Legal Options When Your Loved One Dies in a Car Accident


June 3, 2019 / Wrongful Death

Most of us think nothing of hopping in the car to get from Point A to Point B, and we do it multiple times per day. It often doesn’t hit home how dangerous the roads are until the unthinkable happens, and yet the “unthinkable” happens surprisingly often.

According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, 911 people died in a traffic accident in Indiana in 2017. While fatalities in the state reached an all-time low in 2014, they’ve ticked upward since then. Drivers who are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, distracted by their phones, or otherwise not paying attention are a huge problem in the state and nationally.

The commute home from work, a trip to the gym, a milk run to the store — any of these routine activities can turn deadly and throw a family into turmoil.

If your loved one has been killed in a motor vehicle collision and someone else is at fault, call the car accident lawyers at Stephenson Rife to schedule a consultation. With compassion and deep knowledge of Indiana wrongful death law, they will listen to your story and explain how they can help.

A Wrongful Death Suit May Ease the Financial Fallout

No amount of money will bring back or replace the person you’ve lost, and a wrongful death claim is not meant to do so. What it can accomplish is to help eliminate the financial burden that often accompanies the death of a relative. This may include funeral and burial costs, lost wages the deceased would have earned and benefits (such as a pension) they would have received, medical bills incurred before death, and a variety of other expenses. While, generally, pain and suffering damages are not allowed in wrongful death cases, you may be compensated for loss of love and companionship. Just knowing that the person who harmed your loved one has been held accountable may bring some degree of comfort and closure.

What to Know About Wrongful Death Cases in Indiana

The first thing you should do if your loved one has been killed in a car wreck is to call Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer Mike Stephenson. He and his associates will examine the circumstances of your family member’s death and tell you whether you have a case. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Another person or entity must bear responsibility for the accident. This could be a negligent driver, the manufacturer of a defective car part, or a government agency that failed to maintain roads or display warnings about a hazard. You may sue more than one party — for example, a drunk driver and the bartender who served him.
  • The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Indiana is two years. Depending on circumstance, this may be calculated from the date of death or the date of the incident that lead to death.
  • If the deceased was an unmarried adult with no dependents, the cap for damages is $300,000. There is no legal cap for other cases.
  • Indiana law does not allow for punitive damages.

If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, or child due to someone else’s negligence on the road, the caring and highly competent legal team at Stephenson Rife will fight to bring you justice.

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