Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties and Federal Courts

Wrongful death is sadly one of the worst outcomes of an incident resulting from someone else’s negligence or intentional act. Any and all of the circumstances that apply to personal injury claims also apply to wrongful death if the incident results in the victim’s death; for example, they can arise from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, construction injuries, etc.

With over 50 years combined experience, the Law Office of Martin L. Glink, provides personalized, high quality legal representation to aggressively protect the rights of our clients who are killed as a result of personal injuries or intentional acts.  We have a proven track record of jury verdicts and settlements that we have obtained on behalf of such clients and understand what it takes to ensure that your rights are protected and that justice is served over the death of a loved one. This includes recovering wrongful death verdicts and settlements for those in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will Counties and Federal Courts.

Illinois Wrongful Death Act

Under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act, whenever the death of someone is caused by wrongful act or neglect, a surviving spouse or child (next of kin) may bring a personal injury claim and recover damages for it. (740 ILCS 180/). The law presumes substantial financial and supportive loss by surviving spouses and children (I.P.I. 31.04).

Illinois Survival Act

Illinois’ Survival Act is not a cause of action by itself, but it preserves causes of actions that occurred and happened before death for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of normal life, loss of consortium and pain and suffering. The decedent’s representative may recover damages for injuries sustained by the decedent prior to the decedent’s death. (755 ILCS 5/27-6).

Who Can File?

Personal representatives of the decreased (wronged) party can bring a wrongful death action for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin (of the deceased), including any adopted children (740 ILCS 180/2). If the decedent did not leave a surviving spouse or next of kin, the law allows an action to be bought to the exclusive benefit of:

  • Anyone furnishing hospitalization or hospital services in association with the last illness or injury of the decedent;
  • Anyone furnishing medical or surgical services in association with the last illness or injury of the decedent; or
  • Any personal representatives who incurred costs and expenses of administering the estate and prosecuting the action. These damages are the total of any hospital services, medical services, funeral expenses, and any administrative costs such as attorney’s fees (740 ILCS 180/2).
  • If there is no lineal “next of kin,” siblings may recover.


The jury may award damages to those who survived the decedent as they deem fair and reasonable compensation for injuries resulting from wrongful death, including, but not limited to, grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.

What about Contributory Negligence?

In Illinois, contributory negligence cannot serve as a defense to wrongful death actions. However, the jury can reduce any damages collected on behalf of the decedent in proportion to any fault the decedent shared in the incident that led to their wrongful death. If the contributory fault of the decedent is more than 50 percent of the cause of their wrongful death, they are barred from recovering damages (740 ILCS 180/2).

Statute of Limitations

Any wrongful death claim must be commenced within two years after the decedent passes. Claims against municipalities must be commenced within one year after death. Special circumstances may prolong the time for filing. This is the exception, not the rule (745 ILCS 10/8-101).

The Law Office of Martin L. Glink

If your loved one has suffered from a wrongful death, contact our firm at (847) 394-4900 or online for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also learn more about our firm here. We are here to listen and help.