Each state has a separate set of laws that oversee wrongful deaths cases. Indiana defines wrongful death in IC 34-23-1-1, which states in part, “When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another (…).” In plainest terms, it is a personal injury case in which the injured victim dies. In the case that a person or corporation causes an accident that results in another’s death, they can be held legally responsible in a court of law for the subsequent damages and losses suffered by the victim’s relatives.
Understanding wrongful death claims can be tricky since every case differs in great detail. Furthermore, there are various complex laws surrounding such claims, making it even more challenging to comprehend your rights to compensation. If you or anyone you know has been involved in an accident that resulted in the death of another person, it is vital that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases to learn the best strategies for your claim.
For a better understanding of what to expect, continue below to review some of the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death cases in Indiana.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The person who makes the wrongful death claim is usually the victim’s estate representative. If they were married, it would likely be their spouse; if they had no spouse, but children, it could be them. Typically, it is the person who retains ownership of the property or is listed in the will. If there is no family or pre-appointed representative for the estate, there may be no one to file suit and handle their wrongful death case. Although the claim must be brought forward by an estate representative, the awarded damages may be allocated to other members of the family, including dependents.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Indiana, a person usually has 2 years from the date of the accident to make a claim against the wrongdoer, although their can be earlier deadlines for governmental entities. See our blog, “Can a Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Be Extended?” to learn about statute of limitations deadlines, extensions, and more. If you believe you have missed your deadline to make a wrongful death claim, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer for details regarding your options.
What Types of Damages are Awarded in Wrongful Death Settlements?
Civil damages are awarded in wrongful death settlements, which serve the sole purpose of compensating surviving relatives and members of the estate for all of the related losses resulted from the death of the victim. Indiana allows spouses and children to recover damages for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, lost benefits provided by the deceased, counseling costs, legal costs, and more.
Do I Need to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Wrongful death claims are incredibly complex, and the laws and procedures surrounding them are as well. In order to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney who is well-versed and experienced in wrongful death cases representing your claim from start to finish. They have the knowledge, skills, and resources to accurately navigate your claim and argue your case if it goes to trial.
How Do I Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Indianapolis?
Contact the Law Firm of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn more about your wrongful death claim in Indianapolis, Indiana and throughout the State of Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are eager to help all victims of wrongful deaths in the family to recover compensation for their medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, and more. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you do not pay a dime unless we win a settlement for you. Call today to get started.