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Loss and tragedy are unfortunate parts of life. Everyone will undoubtedly lose a loved one at some point. While it is healthy to grieve and mourn, it can be even more difficult if your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions.

If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s negligence, you might have a wrongful death lawsuit on your hands. While death is sometimes unavoidable, an avoidable wrongful death resulting from carelessness deserves justice and compensation. The damages you can claim may vary depending on how your loved one died and your relationship with them.

The loss of a loved one is traumatic, and the experience may be made worse if the death was wrongful. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death lawyers can help you get justice for your family. Call Wruck Paupore at (765) 295-6920 for a free case review to discuss your legal options.

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Hammond, IN?

It can be difficult to know when a death is considered “wrongful.” Every death is painful for the loved ones left behind, but specific circumstances may provide you with legal options for compensation. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys can help you determine the best legal option for your situation.

Under Indiana Code § 34-23-1-1, wrongful death results from another person’s wrongful act or omission. A wrongful act is often an act of negligence, although it may also be an intentional act. Negligence involves a legal duty the defendant owed the deceased person. If the defendant failed to fulfill their duty, and your loved one died as a result, the defendant could be liable for the death. Alternatively, an intentional act might be a criminal act, like murder or manslaughter.

While family members and loved ones are often involved in a wrongful death lawsuit, the person filing the lawsuit must be the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Typically, the personal representative is the deceased person’s surviving spouse or adult children. However, anyone could be named a personal representative in the deceased’s will. While the personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit, family members may be named beneficiaries.

Common Reasons for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Hammond, IN

A wrongful death may arise from any number of circumstances. If you recently lost a loved one and are unsure if your case may be considered a wrongful death, our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys can provide guidance and insight.

Accidents are a significant factor behind many wrongful death lawsuits. Accidents involving cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and other vehicles often lead to tragic losses. Truck traffic on I-94 and I-90 is one of the busiest areas in the country, and the congestion on these roads unfortunately leads to a large number of accidents, including fatalities. There are strict laws regarding how drivers should conduct themselves on the road, with special rules for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. If someone violates these laws, they may cost another driver, pedestrian, or bike rider their life.

Many other accidents do not happen on the road but might occur in the workplace or even in your neighborhood. Workplace injuries in places like factories or construction sites sometimes lead to wrongful deaths. Other times, accidents happen in your neighborhood, like a slip and fall accident on someone’s icy walkway or uneven stairs.

We rely on doctors and nurses to help us when we are injured and sick, but sometimes medical malpractice makes our problems even worse, and patients might pass away because of a medical professional’s negligence.

In especially tragic cases, your loved one’s passing might be caused by the intentional acts of another. This not only gives rise to a wrongful death case, but it is also a serious criminal case.

Who You Can Sue in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Hammond, IN

Many wrongful death cases are based on negligence. In a negligence case, the person who can be held liable is the person who owed your loved one a duty of care or safety. This duty depends on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. As such, the duty tends to vary from case to case.

Car accidents are very common reasons behind wrongful death lawsuits, and they are situations in which all parties owe a duty of care. On the road, drivers owe a duty to drive with reasonable care. Exactly what is considered reasonable care also changed with road conditions, traffic, and other circumstances. If another driver violates this duty by running a red light, failing to brake, or somehow violating many other rules of the road, they can be held liable.

It is not unusual for liability to be shared among several defendants. This often makes it difficult for family members to decide whom they should sue for the wrongful death of their loved one. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys can help you sue as many people as necessary. For example, if your loved one passed away after a car accident and two other drivers’ negligence caused that accident, we can sue both of those drivers.

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Hammond, IN

Considerable damages can be claimed as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Indiana Code § 34-23-1-2, damages for the wrongful death of an adult person may include medical bills, hospital expenses, funeral costs, the cost of burial, and other losses. Typically, if the deceased person could have claimed the damages themselves if they had survived, they may be claimed under a wrongful death lawsuit.

The law also explicitly states that you cannot claim damages for your grief. While various damages connected to your personal relationship with the deceased are available, you cannot claim damages for the suffering related to grief. Additionally, you cannot claim punitive damages in any wrongful death action in Indiana.

Damages connected to your relationship with the deceased person include the loss of consortium between spouses. Loved ones may also claim damages for the loss of companionship and love. In some cases, there may be a cap on the damages that can be recovered for loss of love and companionship. However, there is typically no cap on damages recovered by surviving spouses and dependent children.

If you need help understanding the complex law in this area, contact our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys for advice and guidance on what damages you can expect to recover and what the process involves. Case evaluations are free.

Who Gets Paid in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Hammond, IN?

Sometimes, there is confusion over who is awarded damages in a wrongful death case. While the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is the one filing the lawsuit, family members often expect to be the beneficiaries of any damages. However, damages in adult wrongful death cases are typically awarded to the deceased persons’ estate, which a probate court then distributes to the estate’s heirs.

Damages in wrongful death cases include compensation for losses or expenses incurred by the deceased person before they passed away. This could include medical bills, funeral expenses, and any other damages they could have claimed themselves if they were still alive. Those damages will be distributed according to the deceased person’s will (or the intestacy statute if they died without a will).

In the end, the amount of money a person may receive in a wrongful death case depends a great deal on the unique set of facts surrounding the death and the relationship between the deceased person and those seeking compensation. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death lawyers are very experienced in handling these cases and will help you understand the possible damages in your case and how much money you stand to receive in the lawsuit. Despite many complicated rules, the amount of money that can be recovered in a wrongful death case can often be substantial.

Wrongful Death Cases Involving Children in Hammond, IN

Wrongful death cases involving children are especially tragic. They are also handled differently because children do not typically leave behind an estate, and the law regarding recovery in the case of a child’s wrongful death is entirely different in Indiana than those involving adults. There is usually no need for a personal representative when a child passes away because Indiana law typically provides for a legal action directly by the biological or custodial parents or guardians.

A child is legally defined under Indiana Code § 34-23-2-1 as a person under 20 years of age (or 23 and enrolled in a postsecondary school, like a college, university, or trade school). If there are no parents or legal guardians, a personal representative may be appointed to the case.

Many of the damages listed above may also be claimed for the wrongful death of a child: medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and lost services. However, you may also claim damages for the cost of psychiatric treatment to cope with the loss of a child. You may also claim damages for the child’s uninsured debts, including those that a parent would normally be obligated to pay. Most importantly, however, there is no cap on the amount you can recover for the loss of love and companionship of your child through their age of majority, which is frequently very substantial. Indeed, there are numerous cases where juries have determined these losses are valued in the millions of dollars. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys can help you determine the value of your wrongful death claims under the unique situation and circumstances that apply to you.

Evidence Needed in Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Hammond, IN

The evidence you need to prove the defendant is liable for your loved one’s wrongful death will differ in every case. There might be ample physical evidence connecting the defendant to the case for some. For others, witness testimony might play a bigger role. Evidence in motor vehicle accidents may also include things like “black box” data taken from onboard vehicle computers in motor vehicle accident cases.

Our Hammond, IN wrongful death lawyers are experienced at gathering and analyzing evidence in these situations. However, much of the important evidence can begin to disappear very shortly after an incident takes place, so the sooner we learn of your incident the more likely we will be able to preserve important information to help you recover what’s owed.

Medical records are important pieces of evidence in any wrongful death case. Your loved one’s medical records can give important insight into how they passed away. A medical expert, such as a doctor, can be called as an expert witness and testify about your loved one’s cause of death. An autopsy may or may not have been performed in your case, and it is important to review any such autopsy to make sure that it was performed properly. If not, it may be necessary to perform a private autopsy to address cause of death issues. This is best done as soon after the incident as possible.

In some cases, photos and videos from the accident scene may be useful. Security camera footage from nearby homes and businesses can be used to show the accident as it happened. Witness testimony is also crucial, especially if you can find multiple witnesses with different vantage points who can piece together a clear picture of the events.

You must also have evidence of your damages. A wrongful death case requires evidence of your own damages as a survivor. This includes your economic loss ass well as your loss of love and companionship of your loved one. The ability to carefully demonstrate the strength of your relationship between you and your loved one before the incident is critically important in these cases, and we often will create a detailed video documentary of your relationship to help a jury fully appreciate what you have lost.

Negotiating Settlement Agreements for Wrongful Death Cases in Hammond, IN

Unfortunately, a wrongful death lawsuit cannot cure the injustice of having your loved on taken from you, but it does allow you to recover money from the culprit and help hold them accountable for their negligence. Defendants and plaintiffs in these cases often want to settle out of court. Settlements often allow plaintiffs to avoid delay and the emotionally difficult process of a lawsuit while still receiving the financial compensation they are owed for losing their loved one. Our Hammond, IN wrongful death attorneys can negotiate for the best settlement possible for your case.

Settlements in wrongful death cases may be particularly challenging because, for many plaintiffs, the case is about more than money. It is about justice. While a settlement might cover all your damages and expenses and bring financial compensation, it may not bring the same satisfaction and closure as a court verdict.

While our legal team can assist you in negotiating a settlement, we are also prepared to take your case to a full trial if needed to ensure justice for your family. Before accepting a settlement offer, you should thoroughly discuss your case with your lawyer.

How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Can be Connected to Criminal Cases in Hammond, IN

Many wrongful death lawsuits are also tied up with criminal cases. There may be serious criminal charges when a person is killed, accident or not. Even accidental deaths, like in car accidents, may be met with criminal penalties for defendants if they were reckless in causing the incident.

If the defendant in your case is also criminally charged, your civil lawsuit can proceed at the same time as criminal proceedings. These proceedings generally will be resolved relatively quickly, and our Hammond, IN wrongful death lawyers will work to prepare your case while the criminal matter resolves.

If the defendant is found guilty at their criminal trial, this verdict can be used against them in a civil case. For example, if the defendant is found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, you can often use that guilty verdict to help prove liability. You can also use it to leverage a better settlement.

Contact Our Hammond, IN Wrongful Death Attorneys for Assistance

If you recently lost someone you love and want to hold the responsible parties accountable, our Hammond, IN wrongful death lawyers can help you fight for justice. Call our team at Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166. We offer free case evaluations and our Zero Fee Promise, in which you owe us nothing unless we are successful in your case.

Proven Results

$875,000

Nursing Home Abuse

Woman suffering physical and emotional abuse at nursing home.

$25,000,000

Traumatic Brain Injury

Client injured in auto accident after driver ran stop sign.

$940,000

Post-Concussion Disorder

Women rear-ended while stopped at red light

$1,250,000

Medical Malpractice

Patient suffering nerve damage following hip operation.

$12,000,000

Semi-truck Accident

Woman suffering a traumatic brain injury following semi-truck accident.

$10,500,000

Slip and Fall

Woman suffering severe hip and ankle fracture after falling on defective step.

$797,000

Post-Concussion Disorder

Man suffered headaches and other post-concussion symptoms from vehicle crash.

$1,750,000

Semi-Truck Accident

Woman suffering post-concussion syndrome after vehicle rear-ended by tractor trailer.

$7,250,000

Traumatic Brain Injury

Man physically assaulted at his workplace.

$945,000

Auto Accident

Woman suffered from an ankle fracture after a truck turned in front of her vehicle.

$1,525,000

Auto Accident

Man suffered back injury after head-on collision.

***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

"A great experience from beginning to settlement. Handled our case from start to finish. Explained every step and communicated very well."
– William H.
"Don did a great job on my case! Staff was amazing! Kept me in the loop the entire time. I highly recommend!!!!"
– Dana L.
"Wruck Paupore did more than they promised and did all of the work. I was worried about bills and dealing with insurance people. They did everything while I recovered. They were not concerned about earning money but about helping me and my husband."
– Edithe P.
"It was awesome watching Donald Wruck at work during mediation. He really fights for his clients."
– Lisa L.
"Great results in our auto accident case. Everyone was very helpful and I got a fantastic result. All my bills are paid and I can move on with my life."
– Trisha L.
"Wruck Paupore was fantastic. I was informed every step of the way, they did all of the work, and I got my case settled."
– Idell J.
"Exceptional team. They took on my case and made sure that I was consulted on every issue. If it wasn’t for the caring staff and my legal team I don’t know what I would have done. Everyone did an awesome job thanks so much for your help."
– Rhonda M.
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi-truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations!"
– James M.
"I can’t say enough about Don Wruck and the staff at Wruck Paupore PC Law Offices. When we were in our accident we were already very shaken and confused and in pain. Don and his staff took over with a gentle hand and took care of everything."
– James H
"We are so thankful with how the lawyers and staff handled our case. The folks at Wruck and Paupore were always pleasant and helpful in all their phone calls and letters. It was always a pleasure to get their calls. We were especially pleased with their tenacious pursuit of the goal of full recovery which was far greater than we could have imagined."
– Jay Zoellner
"A great experience from beginning to settlement."
– William R.
"From start to finish, Wruck Paupore PC Law were the best! Knowledgeable and straightforward, they explained the process, start to finish, and gave guidance while allowing us to determine the best course of action to take. We would highly recommend them and would certainly use them again."
– Chris V.
"My case wasn’t very large, but they made it easy to recover damages when the insurance company didn’t even want to cover basic costs. The firm was responsive to my inquiries, and very clear about what was required and what could be expected, during every step of the process."
– Wayne M.
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations! The staff at his firm was helpful, responsive and caring during a difficult time following a life-altering experience. I highly recommend Attorney Wruck and his firm."
– J B
"After being involved in a car accident, I was very fortunate to work with Don Wruck. He explained everything to me and my family and made me feel involved in all decisions. I was very happy with the result of my case and happy to have found this firm!"
– Kayla D.
"Wruck Paupore didn’t just represent me. They truly understood my case, but also what I lost. They simply refused to quit. Professional, accessible, informative, transparent, immensely qualified and completely honest. I basically trusted this firm with my future. One decision I’ll never regret. There’s a certain peace of mind you feel when professionals of this level have your back."
– Pat D.

Your Legal Team

Your Legal Team


Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

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.

Best Indiana Auto Accident Lawyer
Understanding the Insurance Company:
Getting Results.

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.

Best Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis
More than 40 Years of Experience.
Still Fighting for Justice.

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.

Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Indiana

Real Client Testimonials


Proven Results

$875,000

Nursing Home Abuse

Woman suffering physical and emotional abuse at nursing home.

$25,000,000

Traumatic Brain Injury

Client injured in auto accident after driver ran stop sign.

$940,000

Post-Concussion Disorder

Women rear-ended while stopped at red light

$1,250,000

Medical Malpractice

Patient suffering nerve damage following hip operation.

$12,000,000

Semi-truck Accident

Woman suffering a traumatic brain injury following semi-truck accident.

$10,500,000

Slip and Fall

Woman suffering severe hip and ankle fracture after falling on defective step.

$797,000

Post-Concussion Disorder

Man suffered headaches and other post-concussion symptoms from vehicle crash.

$1,750,000

Semi-Truck Accident

Woman suffering post-concussion syndrome after vehicle rear-ended by tractor trailer.

$7,250,000

Traumatic Brain Injury

Man physically assaulted at his workplace.

$945,000

Auto Accident

Woman suffered from an ankle fracture after a truck turned in front of her vehicle.

$1,525,000

Auto Accident

Man suffered back injury after head-on collision.

***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

"A great experience from beginning to settlement. Handled our case from start to finish. Explained every step and communicated very well."
– William H.
"Don did a great job on my case! Staff was amazing! Kept me in the loop the entire time. I highly recommend!!!!"
– Dana L.
"Wruck Paupore did more than they promised and did all of the work. I was worried about bills and dealing with insurance people. They did everything while I recovered. They were not concerned about earning money but about helping me and my husband."
– Edithe P.
"It was awesome watching Donald Wruck at work during mediation. He really fights for his clients."
– Lisa L.
"Great results in our auto accident case. Everyone was very helpful and I got a fantastic result. All my bills are paid and I can move on with my life."
– Trisha L.
"Wruck Paupore was fantastic. I was informed every step of the way, they did all of the work, and I got my case settled."
– Idell J.
"Exceptional team. They took on my case and made sure that I was consulted on every issue. If it wasn’t for the caring staff and my legal team I don’t know what I would have done. Everyone did an awesome job thanks so much for your help."
– Rhonda M.
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi-truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations!"
– James M.
"I can’t say enough about Don Wruck and the staff at Wruck Paupore PC Law Offices. When we were in our accident we were already very shaken and confused and in pain. Don and his staff took over with a gentle hand and took care of everything."
– James H
"We are so thankful with how the lawyers and staff handled our case. The folks at Wruck and Paupore were always pleasant and helpful in all their phone calls and letters. It was always a pleasure to get their calls. We were especially pleased with their tenacious pursuit of the goal of full recovery which was far greater than we could have imagined."
– Jay Zoellner
"A great experience from beginning to settlement."
– William R.
"From start to finish, Wruck Paupore PC Law were the best! Knowledgeable and straightforward, they explained the process, start to finish, and gave guidance while allowing us to determine the best course of action to take. We would highly recommend them and would certainly use them again."
– Chris V.
"My case wasn’t very large, but they made it easy to recover damages when the insurance company didn’t even want to cover basic costs. The firm was responsive to my inquiries, and very clear about what was required and what could be expected, during every step of the process."
– Wayne M.
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations! The staff at his firm was helpful, responsive and caring during a difficult time following a life-altering experience. I highly recommend Attorney Wruck and his firm."
– J B
"After being involved in a car accident, I was very fortunate to work with Don Wruck. He explained everything to me and my family and made me feel involved in all decisions. I was very happy with the result of my case and happy to have found this firm!"
– Kayla D.
"Wruck Paupore didn’t just represent me. They truly understood my case, but also what I lost. They simply refused to quit. Professional, accessible, informative, transparent, immensely qualified and completely honest. I basically trusted this firm with my future. One decision I’ll never regret. There’s a certain peace of mind you feel when professionals of this level have your back."
– Pat D.