When confronting the anguish of losing a loved one, the added stress of considering a wrongful death lawsuit can be overwhelming. Yet, for many, it’s a necessary step for achieving justice and financial stability in the wake of tragedy.
This blog post is designed to guide you through the intricate process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana. We’ll discuss the crucial do’s and don’ts, unravel the complexities of pursuing wrongful death claims, and provide insights into how a wrongful death lawyer can simplify this legal journey. Although a settlement for damages may not alleviate the emotional pain, they can provide the financial support necessary for the future.
Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Before diving into the “do’s” and “don’ts”, let’s clarify what a general wrongful death lawsuit entails. In legal terms, a wrongful death occurs when someone else’s actions or negligence cause the death of another person. These deaths can result from various situations, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or criminal acts. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to hold the responsible party accountable and provide compensation for the surviving family members.
The Do’s: Steps to Take When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s essential to know the necessary steps to take to ensure its success. Here are some crucial do’s when pursuing a wrongful death claim in Indiana:
Seek Legal Representation: First and foremost, seek the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. The legal system is complex, and having a knowledgeable advocate on your side will make all the difference.
Gather Evidence: Collecting evidence is crucial when building a strong case. This includes any police reports, medical records, witness statements, 911 tapes, body and dash camera video and other relevant documents.
File Within the Statute of Limitations: In Indiana, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit against entities that are non-governmental. This means you must initiate the legal process within two years from the date of your loved one’s death and if governmental, you must file a tort claims notice in as little as 6 months.
Understand Indiana’s Wrongful Death Statute: Indiana has specific laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits, and it’s crucial to understand them before proceeding with your case. A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can guide you through these statutes.
The Don’ts: Mistakes to Avoid When Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
As crucial as it is to know the do’s, it’s equally essential to understand what not to do when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:
Do Not Delay: As mentioned previously, there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana. Don’t wait until the last minute, as this can jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation. It is always best to hire your own attorney as soon as possible.
Do Not Discuss Your Case with Insurance Companies: The responsible party’s insurance company may reach out to you to discuss the case. It’s crucial to not engage with insurance adjusters without consulting your wrongful death lawyer first.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Without Consulting a Lawyer: Similarly, it’s important that you do not accept any settlement offers without a lawyer’s guidance. Insurance companies try to offer a lower amount than what you are entitled to, and a wrongful death lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.
Do Not Assume You Are Not Eligible to File: In some cases, family members may assume they are not eligible to file for a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s essential to consult with a lawyer to determine your eligibility and who in the family shares in any settlement or verdict.
Do Not Share Sensitive Information on Social Media: It’s best that you do not post any information about your case on social media. This can potentially harm your case and will be used against you by the defense if possible.
The Role of Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
In Indiana, punitive damages may be awarded in wrongful death lawsuits. These damages are meant to punish the responsible party for their actions and serve as a deterrent for similar behavior in the future.
Losing a loved one is devastating, but seeking justice can help bring closure and financial stability for the future. By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, working with a wrongful death lawyer, and understanding the role of punitive damages, you can navigate through this challenging process and achieve justice for your loved one. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Seek legal support and take the necessary steps towards seeking justice. Let the law work for you when dealing with such unfortunate events and protect the rights of your loved ones who are no longer with us.
Seek justice today if your family has just suffered a tragic death caused by another’s negligence. Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Indianapolis. We provide contingency-fee representation, so you don’t pay anything unless we successfully secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.