What Is Considered Wrongful Death in Lawrenceburg?

A wrongful death is defined by Indiana Code § 34-23-1-1 as a death caused by “the wrongful act or omission of another.” This umbrella term encompasses a wide array of incidents, including car accidents, instances of medical malpractice, and more.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize the unfortunate prevalence of such incidents, listing unintentional injury as one of the top causes of death in the United States. Each of these tragedies represents a potential wrongful death case, emphasizing the importance of understanding this aspect of law.

In practice, wrongful death may arise from various circumstances. Consider a situation where a loved one’s life was abruptly cut short due to a drunk driving accident. In this tragic event, you might have a valid wrongful death claim

On the other hand, if a loved one lost their life because a healthcare provider failed to diagnose a critical condition accurately, this situation could form the basis of a wrongful death claim under medical malpractice.

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one can bring a heavy emotional and financial burden. Immediate expenses like medical bills and funeral costs can pile up quickly, not to mention long-term financial problems due to the loss of the deceased’s income. 

In such situations, it’s important to know that Indiana law offers a path for families to recover various types of damages.

Here’s what you might be able to claim, according to the specific circumstances of your case:

  • Medical and funeral expenses: Any costs related to medical care the deceased needed and the funeral can be covered.
  • Loss of the decedent’s earnings: The lost income from the deceased, especially if they were a significant contributor, can create financial instability. 
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance: The emotional impact of losing a loved one is profound. Indiana law recognizes this and allows for damages related to the loss of love, companionship, care, and parental guidance.
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before their death (known as “survival damages”): If your loved one suffered before passing due to the wrongful act, compensation can be sought for their pain and suffering.

The exact amount of damages you may claim depends on various factors. These include the deceased’s age, health, life expectancy, earning capacity, and the financial and emotional impact on the family. 

Remember, every case is unique, and the extent and types of damages awarded will vary according to the evidence available and the responsibilities you can prove in court.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana?

In the state, the responsibility typically falls on the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit

This representative is often an immediate family member such as a spouse, parent, or child, but it could also be an individual specified in the deceased’s will or appointed by the court. 

However, the law makes special considerations in cases where the decedent was a child or an unmarried and childless adult. According to Indiana Code § 34-23-1-2, in the tragic event that a child passes away, the parents have the right to bring the claim. 

On the other hand, if the deceased was an unmarried adult with no dependents, the right to file the claim extends to their parents or non-dependent siblings.

What Is the Cap on Wrongful Death in Indiana?

In Indiana, there’s a cap or limit on certain types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. For example, damages for the loss of love and companionship are capped at $300,000. It’s also important to note that Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act caps the total amount recoverable for a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice at $1.25 million.

However, there is no cap on other types of damages such as medical and funeral expenses, and certain types of lost income.

How a Lawrenceburg Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be a complex legal process, and having a local litigation lawyer at your side can make a significant difference in the outcome. A personal injury attorney from Christie Farrell Lee & Bell can assist you throughout all the stages of your claim:

  1. Case Evaluation: Our wrongful death lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and assess the merits of your case.
  2. Investigation: We can conduct a thorough investigation to gather necessary evidence, talk to witnesses, and work with experts to establish negligence.
  3. Legal Guidance: Our team can guide you through the legal complexities, helping you understand Indiana’s wrongful death laws and how they apply to your case.
  4. Negotiation with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. An experienced lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
  5. Representation in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our lawyers can represent you in court, presenting a compelling case to seek justice for your loved one.

Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging time, and dealing with the legal complexities involved in filing a claim can add to the burden. 

If you are in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and believe you may need a wrongful death lawyer, do not hesitate to contact us. Christie Farrell Lee & Bell is here to help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.

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