Evansville Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent of someone whose life was taken by the careless or reckless actions of another, you deserve justice. While traffic and criminal courts are woefully lenient on parties whose “accident” lead to the tragic deaths of others, you may be able to find some semblance of justice by filing a wrongful death claim. Of course, no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, but the financial benefits of a wrongful death settlement or verdict can help provide a more stable future for you and your family. Our Evansville wrongful death lawyers at the office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP are for you during this time of loss.
Defining Wrongful Death in Indiana
According to Indiana law, a wrongful death occurs when “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” The most common cause of wrongful deaths include:
- Traffic collisions;
- Medical malpractice;
- Slip and falls;
- Nursing home abuse;
- Premises accidents; and
- Defective consumer products.
Financial Caps on Wrongful Death Claims
In some cases, the victim’s family members may be up against certain “caps” when it comes to compensation. Under the Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Act, 34-23-1-2 section (e), the death of an unmarried adult without any dependants (children) is valued less than a married adult, and non economic damages are capped at just $300,000. Other caps in Indiana include $700,000 for deaths caused by government entities (such as a city bus driver), and $1.25 million for medical malpractice.
Do I Have the Authority to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the person who has legal authority to bring a wrongful death claim. If you are the victim’s spouse, that person is most likely you. However, other family members (called survivors), such as children or parents, can also recover damages in addition to the victim’s personal representative. Depending on the circumstances of the wrongful death and the claimant’s relationship to the deceased victim, damages you can collect in a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Medical expenses of the victim;
- Pain and suffering of the victim;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of joy of life;
- Property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Lost lifetime earnings of the deceased victim; and
- Loss of consortium.
Wrongful Death Claims and the Statute of Limitations
Under Indiana Code § 34-23-1-1, you have two years from the deceased victim’s death to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. It is crucial for the family of the victim to act relatively quickly following the tragedy. While this time should be reserved for grieving and remembering your loved one, the unfortunately short two-year window must be observed. After two years has passed, you cannot file a wrongful death claim.
Call an Evansville Wrongful Death Attorney
As a surviving loved one, you have the ability to hold the negligent party accountable for their unforgivable actions. You should not be stuck with medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of a financial supporter on top of the emotional distress that you may carry for the rest of your life. To take action today, call our Evansville wrongful death lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-455- 4043 to schedule a free consultation.