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Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?

Jan 3, 2023 | Wrongful Death


Death is an inevitable part of life and we all wish that when it’s time, our loved ones pass away peacefully. Unfortunately, surviving members of a wrongful death do not get that right as the event is unexpected and heartbreaking.

The passing of a loved one is hard enough to deal with not to mention the realization that the death could have been prevented. Incidents of recklessness and negligence that lead to death provoke many negative feelings among surviving family members.

You deserve justice for the unexpected passing of a loved one. While the law cannot bring back a family member, it can help provide damages that reduce the financial burden and assist in rebuilding your own life.

Who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Indiana? Learn more about the procedures for filing a personal injury claim and finding the best wrongful death attorney for your needs.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits – The Only Path Toward Justice

Life and death are part of the cycle on earth. While no one knows when they will pass away, preventable accidents that lead to death are some of the most difficult to process. It’s especially hard for surviving family members who have a barrage of feelings from regret and sadness to anger and frustration.

When a person dies because of the recklessness or negligence of another party, the family is entitled to a financial reward. The compensation can help cover funeral costs, medical bills, emotional suffering, and other damages related to the incident.

While it is often difficult for a family to consider legal action following an accident that leads to death, it’s worth the challenge with the right help. Families should at least consider meeting with a wrongful death attorney who can assess the details of the case for free and help represent your family should you choose to move forward in court.

Filing a wrongful death claim is your only opportunity to get justice for the death of a loved one that may have been avoided had it not been for negligence. Contact Stewart & Stewart today for a free consultation as we specialize in wrongful death lawsuits.

Benefits of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There is no type of financial reward that can replace a loved one. However, it can substantially reduce the burden on surviving family members that are already struggling with trauma and grief.

In many situations, filing a wrongful death claim is the only path toward receiving justice for a loved one if criminal charges are not brought forward. Wrongful death lawsuits target the responsible individual for the death due to their recklessness, negligence, or intentional act.

The lawsuit has the potential to help victims:

  • Receive justice for the tragic passing of a loved one.
  • Hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence.
  • Receive compensation to support the family because of the unforeseen loss.
  • Serve as a warning to others that this type of negligence is not acceptable and may save future lives.

Learn more about the ways Stewart & Stewart can assist your grieving family by contacting us 24 hours a day at 1-866-296-2414.

Types of Wrongful Death

There are many different types of events that result in wrongful death. Here are a few of the most common examples:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA)
  • Premise Liability Accidents
  • Intentional Acts of Violence
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Defective Products

To prove that someone is liable in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant is not only responsible but acted negligently in the loss of life.

Indiana Wrongful Death Laws

Indiana has three different statutes that relate to wrongful death. These include the following:

The Wrongful Death Act (Indiana Code 34-23-1-1) applies to adults with spouses or dependents. Meanwhile, the Adult Wrongful Death Act only applies to unmarried adults without dependents.

Indiana only allows a personal representative of the estate to file the wrongful death claim. However, other family members can become beneficiaries of the estate. Nonetheless, the personal representative for the estate must file the initial claim.

In favorable outcomes, the state awards the financial damages to the personal representative who then has the right to split up the damages among other surviving family members. All in all, a spouse, child, or surviving parents may submit the claim. Extended family members are not permitted to do so in Indiana unless they are designated as the personal representative of the estate.

Indiana has specific requirements for filing and recovering wrongful death claims, so we highly recommend speaking with a lawyer beforehand. The state allows family members to collect for:

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses
  • Medical and Hospital Expenses
  • Lost Wages and Benefits of the Deceased
  • Costs of Pursuing the Wrongful Death Claim (including lawyer fees)

Unfortunately, state law currently does not allow for damages related to grief, pain, or suffering related to the tragedy. Nonetheless, the damages can still cover several other needs. Surviving family members have up to two years from the date of death to submit a claim.

Connect with Us Today

Do not waste a moment! Contact Stewart & Stewart today for a free consultation. We want to be there for your family during this difficult time and help you recover an appropriate reward for your pain and suffering. Call 24/7 to reach an agent at 1-866-296-2414.

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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!

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.