No greater harm can befall a family than to lose a loved one in a wrongful death due to another’s reckless or negligent behavior. As painful and expensive as a lifetime of coping with catastrophic injuries may be, the finality of a fatal accident brings a deep sense of loss and a void that can never be filled.
One Chicago family recently experienced the needless death of a promising son and husband when 26-year-old Philip Reed of Chicago Heights died from multiple injuries sustained in a serious car accident in Matteson. The other driver, a 50-year-old Frankfort man suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, ran a red light at the intersection of Cicero and Southwick Drive and t-boned Reed’s car.
The loss is a tremendous one to Reed’s family. He was married just seven months before, and in addition to his young wife is survived by both parents and two sisters. Reed was also a great contributor to his community, having served as the minister of music at Covenant Faith Church of God, where he had been the church organist since age 11. Reed, the grandson of blues guitarist Jimmy Reed, leaves behind a legacy of giving and love that can never be fully quantified.
But the reality of wrongful death legal claims is that aggrieved families must take a hard look at the value of a life lost in order to hold negligent drivers and other wrongdoers accountable. That is where the professional objectivity of an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can serve a family’s future interests, allowing them to process their grief and support each other through a time of immense emotional pain.
A Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Can Explain Your Legal Options
Civil damages in the wake of a wrongful death have several important functions. First of all, they are one way for society to hold people and businesses accountable for their actions, whether the harm was the result of intentional wrongdoing or a moment of negligence.
Wrongful death claims also provide a means for immediate family to pursue compensation for their losses. The most obvious type of loss is financial support from the person whose life was taken, as well as medical expenses resulting from the tragedy and the value of services the person provided such as care of a spouse and guidance of children.
Illinois law was amended in 2007 to allow compensation for grief, sorrow and mental suffering experienced by eligible survivors. But these cases present an array of complexities, including statutes of limitation. The best way to make sense of one’s legal options in the aftermath of a family tragedy is to discuss your needs and questions with an Illinois wrongful death lawyer.