How Do Wrongful Death Claims Work in Indiana?

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According to statistics published by Indiana Traffic Safety Facts (2018), there were 873 traffic deaths in 2018 in the state. Losing a family member is a tragic experience, and can have long-lasting ramifications on your mental, emotional, and financial health. If you believe that your loved one's death was caused by another party's carelessness, you are within your rights to file a wrongful death claim against that responsible party.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Schuler Law Office can provide detailed guidance, compassionate representation, and the support you need during this critical period. Our team can help you pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical costs, burial expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of consortium. We proudly represent clients throughout Louisville, Kentucky, Clarksville, Charlestown, as well as Southern Indiana.

Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death is a death that occurred as a result of someone else's negligent actions. The purpose of the wrongful death lawsuit is to hold the responsible party liable for an avoidable accident that caused a loss of life.

Even though no amount of compensation can fill the void left by the loss nor bring the person back, Indiana's wrongful death statutes were established to enable the victim's family, and dependents to hold the responsible party liable, seek financial compensation, and regain financial stability after an unexpected death.

Filing a wrongful death claim can provide the much-needed financial assistance for the family to cover funeral expenses, lost income, burial expenses, loss of consortium, as well as medical costs incurred before the victim's passing.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Indiana?

Indiana Code 34-23-1 describes wrongful death as a situation in which "the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another." Pursuant to Indiana's wrongful death statute: 

"When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the former may maintain an action therefore against the latter, if the former might have maintained an action had he or she, as the case may be, lived, against the latter for an injury for the same act or omission."

To establish liability, the claimant must prove that the victim's death was caused by the defendant's careless actions or intentional behavior.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?

In Indiana, if the deceased was an adult, the personal representative of the estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These include the surviving spouse, sibling, adult child, or parent. If the deceased person is a child, one or both parents may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

However, there is a time limit, or statute of limitations, for filing a lawsuit. Legal action must be initiated within two years of the date of death.

Damages Available

Damages that may be recovered in an Indiana wrongful death action include:

  • Medical costs from the date of the accident until the victim's death
  • Burial, funeral, and/or cremation expenses
  • Loss of income, wages, and financial support
  • Loss of benefits such as life insurance
  • Loss of affection, parental guidance, consortium, companionship, and care
  • Attorney fees

How Legal Counsel Can Help

The death of a loved one can have long-lasting implications on their dependents and family. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help to navigate the often complex legal process of a lawsuit and pursue fair compensation.

At Schuler Law Office, we are committed to providing outstanding legal services and protecting the rights of wrongful death victims and their families. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will offer you compassionate representation and attempt to recover the rightful compensation for your loss. We can help you:

  • Conduct a comprehensive investigation
  • Gather all necessary evidence and documentation
  • Establish liability and determine case-value
  • Handle all communications on your behalf 
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider
  • Represent you passionately in your wrongful death lawsuit, if necessary

Our attorneys will fight zealously so that the right people are held responsible. Having our skillful team of personal injury attorneys on your side could increase your chances of receiving deserved compensation.

Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Southern Indiana

If you have lost a spouse, parent, child, or loved one, due to the negligent actions of another person, you are within your rights to hold the responsible party liable. Contact Schuler Law Office today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Our attorneys can fight to protect your rights, represent you passionately, and help you pursue fair financial compensation for your loss. We proudly represent wrongful death victims throughout Louisville, Kentucky, and surrounding communities as well as Southern Indiana.