Aaron Hernandez, former star NFL tight end for the New England Patriots, is now facing civil wrongful death charges in a Massachusetts court. Hernandez is currently being held, without bail, in solitary confinement pending the outcome of his criminal trial.
According to a report by ESPN, Hernandez has plead not guilty to the murder of a friend back in June of this year. In more recent news, the family of Hernandez’s slain friend filed a wrongful death charge earlier this month claiming damages that exceed the value of Hernandez’s $1.25 million dollar home. The family of the victim has also taken legal action to prevent Hernandez from receiving the remaining $3 million from his contract with the New England Patriots.
Wrongful Death Actions in Indiana
Indiana courts have their own version of the wrongful death statute which Hernandez is being sued under. At its essence, a wrongful death action is a claim filed by the “survivors” of an accident victim seeking damages for their loss.
A wrongful death claim is a civil cause of action created to allow a victim’s family or those who are financially dependant on the victim to recover for the loss of financial support that the victim provided. A wrongful death action proceeds through the court system as though the victim was still alive, and the deceased is named as a party to the suit.
In Indiana, a successful wrongful death claim must have the following elements:
- There must be a death; and
- The death must have been caused by the wrongful, negligent, or intentional acts of another.
In addition, the suit must be brought by the right person and within the allotted amount of time. In Indiana, all wrongful death actions must be brought within two years of the victim’s death. Determining who can bring the suit can be a bit more complex, but generally wrongful death actions are brought by a personal representative of the deceased. Any damages that are awarded to the deceased may be distributed among the following parties:
- Widow or widower
- Dependent children
- Other dependent blood relatives
- Funeral home and anyone else making burying arrangements
- Attorneys involved in securing the award
Did You Recently Lose a Family Member Due to Another’s Negligence?
If you recently lost a relative and you believe that your loss was due to the negligent or intentional acts of another party, you may be able to recover monetary damages to compensate you for the lack of support the deceased provided to you. To understand more about wrongful death actions, and to see if filing such an action may be something you are interested in, contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to discuss the facts of your case. The Indiana personal injury law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse has the experience, dedication, and diligence you need to effectively bring any wrongful death or negligence action. To speak to an attorney and discuss your situation in more detail, call 888-532-7766, or contact the firm online.
Cold Weather and Holiday Libations Can Make for Dangerous Roads, Indiana Accident Attorneys, December 27, 2013.
Newlywed Dies in Fatal Auto Accident Hours After Getting Married, Indiana Accident Attorneys, December 17, 2013.