Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Wrongful death accidents are an unfortunate part of driving. This includes any situation where a driver or passenger in a vehicle loses his or her life because another driver did not use the right level of care behind the wheel. In some cases, a wrongful death action can even involve a mass transit provider or common carrier that did not exercise due care in transporting its passengers. This raises unique issues about how you must go about asserting your claim for damages after losing a loved one. If you find yourself in a similar situation, reach out to a diligent Chicago wrongful death lawyer to help you understand your rights during this stressful and chaotic time.

In a recent appellate decision, the Illinois Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving a man who lost his life as a passenger on a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus. The plaintiff died from prolonged alcohol toxicity. The administrator of the decedent’s estate brought a negligence action against the CTA and other individuals involved with the accident, including the bus driver. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to call for medical help to assist the defendant, failing to check his condition, and failing to take reasonable action to render first aid, among other things. It also alleged that the CTA should have trained its employees in how to deal with situations where a passenger is experiencing medical distress.

The CTA responded to the complaint by filing a motion to dismiss on the basis that the defendants did not owe the decedent a duty of care because the decedent didn’t show any signs of medical distress or tell anyone that he needed assistance. It also asserted that the decedent’s level of intoxication did not create a duty because they did not owe a duty to every passenger to assess their physical condition before boarding or while riding the bus. It also pointed out that imposing this level of duty on the CTA in regard to every passenger would create an unduly burdensome situation and would be impractical to carry out in reality. The CTA also provided two videos showing footage of the decedent on the bus for the purpose of showing that he was not displaying signs of distress.

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During trial, there comes a moment when the court must decide which instructions to give the jury before it begins its deliberations. These instructions are what the jury will use to determine whether the defendant is liable to the plaintiff and how much compensation the plaintiff is entitled to receive. This can be one of the most pivotal moments of your case and an important reason to consult with a seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyer. At Therman Law Offices, our team is available to help you navigate the civil court system and to ensure that your rights are protected.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal heard an appeal in a case involving the death of a woman who sought treatment at a hospital. A major issue in the case was whether the court gave the right instructions to the jury. The plaintiff filed a negligence and wrongful action against hospital professionals alleging that they caused the death of her mother. The complaint included a number of causes of action. At the close of evidence, the court instructed the jury on a number of aspects including a rule about missing evidence. The plaintiff requested a number of jury instructions including an instruction on the loss of chance doctrine and missing evidence related to a document that the plaintiff alleged was missing. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s request to include both instructions.

The jury ultimately found for the defendants and the plaintiff appealed, alleging that the court’s failure to include the loss of chance instruction was a reversible error. The appellate court agreed with the plaintiff. The appellate court stated that the plaintiff offered enough evidence to support the use of the loss of chance doctrine and that the matter should have been put before the jury to evaluate. Additionally, the jury instruction that the plaintiff submitted to the court was simple, brief, impartial, and non-argumentative. Because the court failed to give this instruction, the appellate court concluded that the plaintiff was denied the opportunity for a fair trial and reversed the entry of judgment for the defendants.

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In some personal injury accidents, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault and whether multiple parties bear responsibility for the devastating outcome. Life is complicated and many accidents often reflect this in the number of parties that are involved in the incident and who may bear liability. Just because a party was involved in an accident at some point does not mean he or she can be held responsible for the outcome. As seasoned Chicago wrongful death lawyers, we are prepared to help you ensure that you hold each potential responsible party accountable for the losses that you’ve sustained.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a claim in which liability was disputed for the death of an individual due to a traumatic brain injury. the decedent was consuming alcoholic beverages at an event sponsored by his employer. The employer provided free alcoholic beverages and the decedent consumed several until he became intoxicated. In the early morning hours, the employer stopped serving the defendant. He later left the premises and fell suffering a traumatic brain injury that ultimately caused his death.

His father, acting as the independent administrator of his son’s estate and as an individual, brought a claim against the employer alleging that it was responsible for his son’s death. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss and the trial court granted it. The father refiled the complaint and alleged negligence under a voluntary undertaking negligence theory. The complaint alleged that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent because it voluntarily undertook that duty when it ejected the intoxicated decedent from the bar.

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