our attorneys can help include:
- Fully investigating your case and the damages caused by the loss of your loved one
- Gathering evidence to prove your losses, including proof of the extent of your emotional harm and financial loss
- Negotiating with insurance and the negligent party’s representatives on your behalf
- Taking your case to trial if a fair settlement is not offered
- Answering any questions you have throughout the duration of your case
Are you ready to demand justice for the loss of your loved one? Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. is here to help. Our respected Chicago wrongful death attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims and their families for more than 35 years. Our dedicated team has recovered more than $1.5 billion for our clients.
You don’t have to face this tragedy alone. Contact us today for your free consultation, and get the help you need.