$5 million settlement

We recently won a $5 million settlement for a wrongful death & injury case to survivor due to car crash.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a difficult experience for the surviving family members, especially when the death could have been prevented. Car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, or pedestrian mishaps can be fatal under specific conditions.

If your loved one’s demise resulted from the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another individual or entity, you have the right to seek compensation for your loss. While no amount of money can truly replace the presence of a beloved person, a successful wrongful death claim or lawsuit can provide a measure of justice for you and your family.

The empathetic wrongful death lawyers at Stephenson Rife recognize the profound grief and pain accompanying the sudden loss of a loved one. Our commitment is to thoroughly investigate the accident’s circumstances and actively pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Contact us at (317) 680-2501 for a free consultation.

Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501 to book a free phone, video, or in-person consultation.

Why Choose Us?

Losing a loved one is an emotional and difficult experience. That’s why hiring an attorney with experience and reputation is crucial when it is a wrongful death. Stephenson Rife, a prominent law firm specializing in wrongful death cases, stands out for several compelling reasons. Here are some reasons to choose us as your wrongful death lawyers.

Expertise and Specialization

Stephenson Rife boasts a team of highly skilled and specialized attorneys with extensive experience in wrongful death cases. Our profound understanding of Indiana’s legal landscape and in-depth knowledge of wrongful death claims’ intricacies ensures that clients receive top-notch legal representation. We are committed to staying abreast of the latest legal developments, which equips us with the tools necessary to navigate complex cases successfully.

Thorough Investigation and Preparation

Successful resolution of wrongful death cases requires a meticulous and thorough investigation. We are known for our commitment to conducting exhaustive inquiries into each case’s circumstances. This dedication to preparation, backed by a team of seasoned investigators and legal professionals, allows us to build robust cases that stand up to scrutiny in court.

Personalized Legal Strategies

Recognizing that every wrongful death case is unique, we adopt a personalized approach to legal representation. Our attorneys meticulously analyze the specific details of each case, tailoring legal strategies to address the individual needs and circumstances of the client. This approach ensures that clients receive the focused attention and advocacy required to navigate the complexities of their particular case successfully.

Resources and Network

We have the resources and professional network necessary to conduct thorough investigations and build compelling cases. This comprehensive approach increases the likelihood of success in securing just compensation for the damages suffered by the family.

What Is Wrongful Death in Indianapolis?

Although all deaths are undoubtedly emotionally challenging for surviving family members, not every death qualifies as wrongful. Under Indiana Code § 34-23-1-1, a wrongful death is one caused by another person’s negligent or intentional actions or by their failure to act when they should have. The term “wrongful acts” includes both negligent behavior and deliberate actions.

The scope of wrongful death lawsuits extends to situations where the deceased (had they survived) would have been entitled to file a damages claim related to the incident.

Wrongful deaths can occur in various circumstances, often involving accidents. However, other unintentional actions may also lead to wrongful death. For instance, if a medical procedure results in the death of a loved one due to a doctor’s negligence, a wrongful death claim may be possible.

Failure to fulfill a duty can also be grounds for a wrongful death claim. For instance, if a child dies after gaining access to a loaded gun left within reach by a parent, the adult may be held responsible. The expectation is that the adult should have taken proper precautions, such as securely locking up the firearm.

Additionally, wrongful death can be linked to criminal acts of violence that result in the demise of a loved one. The defendant may face criminal charges in such cases, impacting the parallel civil case. Our Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers can help you in initiating your case.

Elements of a Valid Wrongful Death Claim

You and your family must demonstrate that the negligence of the at-fault party was responsible for your loved one’s demise and the resultant pain and suffering. Providing ample evidence to establish the following three elements is essential.

  • Duty: It is necessary to establish that the at-fault party owed your loved one a duty of care, contingent on the incident’s circumstances.
  • Breach of duty: It must be proven that the at-fault party breached their duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act.
  • Causation: Once a breach of duty is established, demonstrating that this breach directly caused your loved one’s death becomes essential.

Collecting various pieces of evidence is essential to substantiate these elements and demonstrate the at-fault party’s negligence. For instance, if your loved one died in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, duty of care is straightforward. All drivers are obligated to operate vehicles safely and adhere to traffic laws.

To establish a breach of duty, evidence such as police reports, surveillance footage, and witness testimonies demonstrating the intoxicated driver running a red light can be used. These same pieces of evidence, coupled with your loved one’s medical records, can be employed to prove causation. In instances of complex liability, a Brownsville wrongful death attorney from Stephenson Rife can engage expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists and medical professionals, to provide testimony on your behalf.

Types of Wrongful Death Compensation

Our legal team comprises adept courtroom advocates with the expertise to identify and counter the strategies employed by insurance companies aiming to limit the compensation owed to you and your family. Our extensive experience in this legal domain has honed our ability to effectively respond to arguments with meticulously planned counterarguments, protecting your case’s integrity.

Our aim is to secure the maximum compensation available to you. Depending on the specifics of your case, including whether the deceased has a spouse, children, or other dependents, we strive to recover damages in the following categories:

  • Loss of love, affection, and companionship
  • Medical and/or hospital bills
  • Funeral costs
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of future earnings
  • All applicable lost benefits to survivors due to the victim’s death.

Without the guidance of experienced legal professionals in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, there is a risk of forfeiting the opportunity to obtain various forms of compensation critical for ensuring a secure future for you and your family.

Damages and Limitations on Compensation

Certain wrongful death claims in Indianapolis are subject to restrictions, commonly known as “caps,” on the damages awarded.

Here’s a concise overview of the types of claims that have limitations on damages:

  • If the deceased adult had a spouse or surviving children, there is no predetermined limit on damages. The jury decides the amount based on specific case details, including medical bills and lost wages.
  • For deceased children (under 20 years old or under 23 if enrolled in college), there is no cap on damages.
  • If the deceased adult was unmarried, childless, and at least 23 years old, noneconomic damages are limited to $300,000. Additionally, reimbursement for medical bills, funeral expenses, and attorney fees can be awarded along with the $300,000 limit.
  • A cap of $1,250,000 applies to all claims in medical malpractice cases.
  • When filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a government entity like the city of Indianapolis, town, or school, there is a cap of $700,000 for all claims, irrespective of the incurred medical bills, expenses, or attorney fees.

Steps in a Brownsville, IN, Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Brownsville, IN, wrongful death claim process involves the following steps:

  • Initiating the claim: Plaintiffs commence the legal proceedings by filing a lawsuit in civil court, designating the negligent party as the defendant.
  • Investigating the incident: A thorough investigation is conducted to determine the circumstances leading to the death and identify the responsible party. This involves collecting evidence such as witness statements, police reports, expert analyses, and other relevant information.
  • Settlement negotiations: Many cases are resolved through negotiations between the plaintiffs’ legal representatives and insurance companies before the trial stage. When a fair settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial.
  • Trial proceedings: Both sides present their evidence and arguments before a judge or jury to substantiate their version of events. Witnesses may be called upon to provide testimony.
  • Verdict and damages: If the jury or judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, damages are awarded to compensate the family for losses associated with the death of their loved one.

How Can Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Help with Your Case?

Proving a wrongful death claim can pose significant challenges without the help of an attorney. The task involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and navigating complex legal procedures—all while coping with the grief of a profound loss. In such trying circumstances, a lawyer can offer invaluable guidance throughout the process, advocating fiercely for your right to compensation.

Our wrongful death lawyers can bring numerous advantages to your case, including the following:

  • Negotiation expertise: Many wrongful death claims require negotiations with insurance company representatives to settle. Despite their apparent eagerness to resolve the case swiftly, it’s crucial to recognize that these representatives prioritize their employer’s interests. Having a legal advocate on your side ensures skillful negotiation and guidance through the claims process, increasing the likelihood of achieving the best possible outcome.
  • Legal proficiency: Our lawyers understand the intricate legal processes for securing justice. Drawing on extensive experience with similar cases, we can manage all facets of your claim, preventing unnecessary delays or errors that might jeopardize your compensation.
  • Damage assessment: Calculating the full extent of wrongful death damages can be difficult. We have the tools and knowledge to explore every avenue for compensation, determining the maximum settlement value you and your family deserve. We also help in gathering the evidence needed to substantiate your claim.
  • Emotional support: Navigating the emotionally charged and intricate wrongful death claims process is challenging. It can be especially difficult to manage while grappling with the aftermath of your loved one’s passing. We will serve as a source of support and strength, offering a compassionate approach to guide your family through the process. You can focus on healing while we handle the legalities.
  • Courtroom representation: Although many wrongful death claims are settled before reaching trial, some circumstances may warrant courtroom proceedings. In such situations, having an attorney skilled in crafting compelling cases is crucial. We can represent you in court, advocating for your family’s right to compensation.

You need an experienced Stephenson Rife Brownsville, IN, Wrongful Death Lawyer to handle your wrongful death case. Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501 to schedule a free phone, video meeting, or in-person consultation.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Your Indianapolis Wrongful Death Case?

Following the loss of a loved one, it’s common to feel disoriented and overwhelmed. An Indiana wrongful death attorney can help initiate the intricate process of pursuing a wrongful death action while protecting your entitlement to compensation.

In Indiana, for surviving family members or other dependents to be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death case, a wrongful death claim must be submitted within two years from the date of the death. Once this two-year period elapses, the wrongful death lawsuit becomes time-barred.

Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions

We will always answer your questions before moving forward, and some of the most common questions people ask us include:

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Brownsville?

Typically, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate files the wrongful death claim. However, beneficiaries such as surviving spouses, children, or parents may also have the right to file in certain circumstances.

How is negligence determined in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Negligence is determined by establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached that duty and the breach directly led to the death. Evidence such as witness testimonies, expert opinions, and documentation may be used to support the claim.

Can a criminal case and a wrongful death case be pursued simultaneously?

Yes, it is possible to pursue both criminal charges and a wrongful death case simultaneously. However, these are separate legal processes with different standards of proof.

What happens if the deceased person had a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition does not necessarily bar a wrongful death claim. Damages may still be recoverable if it can be shown that the defendant’s actions aggravated or accelerated the pre-existing condition, leading to death.

These may not be your only questions; our attorneys will discuss your specific concerns in your initial consult.

Contact a Brownsville, IN, Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence, Stephenson Rife is here to help. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice on your behalf. Contact us at (317) 680-2501 for a free consultation.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Indiana Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]