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What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?

May 17, 2021 | Wrongful Death


Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is tragic and unexpected. In addition to the pain of the loss of your loved one, you’re probably dealing with shock and confusion.

Your first thoughts are probably not about suing for wrongful death. No amount of money or settlement will bring them back. However, pursuing a wrongful death claim can ease the financial pressures you’re feeling from the loss of your loved one. As well, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help ensure that the at-fault party doesn’t harm anyone else.

Wrongful Death Definition

Wrongful death happens when one person’s negligence or misconduct kills another person. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases, which means they are not criminal cases. Regardless of whether local law enforcement pursues a criminal case, you can pursue a civil case against the person.

Common Wrongful Death Instances

Tragically, some situations are common circumstances for wrongful death. We describe these circumstances to help you understand how your case might apply.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are one of the leading wrongful death causes. Tragically, 809 people died from motor vehicle accidents in Indiana in 2019.

With so many drivers engaging in dangerous behavior, such as distracted driving, wrongful death cases from car accidents are extremely common.

In addition to distracted driving, reckless driving and driving under the influence are other contributing factors to the high number of wrongful deaths from car accidents.

Medical Malpractice

The healthcare profession is amazing and the professionals who work in this industry are extremely skilled. But sometimes they fail to diagnose an ailment or misdiagnose a condition. This can lead to the loss of a loved one who needed immediate medical attention to help them get well.

Surgery errors are another common medical malpractice scenario that can lead to the loss of a loved one, which would permit you to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians don’t have any protection from motor vehicles. When a driver is negligent and fails to look out for pedestrians, they could be at fault for the pedestrian’s death.

In other circumstances, the city or county could be at fault for a pedestrian’s death. This could be due, for example, to poor pedestrian visibility.

Work-Related Accidents

Some professions are especially dangerous. But some work-related accidents can be prevented with safer working conditions. When employers fail to provide the necessary safety equipment or training for their workers, they could be at fault for a wrongful death situation. 

It’s best to speak with a skilled wrongful death attorney who is also experienced in work-related deaths. They can review the evidence and documentation related to your loved one’s passing. That way, you take the right course of action based on the circumstances.

Manufacturing Defects/Product Liability

As consumers, when we purchase a product, we expect it to work the way the instructions say that it will. But defects in the product can cause serious injuries or even death.

Companies that fail to ensure product safety before selling items or don’t properly inspect each product before it leaves the factory could be liable for a person’s death.

Criminal Activity

Criminals that intentionally harm another person can also be held responsible for that person’s death and the financial impact it has on their loved ones. You can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against someone who kills your loved ones when engaging in criminal acts.

Indiana Wrongful Death Case Assessment

Wrongful death cases involve so many challenging emotions and feelings. At Stewart & Stewart, we know how difficult this time can be for loved ones. We provide the caring legal resources you need to make informed decisions about filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the death of your loved one.

Schedule a free consultation to get a wrongful death case evaluation from our team of trusted, experienced attorneys.

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Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall,  truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.