Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
When an auto or truck accident, a case of medical malpractice, or some other act of negligence or wrongful conduct takes the life of the victim, the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP work to obtain compensation for the victim’s family under Indiana wrongful death law. Although no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, we know that a death in the family can place significant financial and emotional burdens on the surviving family members. It is only fair that those responsible for causing the death help to compensate the family for their loss, rather than forcing the bereaved to bear serious financial difficulties in addition to dealing with issues of grief and loss.
Obtaining Compensation under Indiana Wrongful Death Law is a Complicated Matter
While the state of Indiana recognizes a cause of action for wrongful death, the law in this area is complicated regarding who can bring a lawsuit, what types of damages can be recovered, and who is eligible to receive compensation. To make matters even more complex, the law and procedures also differ depending upon the circumstances, such as whether the deceased was a child or an adult with or without dependents, and whether the case involves medical malpractice versus some other type of negligent or wrongful act, such as a car, truck or motorcycle accident.
The general wrongful death law in Indiana recognizes a cause of action when the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another. In general, a wrongful death action must be brought by the personal representative of the estate, and any damages awarded go to pay medical and hospital bills of the estate as well as providing benefits to the surviving spouse, children or other dependents. Compensation can be awarded for the loss of wages, benefits or other services the deceased would have provided, as well as the loss of care and affection, including spousal sexual relations or the training and guidance a parent would have provided to a child. The costs of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, including attorney’s fees, can also be recovered.
The general wrongful death law found at Indiana Code 34-23-1 is further broken down into the Adult Wrongful Death Act (34-23-1-2) and the Child Wrongful Death Act (34-23-2-1). The provisions of the Adult Wrongful Death Act apply when an adult dies without leaving a spouse, dependent child or other dependents. The estate can still recover for loss related to the death, including funeral and burial expenses and other expenses. These damages can go to pay bills and also provide financial relief to nondependent parents or children of the deceased. A parent or child could also recover for the loss of love and companionship.
An action for the loss of a child must be filed by the parents or a legal guardian, as opposed to other wrongful death actions which must be brought by the personal representative of the estate. Damages include the loss of services, love and companionship, and the costs of counseling that may be necessary for parents or siblings to deal with the loss.
Advice and Representation from Experienced Indiana Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful death damages are generally capped at $300,000 and must be brought within two years from the date of the death. This statute of limitations period may seem all too brief to distraught relatives going through the grief and emotional aspects of their loss while also dealing with the paperwork and other aspects of moving forward with work and home life in the absence of a valued family member. Retaining the services of qualified, experienced Indiana wrongful death attorneys can help make sure that important deadlines are not missed and that the case is filed under the applicable statute by the proper parties, and that all available compensation is secured. In Indianapolis, contact Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP for a free consultation with compassionate and experienced attorneys who are ready to help you.