Are You Eligible to File for a Wrongful Death Claim?


May 29, 2019 / Wrongful Death

Losing a close family member under any circumstance is devastating and life-changing. When the death is unexpected, the mourning process is compounded by shock, uncertainty, and fear for the future. You may have been financially dependent on that person. At the very least, you will face funeral and burial costs and the monumental work of sorting out your loved one’s affairs for them.

If your family member’s passing is the result of negligence or the actions of another party, it meets the definition of wrongful death. And you may be entitled to compensation. Mike Stephenson is an experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyer who will fight to win the damages you deserve so you can focus on grieving and, eventually, healing.

We understand that no amount of money will come close to replacing your parent, child, or spouse. But at least the parties responsible will be held accountable and it can help alleviate the financial burden that often comes with a relative’s untimely death.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term referring to the death of an innocent person due to negligence or wrongful actions by another party. In Indiana, survivors may sue one or multiple entities who bear responsibility for their loved one’s passing. A few common types of wrongful death cases are:

  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Workplace accidents
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice.

Indiana allows the deceased’s estate to sue parties beyond the person directly responsible. If your relative was killed in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you may sue the driver along with others you believe contributed to the incident — for example, a bartender, the owner of the establishment where the person consumed alcohol, a government entity that failed to provide adequate warning about a road hazard, or the manufacturer of a defective part in the vehicle.

What Damages Will I Receive for a Wrongful Death?

Not just anyone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In order to do so, you must be a close relative of the deceased — generally a parent, legal guardian, spouse, or child. If you win, you will receive damages, or compensation, for expenses resulting from your loved one’s accident and death. This may include medical and counseling bills, funeral costs, lost wages and benefits, uninsured debts incurred by the deceased, legal fees (for administering the estate as well as from the lawsuit), and more. Indiana law does not allow for punitive damages. Unlike in personal injury cases, wrongful death claims do not include redress for “pain and suffering,” though you may ask to receive compensation for loss of companionship and love.

If you’ve lost a family member and someone else is at fault, call the Indiana wrongful death lawyers at Stephenson Rife. We will hear your case, give you expert advice about your options, and offer compassion and support throughout the process. We can’t bring your loved one back, but we can hold the responsible parties accountable.

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