Indiana Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Indiana

At Blackburn Romey, we treat all personal injury claimants as if they are family members, especially those impacted by a wrongful death. After losing a loved one, there are many emotions to process and matters to figure out. You can count on our reputable Indiana wrongful death lawyers for help during this difficult time. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

What Is a “Wrongful Death?”

By legal definition, wrongful death happens when someone is killed due to another party’s negligence or careless, reckless, or intentional actions. For example, deaths labeled as preventable are generally considered “wrongful” under the law. If the decedent could file a personal injury claim had they lived, their family member or representative likely has a valid wrongful death claim worth pursuing. 

Many circumstances can give rise to a wrongful death claim, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Birth injuries
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Premises liability accidents, including slip and falls and negligent security
  • Defective products
  • Defective medical devices 
  • Harmful prescription drugs
  • Work-related accidents
  • Daycare incidents

While these cases are quite complex and devastating, our compassionate Indiana wrongful death attorneys have what it takes to help you seek the best outcome possible in your claim. It’s crucial to have attorneys with in-depth experience in the legal practice of wrongful death to ensure you receive maximum compensation on behalf of your loved one.

Is There A Difference Between Murder And Wrongful Death?

Yes. There are many differences. A murder case goes to criminal court after the state files charges. If the prosecution is successful or the defendant is guilty, their punishment is incarceration. In some instances, there is a fine payment too.

When you compare that to a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court against the person or business alleged to be legally responsible for causing the wrongful death, the results involve money. Should the defendant be liable for the death, the liability focuses on damages payable by the defendant to the estate and surviving family members. A judgment enforces this notion by the court.

The respective burdens of proof are also different in each of these cases. The prosecutor must establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt within a criminal case. The presumption of innocence exists, too, which stays with the defendant unless the jury returns with a guilty verdict. During civil cases, the standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that it is more likely that the defendant is the reason for the wrongful death.

 

A Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim is a civil case that one can file against another person or business allegedly legally responsible for causing someone’s death. The underlying action that results or contributes to the death can be:

  • Negligent or careless conduct, like a car accident or the commission of medical malpractice
  • The design or manufacture of a defective product
  • A reckless or grossly negligent act, like a car accident where the defendant is driving under the influence or
  • Any intentional act, for example, an assault

Each state has its laws that permit a wrongful death lawsuit. The laws address who can file these cases, the kind of losses eligible for compensation, and the deadline for filing the claim in civil court.

 

Who Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Often, states require a personal representative of the deceased person to file a claim. Generally, this refers to a close family member like a surviving spouse, child, or parents.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?

Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a family member or loved one. The designated person with this right varies by state. For example, in Indiana, usually specific surviving adult age family members can take legal action against the negligent person or party. It depends on whom the deceased named as their legal representative for their estate. For example, if it was a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling, they will likely need to file the wrongful death claim. 

If the decedent didn’t appoint a personal representative before their death, the court would select one. That person can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent and their family. However, any damages obtained will be the property of the deceased person’s estate or the family.

Can Any Relative File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The details on who can file a wrongful death claim are in your state’s laws. We see many family members file lawsuits on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate. However, it is usually a spouse, child, or another dependent of the deceased person who can file a claim for losses.

 

Indiana Statute of Limitations

Like all other cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is subject to a deadline under a statute of limitations. The deadline expresses deadlines in years and varies from state to state. A two or three-year window is the most common, though. What holds across the board in all forms is that if you wait too long to file a wrongful death claim and the deadline passes, you lose your right to any consideration by the court. You also miss out on compensation.

If they were injured and lived for a while before dying, the clock still doesn’t start ticking until the date of their death. Suppose the appropriate party doesn’t file a wrongful death claim within the state-provided deadline. In that case, they typically lose the right to file a claim at all. Many people choose to hire Indiana wrongful death lawyers to help ensure that their case is filed on time and that all other appropriate deadlines are met.

Is there a Deadline to File an Indiana Wrongful Death Claim?

Like other types of personal injuries claims brought in Indiana, wrongful death claims also have a deadline. Also known as the statute of limitations, those who have a legal right to file a wrongful death claim must do so within two years of the death.

 

Compensation For Wrongful Death Damages

At Blackburn Romey, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to obtaining maximum compensation for your loved one’s death. Our Indiana wrongful death attorneys know that they have one chance to make this situation as right as it can ever be. We take your case seriously. Our Indiana wrongful death lawyers can help you seek the following damages in the event of a loved one’s death:

There are multiple categories for damages in wrongful death claims, which include:

  • Lost financial support that the loved one provided to your family 
  • Lost household services often provided by the deceased such as housekeeping, appointment scheduling, and child-rearing
  • Loss of parental guidance for minors who are left without the guidance and approval of a parent and any impact it might have on their future
  • Loss of love, care, and affection provided by the person who died
  • Medical expenses incurred by your loved one after they were injured but before they passed away
  • Burial and funeral expenses, which can be pretty costly, especially if unexpected
  • Lawyer fees related to the lawsuit—of course, you didn’t plan for this to happen, so why should you be the one liable for these expenses? The other party responsible for your loved one’s untimely death should be.

How To Determine The Number Of Damages?

Again, the type and amount of damages that survivors collect in a wrongful death case differs from state to state. For the most part, families and the deceased person’s estate receive compensation for the following:

  • The amount of financial support the deceased may offer if alive
  • Loss of emotional support that survivors experience due to the absence of the deceased individual which includes loss of care and companionship
  • Costs of pre-death medical treatment
  • Cost of funeral/burial expenses

Any future earnings or other economic losses that stem from the wrongful death need establishment. This can be through detailed testimony from expert witnesses.

 

How Much Can You Sue For In A Wrongful Death Case?

Wrongful death claims permit the plaintiff to seek compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages. The compensatory damages are to compensate a party for losses. It may look like this:

  • Medical bills before the deceased’s death
  • Lost wages while the deceased was in the hospital
  • Future wages
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death
  • Funeral and burial expense
  • Loss of companionship of a loved one

Can You Discharge A Wrongful Death In Bankruptcy?

The answer to this question requires careful review of the nature of the incident responsible for the wrongful death. Bankruptcy laws allow a petitioner to discharge specific debts resulting from a court judgment. Sometimes the bankruptcy petitioner can evade paying a judgment for accidentally causing death through ordinary negligence. Debt for a wrongful death judgment after a DUI accident can prohibit the petitioner from discharging into bankruptcy. The same usually applies to a wrongful death that results from the petitioner’s intentional actions like assault and battery.

 

How An Attorney Can Help

Don’t let a wrongful death claim fall by the wayside. They are highly complex lawsuits that require attention to detail. It is always a good idea to have an experienced advocate throughout the legal process.

If, after reading this, you still have further questions or concerns, be sure to get in touch with one of our quality wrongful death attorneys. No one deserves to suffer after losing a loved one. Take action now because the longer you wait, the less likely you will receive what is rightfully yours. While no money will compensate for losing a loved one, it can still ease some burdens. You can confidently put your faith and trust in Blackburn Romey to fight for you and achieve successful results.

 

Talk to Our Indiana Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Suppose you recently lost a family member or loved one. In that case, our compassionate Indiana wrongful death attorneys know that nothing will ever replace them. However, a fair wrongful death settlement or court award can help you move forward without the burden of financial worries. We work hard to get you the legal results that you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free wrongful death claim consultation with experienced Indiana wrongful death attorneys.

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    Areas We Serve

    Fort Wayne Wrongful Death Attorney

    If you’ve recently loose a loved one by someone else’s negligence, you deserve the best legal representation. Reach out our dedicated and caring team of Fort Wayne wrongful death lawyers.

    South Bend Wrongful Death Attorney

    Have you lost a family member in South Bend in an accident? You deserve the best legal advice from a dedicated and sympathetic team of South Bend car accident lawyers.

    Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorney

    If a family member or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve the best legal counsel from a team of Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers.

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