Experiencing the death of a loved-one is life-altering in most situations, and it is even more tragic when the death could have been prevented. Too many unnecessary deaths occur as a result of the negligent conduct of others, and often, survivors are left to grieve while trying to navigate financial difficulties and family emotions brought on by their sudden loss. Exorbitant medical and funeral expenses can compound an already painful and heartbreaking situation, bring despair where there is already sadness.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim or lawsuit is not intended to determine criminal responsibility, but rather to establish who is liable for the death and the amount of compensatory damages to which the decedent’s family is entitled.
Who may file a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Indiana, a wrongful death claim is brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children or parents. In cases involving the death of a child, the parents may file suit without an estate being opened. Because the deadlines vary on the opening of an estate and the filing of a wrongful death action, you are encouraged to contact counsel immediately to insure the statute of limitations is preserved.
Wrongful Death Compensation
In wrongful death cases, plaintiffs can make a claim for the lost earnings of the deceased person, plus compensation for the loss of love and companionship of one’s family member. Because of the tremendous loss to the surviving spouse and family, wrongful death damages are substantial. The amount recovered often largely depends upon the amount of insurance coverage maintained by the responsible party.