Survivors of a victim of a wrongful death that occured before May 31, 2007 in Illinois were limited under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act to recover only pecuniary loses completely discounting the survivors grief from consideration. Pecunary loss includes the loss of benefit of the decedent’s love, affection, care, attention, companionship, guidance and protection. Now an amendment to the act allows the recovery of grief, sorrow and mental suffering of the survivors of a wrongful death.
Grief, sorrow and mental suffering have long been recognized in medicine as scientifically based components of the anguish associated with the loss of a loved one. The law now more accurately reflects the actual loses sustained by the survivors of a wrongful death.