In the State of Indiana, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the wrongful actions, negligence, or carelessness of another person. Like other states, Indiana has its own set of state laws governing wrongful death claims. An experienced Westfield personal injury attorney can determine if your loved one’s case qualifies as wrongful death and help you take legal action if it does.
How Does Indiana Define “Wrongful Death”?
Indiana Code 34-32-1 is the state’s wrongful death statute. According to the statute, an individual’s wrongful death is attributed to another person’s wrongful act or omission. Wrongful deaths can occur due to medical malpractice, personal injury cases (such as vehicle crashes), and workplace accidents.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury case, but the affected individual cannot act as a plaintiff. Instead, the deceased individual’s estate assumes the plaintiff’s role to either seek money damages or establish liability for the defendant whose negligence caused the wrongful death. Typically, immediate family members can file a wrongful death claim for a loved one. The spouse of the deceased adult can also file a wrongful death claim. It’s important to note that there is a two-year time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Indiana, which means that the surviving spouse or family members must take action relatively quickly to preserve evidence and attempt to hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions.
To file a wrongful death claim in Indiana, the individual’s surviving spouse or family members must prove that:
The victim’s death was caused by neglect, default, or a wrongful act
● The neglect, default, or act would have enabled the deceased individual to file an action for recovering damages in a personal injury case if death did not occur
● The victim has surviving children, dependents, or beneficiaries
● The decedent’s death has resulted in monetary damages
Compensation From a Wrongful Death Claim
Proving a wrongful death claim can provide various kinds of compensation, including:
Expenses incurred by the victim’s death, including funeral and medical costs
● Loss of expected earnings and income over the victim’s lifetime due to his or her death
● Loss of benefits attributed to the individual’s death, including 401K and health insurance coverage
● Suffering, pain, and anguish to the survivors caused by the victim’s death
● Lost care, protection, and companionship due to the victim’s death
● Punitive and general damages
Individuals seeking a wrongful death claim should note that damages in Indiana are limited to $300,000 for wrongful death cases. Additionally, Indiana does not provide compensation for “grief” that surviving loved ones or family members experience due to the victim’s death. Damages for lost wages must be distributed among the surviving spouse and the victim’s children.
Read About The Different Types Of Car Accident Claims In Indiana
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana, you will need a skilled personal injury lawyer to help. Contact Webster & Garino LLC for more information and to schedule a consultation.
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