Last week, $2.75 million was awarded to the family of an 18-year-old teenager who was killed in a Chicago police car chase in 2009. The teen was a passenger in a car which was involved in a 12-minute police chase following a stop-sign violation. The chase reached speeds up to 100 miles per hour, before the car crashed into some light poles killing the young man. The attorneys representing the family brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago, believing that the chase was unauthorized and prohibited. Jurors agreed, and acted to compensate the grieving family for their terrible loss.
Wrongful death claims involve all types of fatal accidents from car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently (failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted) and for acting intentionally. A wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from a victim’s death.
Generally, there are three types of damages that may be available to survivors in a wrongful death suit. Economic damages include the value of the financial contributions the decedent would have made if he or she didn’t die and medical or funeral expenses connected to the death. Non-economic damages are awarded for mental anguish or pain and suffering of the survivors. And finally, punitive damages seek to punish the defendant, especially if the death results from misconduct.
If you or a loved one has been injured or a family member has died as a result of negligence, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. John has handled wrongful death litigation in Iowa for more than 30 years. He provides experienced, caring, personal and focused representation, helping those affected by injury or wrongful death attain justice and recover the compensation they will need.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Jury Awards $2.75 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit”, by ALEXANDRA KUKULKA, November 20, 2015.
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