What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

As we navigate through life, we expect our loved ones to be safe and protected. However, tragedy can strike unexpectedly, and losing a loved one due to wrongful death can be a devastating experience.

Wrongful death can occur in various situations, and understanding the most common causes is crucial in seeking justice and holding responsible parties accountable. Some of the most common situations that may result in wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Criminal acts

At the end of the day, nothing can undo the pain and suffering that you have experienced. However, you have the right to demand compensation to seek justice. We’re here to help you navigate the legal process and guide you through every step of the way. 

Our team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in South Bend?

According to Indiana Code 34-23-1-1, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is the only individual authorized to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person’s surviving family members, including the spouse, children, or dependent next of kin. 

The personal representative is typically appointed by the court and acts as the legal representative of the deceased person’s estate, but it’s important to note that wrongful death cases can be complex, and the laws governing who can sue for wrongful death can vary from state to state. Consulting with a wrongful death attorney is crucial to understand your rights and legal options based on Indiana law.

How Much Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in South Bend?

The amount of compensation that can be sought in a wrongful death claim in Indiana is determined by the Indiana Wrongful Death Act

The Act specifies that the damages awarded in a wrongful death case are for the exclusive benefit of the surviving family, and the number of damages that can be awarded may vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

In Indiana, the damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim may include:

Economic damages

Including financial losses incurred as a result of the wrongful death, such as medical expenses, funeral, and burial costs, lost wages and benefits, and the value of lost services and support.

Non-economic damages

These damages are meant to compensate for the non-financial losses associated with wrongful death, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages

In certain cases where the wrongful act was intentional, reckless, or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.

Determining Liability in Wrongful Death Cases

Establishing liability in wrongful death cases can be complex and requires a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. In Indiana, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, who must show that the death of their loved one was caused by the wrongful or negligent act of another party.

To determine liability in a wrongful death case, various factors may be considered, including:

  1. Negligence: If the death was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another party, such as a driver who was speeding, a doctor who made a medical error, or a product manufacturer who produced a defective product, the injured party may be able to hold them liable.
  2. Intentional Harm: If the death was caused by the intentional act of another party, such as an assault or murder, the injured party may be able to hold them criminally and civilly liable for wrongful death.
  3. Strict Liability: In some cases, liability may be imposed even without proof of negligence or intentional harm. For example, in product liability cases, a manufacturer may be strictly liable for producing a defective product that caused a wrongful death.
  4. Vicarious Liability: Under certain circumstances, a person or entity may be held liable for the wrongful death caused by the actions of another party. For example, an employer may be held vicariously liable for the wrongful death caused by the negligent actions of its employees while performing their job duties.

A South Bend Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help 

Losing a loved one due to wrongful death is a traumatic and devastating experience, and seeking justice can be overwhelming because proving negligence can be complicated in some cases. 

At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell law firm, we are committed to helping families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death. We understand the emotional, financial, and legal challenges that arise in these situations, and we are dedicated to providing compassionate and skilled legal representation.

We will keep you informed about the progress of your case, answer your questions promptly and thoroughly, and ensure that you are actively involved in the decision-making process. Your needs and goals will always be at the forefront of our legal strategies. 

Request a free consultation and talk to one of our local attorneys today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death

At our law firm, we are here to provide you with answers and guidance in this hard moment. Here are some common questions related to wrongful death in Indiana:

What is the average wrongful death settlement in the US?

The amount of a wrongful death settlement can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the case, including the nature of the wrongful act, the extent of damages suffered, and other factors. There is no specific average wrongful death settlement in the US as each case is unique. 

Can a sibling file a wrongful death suit in Indiana?

In Indiana, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is limited to certain close family members, including the surviving spouse, children, and dependent next of kin, such as parents or siblings, if the deceased had no surviving spouse or children. Siblings, however, do not have an automatic right to file a wrongful death lawsuit unless they can prove that they were dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their support. 

What is the statute of limitations for probate in Indiana?

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for probate, which is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, is generally three years from the date of death. It is important to initiate the probate process within this timeframe to ensure that the estate is properly administered and the assets are distributed according to the law. Failing to meet the deadline may result in the loss of your right to probate the estate. 

Our lawyers that handle these types of cases