Wrongful Death Attorneys

Families living the loss of those they love deserve compassionate legal counseling by experienced attorneys.

Since 1947, lawyers at Pignatelli & Associates, PC have represented families who lost those they love in accidents caused by others. They offer this page as a resource for those who are considering seeking legal advice and counseling regarding a potential wrongful death case.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a person dies because of the bad actions of another individual, a wrongful death may have occurred. Examples of wrongful death include car and truck accidents, public transportation fatalities, medical mistakes or errors, dangerous or defective products and other forms of negligence and reckless conduct.


Under Illinois law, the estate and survivors of one whose death was caused wrongly by the conduct of others may be entitled to compensation. These laws are the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act. Each law allows for a different sort of recovery.

  • The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows survivors to file a lawsuit for their economic or monetary loss or losses. Survivors include the immediate family of the victim, including, for example, their spouse, children and parents.
  • The Illinois Survival Act allows the estate of the victim to recover for economic and non-economic damages or injuries the victim suffered between when the injury happened and the death.

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Questions & Answers About Wrongful Death Accidents

  • What does it cost for someone to hire a lawyer about a wrongful death accident? 

    The lawyers at Pignatelli & Associates, PC have represented families in wrongful death cases on “contingent” fee. What this means is that our wrongful death clients will pay no fee for our legal services unless we obtain a verdict or settlement. Our lawyers provide free consultations and offer no-cost case evaluation. To find out more about these services, call 815-626-0500 or complete our online form.


  • Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit? 

    In most cases, a lawsuit regarding a wrongful death accident is required to be filed within two years of the victim’s death. Because these lawsuits are difficult — both in terms of the emotional and familial depth and the legal and factual complexities of the incidents — they take time to prepare and develop. The more rapidly an attorney can review the potential wrongful death accident, the better for those who have questions.

  • Who can be held responsible for causing a wrongful death accident? 

    In the case where an accident is the cause of a wrongful death, the surviving family members may hold the person or entity — corporation, club, group or other association — responsible for the bad acts or negligence that caused the wrongful death. For example, the driver of a car at fault in a fatal accident that is held responsible for causing the death. Additionally, a medical professional like a doctor or nurse or hospital that is responsible for the wrongful death. However, those with control or responsibility for the cause of the accident may also be liable in certain circumstances.

  • Why would anyone file a lawsuit for a wrongful death? 

    There are many reasons people believe are important for thinking about consulting a lawyer about a wrongful death accident.

    • Justice. When someone’s carelessness, negligence or other bad action is the cause of death, many people believe in the idea that it is just that the responsible person be punished or otherwise face consequences for their actions that caused a wrongful death accident..
    • Accountability. The social controversy over Ford’s decision to produce and sell a knowingly fatally defective car, the Pinto, in the 1970s is an example of a cause of many wrongful death accidents. There, a corporate actor prioritized making profits over public safety. If those responsible for the deaths of others are held accountable, it can act as a way to deter people from action that may cause the public risk of wrongful death accidents in the future.
    • Need. Death is not free, nor inexpensive. Funerals, medical expenses, the lost wages of a spouse who supported his or her family to their survivors all mean that these survivors often those who depended on their provider for care, compassion and financial support, may bear a heavy financial burden — in addition to the unbearable burden of the immediate and lifelong loss of their loved one.

  • What are examples of Wrongful Death cases? 

    • Car, Truck and other Traffic Accidents. Each year thousands of people in the state of Illinois die of transportation-related accidents. The causes may be human mistakes, but they may also be negligent distracted driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those who have lost their loved one because of an accident caused by such examples of negligence and other circumstances may hold the other party accountable for their bad actions through a wrongful death lawsuit.
    • Work-Related Accidents. Despite attempts to create safer work environments, many occupations are high risk. There, accidents may occur from powerful equipment, explosions, machines or electrical or thermal devices. A company may be held accountable if they did not provide safety tools and training or did not follow safety laws or regulations.
    • Medical Mistakes. For example, misdiagnosis, surgical error, medication mistake, or anesthesia error are common causes of circumstances that may lead to the death of a patient through the negligence of a medical professional.

How Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys can Help

The lawyers and paralegals at Pignatelli & Associates, PC have assisted those who have lost their closest family and friends understand the circumstances of these unspeakable losses. We are skilled at investigating to understand and resolve any responsibilities these families have. In addition, we believe that families are able to recover to the extent that it is possible and in this way their loved ones live on through their lives. Consider the ways our legal team helps families grappling with a wrongful death accident.

Deploy Legal Resources

Our legal team has consulted with experts as necessary for over half a century. We are aware of the current legal and scientific trends, critical consensus and debates. We regularly communicate with experts at the forefronts of their fields to understand and ensure our clients case is sound and supported by expert opinion.

Discover Insurance Information

The value of a claim is highly dependent on the applicable insurance availability. We have decades of experience discovering available and applicable insurance coverage as it relates to a our clients’ wrongful death claim.

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