Naturally, family members who lose a loved one as a result of another’s negligence hope to seek justice on their loved one’s behalf. While no amount of compensation could take the place of a lost loved one, it can provide the family with some financial and emotional relief during these tragic times. Under state law, an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate when the death of an individual is the result of another’s wrongful act or omission. In these cases, the representative or estate of the deceased individual serves as the plaintiff to establish liability and seek monetary damages. Many of these lawsuits stem from Indiana medical malpractice claims, nursing home abuse and neglect cases, and motor vehicle accidents.
Indiana allows a personal representative of the individual’s estate to file a claim, but courts will only award damages to the deceased’s spouse, child, or dependents. In cases where there are multiple beneficiaries, courts will decide how the award should be divided. Lawsuits involving children must be brought by the child’s parent or legal guardian.
Like all civil lawsuits, Indiana wrongful death claims must follow the state’s strict statute of limitations. Under the law, plaintiffs must file their wrongful death claims within two years of the victim’s death. Family members who do not comply with the statute of limitations may risk dismissal and any chance for recovery. These time limits apply even when the victim is a child or if there is an ongoing criminal lawsuit for the same event.