How to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Indiana
Wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of an individual or company. The definition of negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in the damage, injury or death of another. The sadness from the loss of a loved one taken in a wrongful death is extremely difficult to bear. There is no way to prepare, and sadly, nothing that can be done to bring the loved one back. Particularly in cases of negligence, dealing with the aftermath of a wrongful death can create an unimaginable kind of grief.
Wrongful death suits can occur as a direct result of:
- Automobile / Vehicular Accidents
- Personal Injury Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
In general, immediate family members (spouses, children and parents) are allowed to file a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one. In the state of Indiana, families grieving from loss in wrongful deaths have only two years to file a wrongful death claim. This means that action must be taken quickly in order to preserve evidence and ensure that negligent parties are held responsible for their actions.
To file a wrongful death suit in Indiana, you must show that:
- The death of a person was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default
- The act, neglect or default would have entitled the injured person to file an action to recover damages had the death not occurred ( I.C. § 34-23-1-1).
- There are surviving beneficiaries, children, or dependents of the victim.
- Monetary damages have resulted from the decedent’s death.
For families reeling from the unfortunate loss of a child in a wrongful death, Indiana wrongful death law allows for the recovery of the costs of counseling after their loss in addition to the costs of medical care and funeral expenses.
Though many responsible parties carry insurance, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay wrongful death claims. In an effort to convince you not to file your claim in order to save their company money, they may attempt to draw out any feelings of guilt you have over your request for compensation. An experienced Indiana wrongful death attorney can help you make sense out of confusing insurance claim requirements.
Kinds of compensation you can claim in a wrongful death suit?
- Expenses incurred by the death of the victim (funeral, medical, etc.)
- Loss of future earnings anticipated over the lifetime of the victim.
- Benefits lost due to the victim’s death (medical insurance, pension, 401K, etc.)
- Survivors pain, suffering and mental anguish caused by the victim's death.
- Companionship, care or protection lost to the survivors as a result of the death.
- General and punitive damages.
If you feel that your loss may be a wrongful death, you may have a wrongful death suit. Contact the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts to see if you have a case. If we decide to take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.