Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorneys
Our practice is dedicated to assisting individuals who have been injured by the carelessness or negligence of another. Call for FREE consultation.
The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP are experienced in handling wrongful death cases on behalf of the survivors. You can schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about this type of case and see what your course of action should be.
What is a Wrongful Death?
In the legal sense, a wrongful death is a death that is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person. If the death could have been prevented if the responsible party had acted differently, then it may be considered a wrongful death.
The most common type of wrongful death claim is one that arises from negligence, such as when a driver fails to yield the right of way and causes a fatal car accident. In these cases, family members of the deceased may be able to recover compensation for their lost loved one.
A Wrongful Death Action is Different from Criminal Charges
A lawsuit may be pursued for a wrongful death caused by an unintentional or intentional event. A wrongful death suit is different and separate from criminal charges. The deceased’s beneficiaries, typically the spouse and children, may receive compensation. This can be extremely important, especially if the victim was the main wage earner for a family. Damages for the loss of love, companionship and parenting are also appropriate.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?
According to the Indiana Code, “When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the action shall be commenced by the personal representative of the decedent within two (2) years, and the damages shall be in such an amount as may be determined by the court or jury, including, but not limited to, reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, and lost earnings of such deceased person resulting from said wrongful act or omission.”
In a lot of case, the spouse, child or parent of the deceased may be able to file a claim for compensation. It’s important that you talk to an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer to know if you have a wrongful death claim.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death in Indiana can be caused by many types of accidents or intentional actions. These include:
- Auto Accidents : In the United States, car accidents are a leading cause of wrongful death. Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed in crashes, and many more are seriously injured. When a person is killed due to the negligence of another driver, their family may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Bicycle Accidents
- Birth Injuries : In some cases, a death may occur due to birth injuries that were caused by the negligence of a medical professional. If the death could have been prevented if the medical professional had provided proper care, the surviving family members may have grounds for a wrongful death claim
- Dog Bites : In the case of a dog bite, a claim may be filed against the dog’s owner if it can be shown that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous and did not take reasonable steps to prevent the attack. For example, if the dog had previously bitten someone and the owner did not take steps to keep it under control, the owner could be held liable for any resulting death.
- Drunk Drivers : When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they are not only putting themselves at risk, but they are also endangering the lives of others. If their actions result in the death of another person, they can be held liable in a civil lawsuit. In order to succeed in a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family must prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that their intoxication was a direct cause of the victim’s death.
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Drowning : In cases involving drowning, it is often the duty of property owners to ensure that their swimming pools are safe and free from hazards. If a property owner fails to take appropriate measures to protect swimmers from drowning, they may be held liable for any resulting fatalities
- Electrocution : In the case of electrocution, the claim may allege that the victim’s death was caused by defective wiring or inadequate warning signs. If the claimant can prove that the defendant was aware of the dangerous condition and failed to take steps to fix it or warning signs were not posted, they may be held liable for the victim’s death.
- Construction Accidents : Construction sites are inherently dangerous places, and contractors have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of workers and passersby. If a construction worker is killed due to the contractor’s negligence, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for their loss.
- Dangerous Working Conditions
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Trucking Accidents : In the case of a trucking accident, the surviving family members may file a claim against the trucking company if it can be shown that the accident was caused by the company’s failure to properly maintain its vehicles or adhere to safety regulations.
While damages awarded in a wrongful death case can never replace the lost loved one, they can certainly help the surviving members move forward with their lives. These can be very complex cases that require a strong advocate to handle the insurance companies.
You can trust Goodin Abernathy LLP to help you with your wrongful death claim. Click here to schedule your free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys.
Indiana’s wrongful death law – Estates, statutes and damages.
Indiana usually requires that heirs, family members or beneficiaries of a deceased person open an Estate to pursue legal claims against the responsible defendants. An Estate is a legally recognized entity that acts for the decedent and is managed by personal representatives, like family members, and attorneys.
Indiana has various wrongful death statutes covering claims for Adult Wrongful Death (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure §34-23-1-2) or Child Wrongful Death claims (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure § 34-23-2-1). These laws control how gets paid damages, how much money can be claimed, how the money is paid and the process for making the wrongful death claims. Our Goodin Abernathy injury and wrongful death attorneys handle these issues, making it easy to understand for you.
Some damages we claim include the loss of future earnings. This review often requires us to hire financial experts that can calculate the monetary value of a lost loved one. This is important because both a judge and jury needs to understand, in simple dollar terms, how devastating the financial impact is when families lose their income earning members, like their dads or moms.
Our attorneys also provide a “bad news buffer” for our clients. They insulate you from the mean and awkward legal moments following a death. In the wake of a death, clients aren’t usually prepared for the legal and business aspect of wrongful death claims. For instance, our Goodin Abernathy attorneys deal with the insurance companies and opposing attorneys when they’re arguing the value of your loved one’s life just isn’t worth much money. You don’t need to deal with these legal insults while recovering from your loss and our attorneys are sensitive to it.
Call, meet and get to know our attorneys. You’ll find their personalities are suited to providing you aggressive legal representation against the insurance companies while developing a trusting and open legal relationship with you and your family.
Attorneys with a Focus on Wrongful Death