The sudden loss of a loved one can leave you and your family devastated. On top of your emotional turmoil, you might also face overwhelming pressure from medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of your loved one’s financial support. This is a challenging time for the surviving family.
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 could pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
What Compensation Can a Family Pursue?
Indianapolis has several state statutes that deal with wrongful deaths. IC § 34-23-1-2 allows only the representative of the deceased to serve as a plaintiff in these lawsuits.
The deceased’s will may name the estate’s representative, or the court can appoint one. Usually, the court appoints a spouse, child, or parent to serve as the representative. If the representative secures a settlement, they will distribute it among the qualifying family members.
Limits on Available Damages
The lawsuit itself is limited in the type and amount of damages you may recover. The law mandates that the plaintiff cannot recover damages for a person’s grief, lost future earning potential, or punitive damages. However, they may recover compensation for:
- Medical, funeral, and burial costs
- Loss of love and companionship that may not exceed $300,000
Therefore, wrongful death cases in Indianapolis 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 victim’s family. Our personal injury lawyers can review your options during this difficult time and pursue the parties responsible for compensation.
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 person’s intentional act or recklessness, the deceased party’s family might have the right to seek recompense.
While you focus on getting through this difficult time, we can seek answers about your loved one’s passing and fight for fair compensation.
When Negligence Plays a Role in Your Indianapolis Loved One’s Passing
Wrongful death involves intentional, reckless, or careless acts of another person. Many wrongful death cases result from situations that would otherwise warrant personal injury claims if the victim had survived.
For example, you may have lost a loved one in a car accident or motorcycle accident. Normally, the plaintiff, an injured driver, alleges the defendant negligently caused the accident.
When an Intentional Act Plays a Role
A wrongful death lawsuit can also follow an intentional act. Illegal acts, such as murder, manslaughter, and other forms of homicide, are prime examples. However, 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 face litigation in civil court and the criminal 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 criminal court of law, this could support your civil lawsuit.
How Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You After Losing a Loved One
When we take on your case, you can grieve in peace and honor the memory of your loved one. Some of the ways we can pursue fair compensation include:
Investigating Your Wrongful Death Case
When we investigate your case, we will identify liable parties involved in your loved one’s passing. Potentially liable parties may include a negligent driver, property owner, or government entity.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Liability
We can gather the necessary evidence to prove the other party’s liability. Our team may acquire police reports, eyewitness statements, and expert witness testimony to prove that negligence played a role in your case.
Calculating Fair Compensation
We typically begin wrongful death cases by making insurance claims with the providers of the liable parties. We can also calculate the loss of companionship their absence has caused you and your family.
Negotiating with Insurers
We typically begin wrongful death cases by making insurance claims with the liable parties’ providers. A liable party may not have insurance or have enough to fairly cover your damages, though.
An insurer may also offer you an initial settlement that does not fairly compensate you. We can fight for a fair settlement, and if we need to, take legal action on your behalf.
Representing You at a Trial
If we have to file a wrongful death lawsuit, we will not hesitate to do so. Your lawyer can present their findings to the court and seek a court-awarded offer. We can handle all the paperwork associated with this process.
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 law imposes the statute of limitations. However, if the case involves medical malpractice, the statute of limitations differs. Other cases may warrant unique deadlines, too.
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 involved in the case.
Your attorney will need a proper amount of time to perform this work within the statute of limitations. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin building your case.
Let Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving Indianapolis 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, P.C. learned this with the sudden loss of his 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 lost a loved one under wrongful circumstances, contact us at 317-720-3229 to start building your case for compensation.