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Do you know what steps to take to file a wrongful death claim?

In the days and weeks after losing a loved one to a collision with a big rig truck, survivors may feel as though they are operating on autopilot as they go through the motions of life.

When you are deeply mired in grief over the loss of a spouse or other family member, it can be overwhelming to try to sort through the process of filing a wrongful death claim with the Illinois civil courts.

Many people mistakenly believe that criminal charges must be filed against an at-fault driver in order to seek civil damages from them or their insurance provider. In some cases, truck drivers who cause fatal wrecks may face criminal charges, but that is not a prerequisite for filing a successful civil suit to recover damages.

When criminal charges are not filed, a civil lawsuit can provide a modicum of justice to the survivors. There can be multiple defendants named in a lawsuit for wrongful death, and some may have far deeper pockets than others. For instance, a trucker may not have much insurance coverage and few resources.

But the trucking company that employs him is a different story. If dangerous road conditions were also a factor in the truck accident, it may be possible to recover damages from the city or state that was tasked with maintaining safe streets and highways.

Determining the percentage of liability from multiple defendants and identifying each potentially liable defendant is complicated and usually done best by legal professionals. Because claims proscribe if they are not filed within strict time constraints, turning your claim over to an experienced attorney can preserve your rights to compensation.

Source: Truck Safety Coalition, "Legal Aspects," accessed June 17, 2016

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
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Wheaton, IL 60187

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