Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death suit is a civil action brought on behalf those whose loved one has died because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness or intentional act. Its purpose is to compensate them, to the extent possible, for their loss.

What kinds of acts are covered by a wrongful death claim?

There are many situations in which a death can occur through negligence or recklessness. Some examples are:

  • Car or truck crashes
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Defective products
  • Occupational accidents
  • Dangerous drugs.

Who is entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit?

When the victim was an adult, the law in Indiana permits a lawsuit to be brought by the surviving spouse of the deceased; his or her children; and any other next of kin who were dependent on the deceased. If none of these relatives exist, a person who provided medical care or paid for funeral expenses can seek restitution for the expenses they incurred.

Is there a difference when the person who died was a child?

Yes. Indiana actually has a separate Child Wrongful Death Act, Ind. Code 34-23:2-1. It allows a wrongful action to be filed by the father and mother jointly or either of them; the parent to whom custody was awarded in a divorce; or the child’s guardian.

What is the definition of “child” under this Act?

For purposes of a wrongful death lawsuit, a child means an unmarried individual, without dependents, who is less than 20 years of age or is less than 23 and a student.

Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death action?

The general statute of limitations for filing such a lawsuit in Indiana is two years. However, depending on whether the death resulted from medical malpractice, a defective product, or some other cause, the time might be calculated from the date of the act which led to the death or the date of the death itself. This is one reason it is important for families to contact an experienced Indiana wrongful death lawyer as soon as they suspect their loved one passed away under circumstances that include negligent, reckless or intentional acts.

What types of compensation are available to survivors under wrongful death suits?

Some of the damages that can be sought are:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of the victim’s income
  • Loss of benefits such as pension and medical insurance due to the victim’s death
  • Loss of companionship and affection
  • Mental anguish
  • Attorneys fees
  • When brought under the Child Wrongful Death Act, money for psychological counseling for the family.

What about punitive damages to punish the person or company responsible for causing the death?

Punitive damages are not allowed in wrongful death cases in Indiana.

Have you ever handled any wrongful death cases?

Our firm has been honored to help numerous families struggling after the loss of a family member. Read about wrongful death cases. When you contact McNeely Stephenson, your concerns will be met with compassionate and earnest listening. We’ll answer your questions forthrightly and tell you honestly whether we think your situation warrants legal action. Call 1-855-206-2555, but don’t delay – time passes quickly, even for a grieving family.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

What is your next step?

As you contemplate filing a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.

Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call today.

Contact McNeely Stephenson today using our contact form, or call 1-855-206-2555.

Personal Injury Lawyer
March 29, 2019 / Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
Brace Yourself: Here are the Odds You’ll Die from a Fall

The statistics are frightening. According to the National Safety Council, one out of 114 people in the U.S. are likely to die as a result of a fall.  In 2017, 36,338 Americans suffered a fatal fall. In addition, over 2,790,000 older Americans are treated in emergency rooms every year for fall injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Your Legal Rights "Slip and fall" is a term used when an individual slips or trips and is injured...


Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

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The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

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Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

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The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

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The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.

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Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states

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