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.
Damages in an Indiana wrongful death claim are intended to compensate the surviving family members for losses they experienced because of their loved ones’ death. The amount and type of damages a loved one can recover is very specific to each case. The victim’s estate, spouse, or child may recover funeral and burial expenses, hospital and medical expenses, lost wages and benefits the victim may have earned, and legal fees related to the lawsuit. If the deceased individual is a child, the parents or guardians may also receive damages for the loss of the child’s consortium. This means that they may recover for the loss of the child’s companionship, love, and services. Further, the parents and siblings of these victims may recover for the costs of therapy they are receiving because of the death. Unlike other states, Indiana does not permit general “grief” damages. Further, the state provides a damages cap of $300,000 in these cases.
Collecting Compensation After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or death because of the negligence of another, you should contact the Indiana wrongful death attorneys at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP. The attorneys at our law firm strive to provide clients with the dedicated representation they need and deserve after suffering a tragic loss. Although we understand that compensation cannot bring your loved one back, we work tirelessly to ensure that the negligent party is held responsible, and you and your family receive justice. Compensation in these cases often includes attorney fees, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 888-532-7766 to discuss your Indiana injury case with an attorney at our law firm.