How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana


March 18, 2019 / Wrongful Death

If a member of your immediate family was killed due to negligence or an intentional act of another, you need to know how to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana to seek compensation for your loss. You need to learn who can file these types of legal actions and what can be sought by them are controlled by Indiana statutes and court cases interpreting them.

In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the following must be met:

  1. The deceased apparently died due to negligence or because of an intentional act of another,
  2. You are allowed by statute to benefit from the lawsuit,
  3. You seek damages allowed by state statute, and
  4. The filing occurs within two years of the person’s death.

The deceased apparently died due to negligence or because of an intentional act of another

The plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit) has the burden of proving the defendant (the party being sued) intentionally killed the deceased or the person died because of a negligent act or a negligent failure to act. Negligence involves showing that the defendant owed a legal duty to the deceased, acted or failed to act in violation of that duty and an accident occurred which killed the deceased. If the person was working at the time of death, compensation could be obtained through the Indiana workers’ compensation system.

You are allowed by statute to benefit from the lawsuit

If an adult is killed, the representative of the person’s estate can file the lawsuit. If the person was married, it can benefit the person’s spouse, children or other dependents. If the adult was unmarried, potentially the person’s nondependent children and parents could recover if there was a genuine, substantial and ongoing relationship with the deceased. If the deceased is a child (a person younger than 20 or younger than 23 and pursuing an education), the following can sue: the father, the mother, the person with custody of the child (in case the parents divorced or had their marriage dissolved) or the child’s guardian.

You seek damages allowed by state statute

Damages are the measurement of the harm done in dollars. If the deceased is a child, damages may be awarded for the loss of the child’s services, the loss of the child’s love and companionship, the health care needed because of the wrongful act or negligence that caused the death, the funeral and burial costs, psychiatric and psychological counseling of a surviving parent or minor sibling of the child, uninsured debts of the child and the administration of the child’s estate, including reasonable attorney’s fees. If the deceased is an unmarried adult without dependents, the damages could be medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, as well as for the loss of the adult person’s love and companionship. For a married adult, potential damages include, but aren’t limited to, reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, as well as lost earnings of the deceased caused by his or her death.

The most important part of how to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana: statute of limitations.

The filing of a wrongful death lawsuit must occur within two years of the person’s death. This is the statute of limitations for this cause of action.

If you want to learn more about how to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana or believe you need legal representation in such a case, contact Stephenson Rife today. We take these cases very seriously because we know the harm the loss of a loved one can do to a family, and we want those responsible to be held accountable.

Featured Posts

  • Fleet of delivery vehiclesWhat to Do if a FedEx Truck Hits Your Car
    In Truck Accidents
    With the increase in online shopping and home delivery, we see more and more of the orange and purple FedEx trucks on the road. Whether 18-wheelers or smaller delivery box trucks, they are out on the roads and highways loaded with letters and packages. But what happens when one of these FedEx trucks crashes into your vehicle? You can be seriously injured and there can be thousands of dollars in property damage. You may feel overwhelmed […]
  • Medical professional looking at head and brain x-raysHow to Pay Medical Bills During a Brain Injury Lawsuit
    In Catastrophic Injuries
    If you’ve sustained a brain injury as a result of a car crash, serious fall or workplace accident, you likely have mounting medical bills. To add insult to injury, you may also be off work while receiving treatment, which means your wages have dwindled. It can be really scary to see all of that debt mount up while wondering how you will ever pay for it. Obviously, health insurance can pay for some of your medical care, though there can […]
  • Person wrapping up a person's arm and wrist with a bandage or gauze to help treat burns.How Much is a Second-Degree Burn Worth?
    In Catastrophic Injuries
    If you or a loved one has been burned, not only is there a lot of pain involved, but you also likely have mounting medical and hospital bills. Whether red, a pallid white or blistering, the skin is damaged and often scarred after being burned, which means there can be lasting damage. The pain and suffering of this experience is made even worse if the burn was caused by someone else’s negligence. Whether you were burned in a workplace […]

Archives