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What is wrongful death?

October 10, 2016

In the state of Indiana, the wrongful death statute states that a person’s cause of death must have involved misconduct or negligence on behalf of another person or entity. Wrongful death cases may arise from:

  • Car accidents
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Construction sites
  • Injuries
  • Poorly constructed or designed products
  • Accidents on someone else’s property

These types of cases are civil lawsuits. The purpose of a civil lawsuit is to seek monetary compensation rather than to prosecute anyone. Criminal charges may be filed after, before, or at the same time as a wrongful death lawsuit, but they’re separate from a wrongful death charge and have no effect on its outcome. For example, if a drunk driver was responsible for a fatal crash in Indiana, he or she can be charged with both wrongful death and vehicular manslaughter.

Compensation Expectations in Wrongful Death

Recoverable damages in Indiana depend on a number of factors: Things like earning capacity, life expectancy, health, and character might all be taken into account when determining damage amounts. A victim’s family may recover damages related to:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees (with a cap of $300,000)
  • Loss of support and inheritance

For adult victims who had dependents or a spouse, it can be possible to recover lost wages and benefits. When a child is a victim of wrongful death, families may seek compensation for pain and suffering.

When hiring an attorney for wrongful death, be sure to find a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with wrongful death lawsuits. It’s also important that the attorney has practiced in the state the death occurred. Each state has varying definitions of wrongful death as well as different statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitation in Indiana has a 2 year timeline.

 

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