When a loved one passes away peacefully in their sleep due to old age, we are usually at peace even though it still hurts. However, it’s hard to find the much-needed closure if you suddenly lose a close family member because of someone else’s negligence.
Whether a car crash, medical malpractice, or a defective product caused your loved one’s death, you want to receive justice and recover compensation for your family’s damages if possible. In that case, you may want to work with an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?
In Indianapolis, only specific people can file a wrongful death claim. Indiana state law (IC § 34-23-1-2) indicates that only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, this is their spouse, parent, sibling, or adult child.
How Much Can You Recover?
Every wrongful death claim is unique, so it is impossible to provide an estimate for how much you may recover without discussing your personal situation.
Generally, the law in Indiana does not reward the plaintiff compensation for losses for grief, lost future earning potential, or punitive damages. However, you may recover compensation for funeral, burial, and medical costs, as well as loss of love and companionship, which has a maximum award of $300,000.
Filing Deadlines for a Wrongful Death Suit in Indiana
Residents of Indianapolis have two years from the date of the wrongful death to file their claims. However, it is generally a good idea to start this process as soon as possible. By doing so, you can leave your lawyer with plenty of time to gather evidence, interview eyewitnesses, and build a strong case.
While your lawyer works on your legal case, you can take the time you need to heal from the loss of your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Indianapolis, call 800-333-9999
What You Need to Do to Win a Wrongful Death Claim
You and your lawyer may prove liability in your wrongful death case by:
Proving negligence is the primary method of assigning liability to the responsible party. You must provide proof that another person, company, or organization was negligent, careless, or reckless, and that their action or inaction caused the death of your loved one.
Usually, wrongful death cases arise from situations that would have qualified for a personal injury lawsuit if the victim had survived. For example, suppose a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into your loved one’s car. If your loved one survived, they would have been able to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. However, because your loved one passed away, their representative can file a wrongful death claim instead.
Referring to a Criminal Judgment
If the defendant committed a crime, they might be facing litigation in both criminal and civil court. If this is the situation for your wrongful death claim, the result of one case can affect the other. For example, if the defendant was found guilty in a criminal case related to the accident, you could refer to this judgment in your civil case to help prove liability.
Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 800-333-9999
Four Ways an Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You
Proving liability in an Indianapolis wrongful death claim can be difficult. Understanding the different laws and statutes of limitations can also be challenging for someone who isn’t a professional. In that case, even though you’re not required to, hiring a lawyer might be helpful in building a strong case that will help you recover compensation.
Here are four ways in which your wrongful death attorney can help you with your case:
1. Gathering Evidence
From speaking to eyewitnesses to analyzing police reports and the accounts of the deceased and their loved ones, your wrongful death lawyer has the experience and resources to follow through on every lead. The more evidence you can gather, the more solid your wrongful death claim will be.
2. Investigating Your Case and Proving Liability
How was the liable party involved? What implicates them? Have there been similar charges brought against them before? Did they owe the deceased a duty of care? These are some questions that a lawyer will focus on when trying to prove liability, which is important in determining the result of your wrongful death claim.
3. Calculating Your Damages
As soon as we agree to take on your case, your lawyer will advise you on the best way forward. If they think you have a solid case, your lawyer can calculate a fair compensation amount to request during negotiations. These calculations are very difficult to make if you don’t have extensive legal experience.
4. Representing You in Negotiations and Trial
A wrongful death attorney will represent you in negotiations and bargain for a fair settlement for your wrongful death claim. If there is a disagreement between you and the defendant’s representatives, your attorney might choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit to fight for your rightful compensation.
What Is the Cost of Hiring an Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer?
At Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers, we operate strictly on a contingency basis – that means we take only a reasonable percentage of your final settlement. This means we only get paid if we successfully help you recover compensation.
If your case goes to trial, we have a mock courtroom where you can practice and gain comfort with the trial process. We also have both Spanish and English-speaking team members and an in-house litigation team. With over 400 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have successfully recovered over $1 billion in settlements for our clients.
Contact us or call us today for a free case consultation.