Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Claim After an Accidental Death?

by | Mar 25, 2021 | Law

While every accident fatality is tragic, some of them are also considered to be wrongful deaths. This means that the negligent or intentional acts of a third party played a significant role in causing the death. While wrongful death lawyers in Joliet can help you pursue this type of claim, you must first determine if you’re eligible to initiate the claim.

What is a Personal Representative?

When a family member’s life is taken as the result of someone else’s actions, the immediate family has the right to seek damages for the wrongful death. However, only one person can initiate the claim on behalf of the whole family, and this person is called the personal representative. Typically, the personal representative is named in the deceased person’s will. If the decedent died intestate, the court will hold a hearing to choose a personal representative.

Who Can Serve as the Personal Representative?

There are only a few family members who can act as personal representatives and consult wrongful death lawyers in Joliet. This shortlist of individuals includes a surviving spouse, adult children, and parents of a minor or infant. In some cases, grandparents or domestic life partners can receive permission from the court to act as the personal representative in a wrongful death claim. If the claim is successful, any award or settlement will be distributed to family members according to the terms of the deceased individual’s will.

When you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, contact Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell PC   online at to discuss your case.

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