Losing a loved one is one of the most tragic and heartbreaking events that can happen in someone’s life, especially when the death is unexpected and due to a preventable accident. The death of a loved one is difficult enough to deal with when the death is due to natural causes but when the death is due to another party’s negligent or reckless acts, anger and frustration mixes with the grief. The desire to “punish” the responsible party can be overwhelming.
While the law cannot bring back your loved one, it can provide a way for you to seek justice for your loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit. We understand that it may be difficult to think of a legal action while you are mourning but we encourage you to consider meeting with our wrongful death lawyer to discuss how a civil action can be beneficial.
Common Questions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Indiana
Below are answers to some of the most common questions our wrongful death lawyer receives from family members.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A monetary award cannot replace a loved one; however, this is the only remedy the law can offer when a family loses a loved one due to another party’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional act. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action filed by the family of a deceased person against the party or parties who caused the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit can:
- Allow the family to fight for justice on behalf of their loved one by holding the responsible party accountable;
- Provide compensation to help support the deceased’s surviving dependents; and,
- Serve as a warning to others that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
What Types of Events Can Result in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit can stem from a variety of events including but not limited to:
- Intentional acts of violence
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective products
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premise liability accidents
- Defective or dangerous drugs
The wrongful death claim alleges that a person or party committed a negligent, reckless, or intentional act that caused the event that resulted in the loss of life.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana?
Every state has wrongful death statutes that define who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The laws vary slightly from state to state. In Indiana, the personal representative for the deceased’s estate is the person who files a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased is an adult. This is usually the person’s surviving spouse, adult child, sibling, or parent. If the deceased person is a child, one or both parents may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana can be a complex issue; therefore, you should consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer before taking any action.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana?
Under Indiana’s wrongful death statutes, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of death. However, in medical malpractice cases and a few other cases, the calculation of time may be different. A family should consult with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure a lawsuit is filed before the deadline expires.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages you may be entitled to receive in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on several factors and the specific circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one. Common damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses
- Medical expenses from the date of the accident through the date of death
- Loss of income, benefits, and financial support
- Loss of affection, companionship, parental guidance, and care
- Loss of household services
- Attorney’s fees
Do You Need an Indiana Wrongful Death Lawyer?
We extend our deepest sympathies for your loss. Nothing anyone can do will ease your pain; however, our law firm can help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one.