I know it is painful to lose a loved one. But when the loss is the result of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, it can be even harder to accept and cope with the loss.
Indiana law refers to these situations as wrongful death. In some cases where the death is caused by the misconduct, carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another person or legal entity, such as a commercial company, the victim’s estate, victim’s surviving family members, or deceased’s beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation.
In Indiana, those harmed by the death may sue the liable party or parties for damages related to the death, including financial and emotional damages.
Recoverable damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Loss of Love, Companionship, or Care
- Loss of Parental Training and Guidance
- Loss of Future Earnings the Deceased Would Have Provided
- Medical Bills and Funeral Expenses
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a wrongful act or negligence of another, you may be eligible to receive compensation under Indiana law. Please give me a call so we can discuss your case and evaluate your legal options.
Common legal questions about wrongful deaths in Indiana
What is considered a wrongful death?
A number of incidents may fall under this statue including a death which results from a car or motorcycle accident caused by another’s reckless driving. Negligence in the failure to diagnose a fatal disease, negligent medical treatment, or even neglect and nursing home abuse may be included in this category. Deaths which result from accidents caused by unsafe construction conditions or inadequate hazard notifications may also be considered contributing factors in a wrongful death case.
Why file a wrongful death claim?
A settlement in a wrongful death case is not about putting a price on a person’s life. It is about making sure the liable parties are held responsible for what they caused. It will also help the family of the deceased move on financially. This is especially true when the loss of a parent or spouse eliminates a significant amount of financial support of the family.
A wrongful death case can only be pursued by a person appointed as the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. (A family member or any other person the court approves to serve the role of personal representative.) That representative has the legal authority to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate. That person does not have to be a beneficiary of the estate. The beneficiaries of the estate, should the wrongful death claim result in a positive outcome, are determined by Indiana probate law.
It is helpful to talk with an experienced wrongful death attorney to review your case and help you understand the options for pursuing a wrongful death claim. If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one and would like to explore your options and rights, please give me a call.