Several different kinds of car accident injuries can cause death, including:
- Severe head injuries
- Blunt force trauma
- Blood loss
- Organ damage
Car accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks, can increase the likelihood of suffering serious or fatal injuries. High-speed collisions can also cause severe injuries, as traveling at high rates of speed increases impact force.
If your loved was died because of a car accident caused by a negligent party, you may be able to recover compensation in a wrongful death case.
Fatal Car Accidents
In Indiana, relatives and other parties have a right to file a wrongful death claim. Since many car accidents involve a driver violating traffic ordinances, the circumstances that caused the accident are central to your civil claims.
Some of the causes of fatal car accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Failing to stop
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Improper merging and yielding
While different kinds of car accident injuries cause death, sometimes these tragedies are the result of another motorist driving negligently. Drivers have an obligation to follow traffic laws, meaning operating your vehicle dangerously or recklessly can violate a duty to care for other motorists.
Wrongful Death Claims
Indiana allows you to pursue actual and non-economic damages for wrongful death. Your right to file a wrongful death claim is based on your relationship with the decedent. In Indiana, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim if you are:
- The parent of the deceased
- The child of the deceased
- A next-of-kin
- A surviving spouse
- The personal representative of the deceased and they have no next-of-kin
Per IC 34-23-1-1, you must file your claim within the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of death for wrongful death in Indiana. Failing to file within two years can prevent you from recovering damages in a lawsuit.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Some wrongful death claims are capped, meaning there may be limitations on how much you can receive in damages.
Actual damages are costs you paid or will have to pay as a result of an accident or injury. For wrongful death claims, economic damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Unreimbursed medical expenses
- Lost wages
Economic damages are not capped. It is important to keep all invoices and receipts related to your expenses, as they may help prove the value of your economic damages.
When you file a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive non-economic damages for:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance (uncapped)
- Future lost earnings
Your relation to the decedent may determine what types of non-economic claims you can recover and whether your damages are capped. If your child is under the age of 20 (or in college and younger than 23), non-economic damages may be usually uncapped. Surviving spouses and dependent children may be able to recover unlimited non-economic damages during a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death law firm may be able to discuss your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit and what type of compensation may be available to you when you call them for a consultation on your case.
Because different kinds of car accident injuries cause death, liability is an important aspect during a wrongful death claim. Per IC 34-51-2-5, Indiana practices a modified contributory fault. If you are less than 50% responsible for your accident, you may be able to recover damages.
This can make proving the other party acted in a negligent or reckless way a central element of your case. Liability may be established by proving a party violated a duty to care or acted with malicious intent.
Evidence that may be able to help prove that the other driver is at fault for the accident and is liable for damages include:
- Witness testimony
- Accident report
- Insurance investigation results
- The other motorist’s driving history
- Video footage of the accident
- Photos of the accident scene
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts.
If the other driver received a citation for their role in the accident, this evidence may also help establish fault during a civil case.
Call the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Today
If you are wondering what kinds of car accident injuries cause death, the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. invites you to call our firm for a free consultation. If your loved one sustained fatal injuries because of a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to pursue financial compensation against the other party.
The Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. handles wrongful death cases in Indianapolis. Call our firm today at 317-720-3229 to discuss your case with a member of our team.