24 hour legal helpline
Zero Fee Promise
Indianapolis Attorneys for Personal Injury
GET A FREE CASE EVALUATION NOW
Top-Rated Midwest Personal Injury Lawyers
Best Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys

South Bend, IN Wrongful Death Attorney

HELP IS MINUTES AWAY

Personal Injury Attorneys Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

5.0

Best Injury Lawyer Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me Injury Lawyer Near Me Best Indiana Injury Lawyer Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys

Out of 547 Reviews

The death of a loved one is often difficult for the surviving family members. If you lost a close relative, you could have lost a companion, financial provider, or caretaker. Your children could have lost years of wisdom and guidance. When the death results from another person, company, or entity’s carelessness or negligence, you might be able to seek monetary compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Our skilled South Bend, IN wrongful death attorneys will guide you through every step of the process. We know that this is a difficult moment, and our office handles every case with the compassion, care, and professionalism it deserves.

An unexpected death could leave a family in economic despair. Our office has helped South Bend families seek compensation for lost income, funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and other losses that impact your family’s financial future. Contact Wruck Paupore PC Injury Lawyers at (765) 295-6920 for a full case evaluation, free of charge.

What Is an Indiana Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Indiana law, wrongful death is defined as a death due to negligent conduct, such as a car wreck, medical malpractice, or an intentional act, such as a crime. You must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the death. This deadline remains the same whether the deceased was an adult or a child. However, in some instances, you are required to take legal action within 180-days, so it is very important that you do not delay protecting your rights.

A wrongful death lawsuit may arise from various types of accidents and incidents.

Automotive Vehicle Accident

Unfortunately, many car accidents in South Bend result in fatal injuries. These include crashes involving passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. In some cases, a pedestrian or a bicyclist is killed by a motorist.

Medical Malpractice

Surgical errors, misdiagnoses, birth injuries, and other mistakes could cost a patient their life. Our South Bend personal injury lawyers are committed to holding medical professionals liable for their unjustifiable errors.

Work-Related Injuries

Many families turn to worker’s compensation claims when they lose a loved one in a work-related accident. However, there are times when a negligent third party could be held accountable.

Slip and Fall Accidents

These types of accidents are common and are often serious. A fall from a significant height could be fatal. Property owners should be held accountable if their properties present deadly hazards.

Defective Products

When a product has a design flaw, manufacturing defect, or an insufficient warning label, it could cause an injury. Depending on the product and the nature of the defect, these injuries could be fatal.

Who Can File a South Bend, IN Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your loved one’s death is attributable to another’s negligence, you might be wondering about your rights and options. Under Indiana law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is entitled to file a wrongful death claim if the death was of an adult. The relationship between the personal representative and the deceased does not matter.

However, what is recoverable in a wrongful death action will depend upon the status of the adult at their death. Suppose the adult was married or had dependent children. In that case, recovery may be made for the loss of the spouse or dependent children’s loss of love, affection, and companionship, and there is no cap on the amount of recovery in this instance. In other situations, caps on damages may exist, which our attorneys will explain to you based on your particular situation.

If you prevail in a wrongful death claim in South Bend, the court will have discretion on how the proceeds are disbursed among surviving family members. In cases where the deceased was the child of divorced parents, only the parent with legal custody is entitled to file a wrongful death claim.

Who to Sue in a South Bend, IN Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Naming your defendant is an important step in any lawsuit. For some, the defendant’s identity is clear from the very beginning. For others, the defendant’s identity might be a mystery. We also risk letting our emotions cloud our judgment in wrongful death lawsuits. While we might believe one particular person is to blame for the tragic loss, it might actually be someone else, or they might share liability.

Deciding whom to sue often requires a skilled investigation into how your loved one passed away. Was it an accident? If so, who caused or contributed to the accident? Could the accident have been caused by an unseen person or force? For instance, if it was a motor vehicle accident, were the roads properly maintained and did the government maintain proper traffic signals and speed limits in the area?

Often, a person who owed a duty of care to your loved one may be liable for their wrongful death if they violated their duty, and the death is directly connected to this violation. Exactly what this looks like varies from case to case but should be investigated by an experienced law firm.

If more than one person is responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death, our South Bend, IN wrongful death lawyers can help you seek recovery from multiple defendants. In some cases, other parties can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of others. For example, employers may be held liable for their employee’s negligence. If your loved one died after a car accident with a bus driver, you can often sue the bus driver and the bus company that employs them.

Evidence for Wrongful Death Cases in South Bend, IN

Every case needs evidence. Evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit can be hard to predict, as each case is unique and may turn on vastly different forms of evidence. If your loved one passed away after an accident, you will need evidence from that accident. For example, photos and videos from the accident scene can show a jury how and where the accident occurred.

If your loved one’s wrongful death resulted from an intentional act, you might need evidence that directly ties the defendant to the cause of death. For example, a weapon with the defendant’s fingerprints or DNA on the defendant’s clothes that matches your loved one’s DNA may be important to your case.

Even if physical evidence is hard to find or non-existent, you can still rely on witness testimony. The more people that witnessed the accident or incident, the better. Multiple stories that align and paint a complete picture of your loved one’s wrongful death can help you establish the defendant’s liability.

Your loved one’s medical records are of the utmost importance. These records can help our South Bend, IN wrongful death lawyers establish the cause of death. We can call in expert medical witnesses to explain the information in your loved one’s medical records and how your loved one died. It will be important to review whether an autopsy was performed, obtain an official death certificate, and determine whether any additional expert testimony is required regarding cause of death. Expert witnesses are unique because they are allowed to offer opinions based on their expertise where ordinary lay witnesses can only testify to factual matters they have observed.

Damages Available in a South Bend Wrongful Death Claim

Indiana has many specific laws that govern compensation awarded in a wrongful death claim. For example, a surviving adult family member is not permitted to recover for emotional suffering or grief. Our South Bend, IN wrongful death attorneys will seek compensation for the following:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost income and other financial benefits you would have received if the deceased was still alive
  • Loss of love, affection, and companionship (depending on the specific circumstances)
  • Reasonable attorney fees and other expenses associated with your claim

In addition to restricting what a surviving member could be compensated for, Indiana law also sets certain cap limits on the damages available in a wrongful death claim in certain situations.

The Adult Wrongful Death Act caps possible damages for loss of companionship of most unmarried adults, without dependent children, at $300,000 in most instances.

Under Indiana’s Child Wrongful Death Act, there is no specific cap on damages for loss of love, affection, and companionship if the deceased is a child under 20-years-old. In some cases, the age limit is 23 if the person is enrolled in an education program.

Survival Actions in South Bend After a Wrongful Death

In Indiana, a survival action could be filed in addition to a wrongful death claim. Our South Bend, IN wrongful death attorneys may bring one of these claims concurrently with the wrongful death lawsuit or as an alternative, depending on the specific circumstances.

A survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate to recover the damages the deceased suffered before their death. Think of it as a personal injury lawsuit that could have been filed if the deceased had not been killed. In a survival action, the estate of your loved one could be compensated for the following:

  • Pain and suffering experienced before death
  • Lost income between the accident and death
  • Medical bills incurred to treat the deceased
  • Property lost in the accident

Wrongful Death Cases Involving Children in South Bend, IN

Wrongful death cases that involve children are not only traumatic, but they follow somewhat different rules regarding who can sue and what kind of damages can be recovered. Our South Bend, IN can help you through this incredibly difficult time and get you the compensation your family needs and deserves.

According to Indiana Code § 34-23-2-1, a “child” is anybody under 20 years old. Alternatively, a child may include anyone who is up to 23 years old and is enrolled in a postsecondary school, like college, university, or a technical education program.

The loss of a child is different than the loss of an adult, and the damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an adult are sometimes more limited. In a child wrongful death case, the parents may recover economic losses and may also recover damages for the loss of love and companionship of the child for the course of the parents lifetime, which is usually the largest component of damages. There is no cap on the monetary amount of recovery for this loss, which any grieving parent can tell you is tremendous. Parents are also able to recover their attorneys fees incurred in obtaining recovery under the Child Wrongful Death statute.

Things like lost income are usually not an issue in these cases because these are not things children typically provide to their parents, although this is often an issue in adult wrongful death cases. Some damages common in cases involving both adults and children. Funeral and burial expenses may be recovered in addition to hospital expenses connected with the child’s death.

Because the loss of a child is so traumatic, parents can claim damages related to the cost of psychiatric care. If you have to seek professional help from a psychiatrist, you may be able to recover the cost of your care.

Considering a Settlement in a South Bend, IN Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Because wrongful death cases can be emotionally taxing, plaintiffs often seek out-of-court settlement agreements. A settlement is an agreement between defendants and plaintiffs. The defendant agrees to pay a certain sum of money to cover the plaintiff’s damages, and the plaintiff agrees to drop the case and waive their right to bring it to court.

A settlement may be appropriate if the defendant is willing to offer a full settlement that accounts for all of your legally recoverable damages. Doing so would allow you to get the compensation your family needs while avoiding the delay of a trial. However, if a fair settlement cannot be obtained, we are ready to take the defendants to court so a jury will hold them accountable for your actions. We work to try and limit the impact such a trial would have on your life, understanding the emotional trauma you have already been subjected to.

Settlements do not happen automatically, and they must be skillfully negotiated after your case is investigated and prepared. Our South Bend, IN wrongful death lawyers can help negotiate the best settlement possible for your situation. With strong evidence and our qualified team behind you, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your recover the maximum amount possible and allow you to move forward as best as possible.

Criminal Charges and Wrongful Death Cases in South Bend, IN

Wrongful death cases are sometimes entangled with criminal trials. When someone suffers a wrongful death, the person responsible may be criminally charged, even if the death was not intentional. Criminal charges related to death are often very severe, and trials may take some time to complete. There is no reason to wait in pursuing your civil wrongful death case, however, as the civil case typically takes longer than the criminal case to make its way to trial.

Our South Bend, IN wrongful death lawyers can help you use this time to prepare your lawsuit, gather evidence, and find witnesses and obtain their testimony. When the criminal case is over, we will be prepared for a full trial. Of course, we can also negotiate a settlement while the criminal case is ongoing, and often these civil cases are resolved by settlement while the criminal case is still pending.

Where prosecutors are involved in bringing criminal charges against the defendant, it is important to have a good relationship with them to coordinate their case against the defendant with your own. We have strong relationships with the St. Joseph County and Elkhart County prosecutors’ offices and work with them cooperatively as they bring the criminal case.

If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, you can use it to establish liability or negotiate a better settlement. Defendants guilty in their criminal trials usually know that they are more likely to be found liable at a civil trial. This may make them more willing to settle your civil lawsuit.

South Bend, IN Wrongful Death Attorneys Working for Grieving Families

A wrongful death claim or survival action will not bring your loved one back. However, it might provide a sense of justice and provide the financial compensation you and your family need. Our South Bend, IN wrongful death attorneys provide compassionate and professional legal representation. Call (219( 322-1166 for a free evaluation of 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.