The sudden loss of a loved one can leave you and your family with emotional devastation, as well as overwhelming pressure from medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of your loved one’s financial support. This is a chaotic, challenging, and confusing time for the surviving family. Serious legal mistakes can be made during this time of tragedy.
You do not have to face these challenges alone. Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can help. If another person’s negligent or intentional conduct caused the death of your loved one in Indianapolis, our attorneys can pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
While you focus on getting through this difficult time, we can focus on seeking answers about your loved one’s passing and potential compensation.
What Compensation Can a Family Pursue?
Indianapolis is subject to several state statutes that deal with wrongful deaths. IC §34-23-1-2 allows only the personal representative of the deceased to serve as a plaintiff in these lawsuits.
This personal representative may be named in a will or will be appointed by the court if no will exists. If the personal representative secures a settlement, they will then distribute it among the qualifying family members.
Limits on Available Damages
In addition, the lawsuit itself is limited in terms of the type and amount of damages that may be awarded. The law mandates that the plaintiff cannot recover damages for a person’s grief, lost future earning potential, or award compensation meant to punish the defendant. However, they may recover compensation for:
- Medical, funeral, and burial costs
- Loss of love and companionship that may not exceed $300,000
Wrongful death cases in Indianapolis, therefore, are extremely limited in the ways and means by which a plaintiff can recover damages. Still, this compensation can provide some level of comfort and closure to the family of the victim. Our personal injury lawyers can review your options during this difficult time and pursue the parties responsible for compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Indianapolis, call 317-636-7777
Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Case
A sudden death is always a tragedy, and the loss of a loved one can throw an entire family into chaos and uncertainty. When this death is the result of another’s intentional act or recklessness, the family of the deceased has the right to seek recompense.
When Negligence Plays a Role
A wrongful death in the eyes of the law is any that can be directly attributed to the intentional, reckless, or careless acts of another person. Many wrongful death cases arise out of situations that would otherwise be personal injury claims if the victim had survived.
For example, one of the most common examples of personal injury cases involves car accidents. Normally, the plaintiff in such a case is an injured driver who alleges the defendant negligently caused the accident.
When an Intentional Act Plays a Role
A wrongful death lawsuit can also arise out of an intentional act. Illegal acts, such as murder, manslaughter, and other forms of homicide are prime examples, but even a simple assault that inadvertently results in the victim’s death may warrant a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
Civil vs. Criminal Court
A defendant may be facing litigation in both civil court and the legal justice system for the same event. While criminal and civil cases are handled separately, the findings in one case can affect the result of the other. If a defendant is found guilty in a court of law, this could support your civil lawsuit.
Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 317-636-7777
How Our Lawyers Can Help
When we take on your case, you can grieve in peace, knowing that the legal process is being handled. Some of the ways we can pursue fair compensation include:
Investigate Your Case
When we investigate your case, we will identify any and all liable parties involved in your loved one’s passing. Potentially liable parties may include a negligent driver, property owner, or even a government entity.
Gather Evidence to Prove Liability
We will then gather the necessary evidence to prove the liability of the other party. We may acquire police reports, eyewitness statements, and expert witness testimony to prove that negligence played a role in your case.
Calculate Fair Compensation
We will make sure we account for all of your loved one’s medical expenses related to their fatal accident. We will also calculate the loss of companionship their absence has caused you and your family.
Negotiate with Insurers
We typically begin wrongful death cases by making an insurance claim with the liable party’s provider. A liable party may not have insurance or have enough to fairly cover your damages. An insurer may also offer you an initial settlement that does not fairly compensate you. We can help fight for a fair settlement, and if we need to, take legal action on your behalf.
Represent You at a Trial
If we have to file a wrongful death lawsuit, we will not hesitate to do so. We can present our findings to the court and seek a court-awarded offer. We can handle all of the paperwork associated with this process.
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How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Indiana?
Generally speaking, a person pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana has two years from the date of the death to file, according to IC §34-23-1-1. This is called the statute of limitations. However, if the case involves alleged medical malpractice, the statute of limitations requires a claim to be filed within two years from the date when the alleged medical malpractice occurred—not the date of death.
If you try to file past this deadline, you risk losing your right to pursue damages through legal action. Remember, a wrongful death case typically requires extensive investigation and consultation with experts. Additionally, your attorney must research all applicable insurance policies that are involved.
An attorney will need a proper amount of time to perform this work within the statute of limitations period. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin building your case.
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Let a Wrongful Death Attorney Help Your Family
Nothing can prepare you for the sudden loss of a loved one. Wrongful death attorney Randall “Randy” Sevenish of Sevenish Law Firm learned this with the sudden loss of his inseparable younger brother, Ralph, while he was stationed in California on active duty with the United States Air Force.
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can help hold the responsible parties liable in civil court for their actions. We handle all cases with compassion and precision to provide as much stability as possible. If you recently lost a loved one under wrongful circumstances, contact us to start building your case for compensation.