Wrongful Death in Illinois: Acts That Can Lead to Death and a Lawsuit

The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can be hard on a family, and the effects can be more than just emotional. Financial stress can also come with losing a loved one, and it can be even more frustrating if that death could have been preventable. This is what is known as a ‘wrongful death’ and responsible parties can be held liable for their actions.


Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere and can be categorized in two different ways. The first is categorized under premises liability, meaning that the accident happened on public or private property where a visitor was allowed. The most common examples are stores, restaurants, hotels, and other public areas that may have slippery floors without ‘wet floor signs’, cracked pavement, broken staircases, damaged carpeting, and other tripping hazards.

The second type of slip and fall accident can occur at a person’s workplace and can be the result of any of the reasons listed above. Slip and fall accidents can happen at almost any workplace and can cause sprains, fractures, broken bones, and even death. Fortunately, workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and even funeral expenses.

Motor Vehicle, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Accidents

Traffic accidents are notorious for resulting in wrongful death. The most devastating accidents usually involve pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motorcyclists because they have the least amount of protection from the impact of a car. Semi-trucks, however, tend to cause the most serious and fatal accidents due to their size. Some of the most common causes of traffic accidents include:

  • Fatigued driving (i.e., driving when extremely tired)
  • Distracted driving (e.g., texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
  • Impaired driving (e.g., driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
  • Reckless driving (e.g., speeding, breaking traffic laws)

These acts are also considered to be negligence. The most common types of accidents are T-bone/sideswipe and rear-end collisions, and these don’t always result in a wrongful death— but they can. Some of the more serious types of collisions include head-on collisions and multi-vehicle crashes.

Intentional Acts


The majority of acts of violence are always intentional, especially if a firearm is used. Typically, the act of violence that can be eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit would be the result of another type of personal injury category, such as premises liability. For example, if a building didn’t have adequate security and a criminal broke in and injured those in the building.


Abuse is a specific type of violence and can be categorized in different ways. There are physical (including sexual), verbal (including mental/emotional), and financial abuse that can happen to people of all ages and genders. Child abuse and nursing home/elder abuse are among the most common types.


Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can be intentional, but it’s usually the result of negligence on the part of the healthcare professional or even the entire medical facility. Negligence of a healthcare provider can result in an untreated medical condition worsening, more medical complications arising, and even death. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice seen in Illinois include:

  • Diagnostics errors
  • Hospital and emergency room errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Negligent treatment
  • Surgical mistakes

More often than not, medical malpractice results in wrongful death, so a family member of the victim must contact a wrongful death lawyer to receive compensation, which can include funeral expenses.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are also a type of medical malpractice that results from the negligence of an obstetrician. Birth injuries are injuries to the infant that occur during the birthing process, including both labor and delivery. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus)
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia

Birth injuries can also cover injuries to the mother during delivery as well as the death of the infant during delivery. Even if a birth injury doesn’t result in death, it can leave lifelong impacts on the infant’s life.

Accidents, intentional acts of violence, and pure negligence can all lead to the death of another individual. These deaths are considered ‘wrongful’ because they could have been prevented if the proper measures were taken beforehand— even traffic and slip and fall accidents because they are usually the result of someone else’s negligence. Even if these acts didn’t result in death but just an injury, you can contact a personal injury lawyer for more information.

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