December 15, 2016 Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving Clients in the Chicago Area Serious accidents in Chicago, Illinois can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries. Typically, we think of catastrophic injuries as those that are so severe and permanent that they will impact a person’s ability to engage in normal activities—from work to enjoyment of life—for the remainder of that person’s life. In some cases, a person cannot recover physically from catastrophic injuries and dies as the result of another party’s negligence. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, or if you lost someone you love in a deadly accident, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. The Finn Law Firm recognizes that it can be difficult to think about filing a lawsuit after a severe or fatal accident occurs. We know that this is an especially difficult time, and we are here to help. Since Illinois law requires you to file your claim within a specific period of time, it is important to reach out to an experienced Chicago accident lawyer as soon as possible. Timetable for Filing a Catastrophic Injury Claim or Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois Whether you have suffered a catastrophic injury or will be filing a wrongful death claim as the result of losing a loved one, it is important to understand how the statutes of limitations in each of these types of lawsuits may impact your case. In both types of cases, the statute of limitations is two years, but different laws are applicable to each. For a personal injury lawsuit based on a catastrophic injury, the statute of limitations is governed by 735 ILCS 5/13-202. For personal injury claims, regardless of the severity of the claim, the general statute of limitations is two years. In most cases, this means that you must file your claim within two years from the date of the accident that caused your injury or injuries. For a wrongful death lawsuit, the statute of limitations is governed by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/). In most cases, the statute of limitations requires the person filing a lawsuit to initiate a claim within two years from the date of death. Types of Catastrophic Injuries What are common types of catastrophic injuries that can result in successful personal injury claims? The Finn Law Firm handles a wide variety of cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other forms of head trauma; Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and other forms of nerve damage; Facial injuries, including broken facial bones; Eye injuries and blindness; Severe burn injuries and other forms of disfigurement; Multiple bone fractures; Permanent organ damage; and Accidental amputations. Catastrophic injuries can result from many different types of accidents and entities, including but not limited to: Car accidents; Truck accidents; Motorcycle accidents; Pedestrian accidents; Bicycle accidents; Medical malpractice; Defective products and other harms related to product liability cases; Dangerous prescription drugs; Slips, trips, and falls; and Nursing home abuse and neglect. Understanding Wrongful Death Law in Chicago If you have lost a loved one in an accident in Chicago or through any event related to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. You might be asking yourself: what is a wrongful death claim, and how does it differ from a personal injury lawsuit? In the most general terms, wrongful death law is closely related to personal injury law. However, wrongful death law in Chicago, which is governed by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, allows a relative or “personal representative” of a deceased person to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. In many respects, you might think of a wrongful death claim as one in which the personal representative steps into the shoes of the deceased, filing a claim simply because the injury victim no longer is able to do so herself. The Wrongful Death Act recognizes cases in which a deceased person, if she or he had survived, would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for losses. Since the deceased did not survive her injuries, wrongful death law essentially permits another party to file a claim to seek compensation for the deceased’s losses (as well as the losses of her family members). Contact an Experienced Illinois Catastrophic Injury Lawyer or Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney When another party’s negligence results in a life-threatening or fatal accident, the injury victims deserve to be compensated for their losses. Whether you have suffered a catastrophic injury or have recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident, an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney can assist with your case. Contact the Finn Law Firm to learn more about our personal injury and wrongful death representation.