Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney
If you suspect that someone else’s negligent actions caused the loss of a loved one, you probably have hundreds of questions about your legal rights, and what steps you need to take in order to protect your family moving forward. It can feel overwhelming to realize that the injuries your loved one sustained could have been prevented, especially when the accident happened because another person wasn’t paying attention, acted recklessly, or otherwise failed to provide the duty of care owed to your loved one. Wrongful deaths occur in tragic accidents at the hands of another individual’s poor conduct, reckless behavior or negligent actions. If you have lost a loved one in these circumstances, no amount of money will ever fully compensate you for the loss of your family member. However, you could obtain funds necessary to hold these responsible parties accountable and to receive the compensation your family needs to move on. Your family’s financial security should be the primary concern of your Indiana wrongful death attorney. When another person’s death is caused by an accident or a wrongful act of another, the surviving family members or the personal representative of the victim’s estate can initiate a lawsuit, provided that the victim would have had grounds to sue if he or she had survived. The maximum period of time with which someone can wait to file a wrongful death claim is within two years of the victim’s death. If a child was the victim of a wrongful death, either or both parents can initiate a wrongful death claim. Certain types of damages can be awarded to the surviving family members or to the estate of the deceased individual if a jury or judge finds that a wrongful death occurred. Damages can include lost earnings, funeral and burial expenses, reasonable medical expenses, hospital bills, loss of love and companionship and loss of benefits that the deceased would have received. Damages recovered for hospital, funeral and medical expenses will go to the estate of the deceased person. Remaining damages are distributed by the estate’s personal representative. Wrongful death damages can be awarded to a surviving spouse and dependent children, or a non-dependent parent or non-dependent child.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Cases in Indiana
A broad range of personal injury cases such as occupational accidents, dangerous drugs, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, exposure to toxic substances and car or truck crashes may be included in a wrongful death claim.
Punitive damages in certain states allow for the punishment of a company or person responsible for causing a death. However, punitive damages are not allowed in wrongful death cases in Indiana.
In general, Indiana law does not allow recovery for pain and suffering or grief, and a damages cap exists of $300,000 for unmarried adults. Consulting with your Indiana wrongful death attorney can help you figure out the damages to which you may be entitled. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases in which the defendant has the intent to harm rather than simply being negligent and punitive damage awards cannot be more than the larger of $50,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages.
The jury may award lost earnings, even if a deceased person was unemployed, particularly if he or she had been employed in the past or contributed to the household. Talk to your Indiana wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your options.