In Indiana, immediate family members of the deceased have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Once this deadline has passed, it’s nearly impossible to get the claim through the courts. Some personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so take advantage: Even if you just need clarification, contact an Indiana injury attorney immediately.
Indiana law requires that a claim must be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate (i.e. money and property). A representative is someone who’s responsible for handling any debts and taxes, as well as disbursing money and property to the individuals entitled to it. Damages may be awarded to the deceased person’s spouse, children, or other dependents. If more than one person is eligible to receive damages, the court will decide how to split up the amount.
In a wrongful death claim involving the death of a child, the case must be filed by one or both of the child’s parents. If the parents are divorced, the claim must be filed by a parent who has legal custody of the child. If both parents are deceased or if they don’t have parenting rights, the case must be filed by the child’s legal guardian.
In some wrongful death cases, it’s possible that the other party might be tried in a criminal case. However, criminal cases are not wrongful death cases; if someone is seeking damages for wrongful death, he or she will need to pursue that as its own separate case.
Wrongful death cases offer no guarantees. If the case lacks reliable proof of negligence, or if the representative of the deceased fails to follow Indiana protocol for filing the lawsuit, the outcome might not be a favorable one.