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Losing someone you love is one of the hardest things you will ever have to go through. When another person’s negligence, or carelessness, caused the death it is even more frustrating. During this time of grief you may feel angry, shocked, and not know how to proceed. You deserve to work through your own grief and emotional pain without having to worry about the legalities of filing a wrongful death claim. Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys can handle all of the details of your case so you can focus on your family. 

How are Wrongful Deaths and Accidental Deaths Different from Each Other? 

While wrongful deaths do often occur as a result of an accident, not all accidental deaths are considered ‘wrongful death.’ An accidental death occurs when a person loses their life during an accident and it is not the fault of anyone else. For example, a person may be at home and choke on a piece of food, resulting in an accidental death. The choking was not caused by anyone else and so, there is no claim to file.  

Likewise, a person may be working in their garage when a heavy object from above falls and hits their head, causing their death. This too, is an accidental death but no one is to blame and so, it is not considered a wrongful death. 

A wrongful death, on the other hand, may still be accidental but another person is to blame. Car accidents are the most common cause of wrongful death. A driver may speed through a red light, crashing into another vehicle and killing the driver inside. The driver who failed to stop at the light would be responsible and could have a wrongful death claim filed against them. Or, a manufacturer may sell a defective product and when the consumer uses it, they lose their life. In this case, a wrongful death claim can be filed against the manufacturer. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Death 

Sadly, there are many different common causes of wrongful deaths. These include: 

  • Motor vehicle accidents: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 40,000 individuals lose their lives in the United States every year due to motor vehicle accidents. It is not always easy to determine who caused a wrongful death after an accident. Other drivers, government entities, and manufacturers of defective vehicles are just a few of the possible liable parties. 
  • Medical malpractice: Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals literally have the lives of patients in their hands every day. Any small act of medical negligence can easily result in a wrongful death. Common types of medical malpractice include birth injuries, delayed or missed diagnosis, surgical errors, and defective medical equipment. 
  • Workplace accidents: No one expects to go to work and become involved in an accident and perhaps even lose their lives. Workers’ compensation does provide families of lost workers with death benefits, but there may be other times when loved ones can file a wrongful death claim. For example, if a third party with no relationship to the deceased’s employer caused the accident, a wrongful death claim can be filed against them. 
  • Defective products: When products are defective, they can cause an accident so severe, it results in a wrongful death. For example, if a manufacturer sells a defective oven, it could cause an accident that causes another person to lose their life. 

Determining Liability for Wrongful Death 

There are many people who can be held liable for their negligent actions that result in a wrongful death. The most common of these include: 

  • Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who committed serious medical malpractice 
  • Hospitals, possibly even if a healthcare professional is an independent contractor and not an employee 
  • Restaurants, if they caused a wrongful death due to food poisoning or caused an allergic reaction 
  • Negligent drivers 
  • Negligent train conductors, train companies, and crew members 
  • Manufacturers of defective products 

Determining who is liable for a wrongful death is not always easy. For example, a car accident may involve multiple drivers. Each motorist, and the insurance company that represents them, will deny fault and try to blame another party. A lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation to determine what caused the accident that resulted in a wrongful death, and hold accountable parties liable for paying the full damages you deserve. 

Our Successful Verdicts and Settlements 

At Kennedy Watkins, our Chicago wrongful death attorneys have a proven track record of helping families obtain the damages they need after losing someone they love. Some of the successful verdicts and settlements we have obtained for our clients include: 

  • $8,500,000 verdict for a family whose son was fatally killed by a Chicago police officer 
  • $7,365,000 verdict for a family whose father lost his life in a truck accident on the Don Ryan expressway 
  • 1,300,000 recovery from the City of Chicago on behalf of a family whose son was killed when a felon fleeing Chicago police crashed into his vehicle 
  • A confidential settlement for a family whose teenage daughter was struck and killed in a truck accident at the Chinatown Red Line stop 
  • Confidential settlement on behalf of a victim whose husband was killed in a motor vehicle accident at Fargo’s Hector International Airport 
  • Confidential settlement for a family whose loved one was killed after her vehicle stalled on Lake Shore Driver due to an alleged product defect 

Call Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Chicago Today 

At Kennedy Watkins, our Chicago wrongful death attorneys know how painful it is to lose someone you love. We are committed to helping families make things right. It is for this reason we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and why we will meet clients wherever they are located in the state. To learn more, call us now at (312) 448-8181 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. 


About Wrongful Death Claims


5 stars representing the value of reviews Attorneys kennedy and watkins talking to a woman
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Kennedy and Watkins were referred to myself and my husband by another attorney. From the very first conversation we knew we made the right choice. Everything was always communicated from the beginning to the end which made the process smooth and in the end we were extremely satisfied with the results of our case.

– Trena L. Wallace

Highly recommended! Jack was very attentive to my case after my accident and walked me through each step along the way clear and concise. My case was settled in a timely manner overall I was very pleased.

– Shelby Furcron

I’d want to mention that working with Mr. Kennedy was a pleasure because he was a huge help and support in my case. He was good at communicating and made sure that everything was crystal clear. He also had a great deal of empathy for the circumstances. I would recommend him to anyone who needs legal advice.

– Sheldon Henley


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