Wrongful death lawsuits arise when a person is killed by another person’s wrongful act or omission. Lawsuits for the wrongful death of a loved one are a relatively new development in our legal system, and historically were not recognized at common law. In order to allow people who lose family members or loved ones to recover, causes of action for wrongful death have been created by statute and have special provisions specifying the kinds of damages available and who is able to recover. Anyone who has lost a loved one and believes that someone else may be at fault should consult with an experienced Indiana wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death cases can be highly complex and require highly skilled representation. Common kinds of accidents that may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit include:
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The general Indiana wrongful death statute, found in Indiana Code 34-23-1, allows the personal representative of a decedent to recover if the decedent could have brought a personal injury action against the person who caused their death. There are three distinct statutorily created causes of action for wrongful death; the general Wrongful Death Act (referenced above), the Child Wrongful Death Act, and the Adult Wrongful Death Act. Each act provides for separate causes of action based on characteristics of the decedent and specifies the kinds of damages available.
Wrongful death claims need to be filed within two years and available damages may include:
Who can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit depends whether the decedent was an adult with dependents, and adult without dependents, or a child. If the decedent had a spouse, children, or relatives that were dependent on him or her, people within those classes may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If, however, the decedent was an adult with no dependents, the only people that may recover are parents or children that can prove a “genuine, substantial and ongoing relationship” with the person who died. If the decedent was under 20, or under 23 if still in school, his or her parents may bring a wrongful death suit against the responsible party or parties. Importantly, Indiana law also allows for recovery for the death of a fetus that has achieved “viability.”
If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages through a Indiana wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to file a claim as soon as possible, due both to the relatively short statute of limitations for wrongful death actions, and also to ensure that evidence favorable to your case is not lost or destroyed.
Anyone who suspects that negligence may have been a factor in the death of a loved one should document as much information about the incident as possible. In addition, avoid making any statements to insurance companies or authorities without first consulting an attorney.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.
Advertising Materials / Legal Advertising. Any testimonials or stories set forth on this website are by actual clients and their families. Such testimonials or stories are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a promise or guarantee as to the outcome of your specific case and may not be typical. Every case presents unique facts and circumstances. You case and expected outcome will likely differ from the facts of the cases listed. The only way to properly evaluate your case is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney.