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How grief can rob families of financial justice after a tragedy

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries/Wrongful Death

The law in Illinois details a variety of potential consequences when an individual or business causes harm to another party. In some cases, the state may pursue criminal charges against one party at causes harm to another through negligence or criminal activity.

Other times, the law allows for civil litigation as a means of pursuing justice. Civil lawsuits require the intentional actions of those negatively affected by an individual or business. A person hurt in a car crash has to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who put them in the hospital. Those who lose a loved one in some kind of preventable tragedy, like a drunk driving wreck, may have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Unfortunately, the people most affected by the death of an individual are often not in a place to take prompt action because of how grief affects them.

Depression is a common side effect of a tragic loss

The unexpected death of a family member can lead to a very difficult grieving process. People may experience intense denial where they cannot fully accept the reality of their loss. It can take months before people truly embrace the reality of what has occurred. After that, they may experience depression and anger. Those intense feelings may lead to social withdrawal and difficulty managing daily affairs, let alone thinking about the long-term future. The closer a relationship is and the longer it has lasted, the more challenging grieving may become.

It is common for people to experience grief that affects their mental health and daily life that lasts for two years or longer. Unfortunately, that extended experience of grief could have implications for those who want justice after a tragic death. Illinois has a strict statute of limitations that applies in wrongful death cases. The failure to take legal action within two years of the date of someone’s passing might leave a family unable to seek compensation in the civil courts.

Instead of waiting until a family feels ready to accept the reality of a recent loss, it is often necessary to secure help evaluating a wrongful death situation as soon as possible. Taking timely action is a crucial aspect of a successful wrongful death lawsuit. Families that learn about the law in Illinois can potentially turn to the civil courts for justice after a tragedy.