- First, wrongful death in Indiana is defined as a case in which “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” One way to look at wrongful death is as a type of personal injury case in which the injured party has died, and the estate then takes over the case. The person bringing the claim establishes liability and can seek damages.
- Second, a wrongful death claim in Indiana must be made within two years of the death. Two years is the statute of limitations, after which a claim may not be brought.
- Third, a wrongful death claim must be brought by a representative of the estate, although the court may award damages to people other than the representative—the spouse, the children, or other dependents.
- Fourth, in Indiana, the state allows damages for the following categories: 1) funeral and burial costs; 2) medical and hospital expenses; 3) lost wages and benefits that it is likely the deceased would have earned if he or she had lived; and 4) costs of bringing the wrongful death claim. These awards are capped at $300,000 in Indiana. In addition, awards in the first two categories must be paid to the estate directly and the payment can be used only for these costs.
- Fifth, although many states allow compensation for the loss of companionship, society, and support, Indiana has no provision for this kind of claim.
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