When someone dies, it’s hard for the survivors to cope. This is especially true if the death was caused by someone’s negligence. If the victim’s death couldn’t be explained by natural causes or a tragic accident, but rather by someone else’s negligence, it may be pursued as a wrongful death case.
Causes of Wrongful Death Cases
As nice as it would be to know the details of a death at first glance, it can be hard to tell where to draw the line. If a loved one’s death was caused by any of the following common situations, you might consider talking with a personal injury attorney.
1. Car Accidents
Car accidents are among the leading causes of wrongful death cases. If a victim was killed by a drunk driver, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit. Indiana’s vehicular manslaughter law allows the state to press criminal charges against the at-fault driver. An Indiana personal injury attorney should be able to walk you through the details.
2. Medical Malpractice
If a medical professional failed to make the right calls that resulted in an avoidable death (e.g. prescribing the wrong medication or misdiagnosing a condition) he or she could be held responsible for wrongful death.
3. Product Defects
It’s possible that defective equipment or a lack of proper safety warnings could’ve played a part in your loved one’s death. In this case, consumer product or industrial machinery manufacturers could be sued for wrongful death.
4. Premises Liability
Every property owner is responsible for maintaining a safe place to live, work, and pass through. Owners can be responsible for wrongful death if their building’s construction wasn’t up to code, or if things like burnt-out lights, shaky railings, or poorly constructed stairs were the cause of death.
5. Workplace Accidents
Worker’s compensation would be the best route for a personal injury case. But, in a situation of wrongful death, a company could be sued for failing to provide proper safety protocols, for example.
What is the Wrongful Death Statute in Indiana?
Indiana’s wrongful death statute defines wrongful death as a situation where “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” However, every state has its own variation. Further, Indiana’s statute of limitation states that the victim’s family has 2 years to file a wrongful death claim. After that deadline, it’s very difficult to move forward with a claim. An Indiana personal injury attorney should be familiar with wrongful death laws and therefore might be able to obtain an extension for special circumstances.
One way to determine a wrongful death case is to think of it as a personal injury case, except instead of an injury, the victim’s accident was fatal. Families seek wrongful death cases for mostly the same reasons a person would file an injury claim: financial compensation and to determine liability to the negligent persons.
Consult an Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one at the expense of someone’s negligence, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines alone. Consult with the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a free case evaluation today. Give us a call at 317-910-6400 or fill out the contact form below.
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