Maybe it was a late-night car crash caused by a drunk driver when your spouse was on their way home from work. Perhaps it was some kind of product failure incident in your own home that led to a deadly injury.
It is very difficult to adjust to an unexpected family tragedy. Many people struggle emotionally to accept the changes after losing a loved one, and there are typically financial and practical implications as well. Indiana has a statute that specifically authorizes wrongful death lawsuits.
These specialized personal injury claims provide compensation for the losses associated with someone’s unexpected death. Can you potentially pursue a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one in Indiana?
The situation must meet certain standards
For the death of your loved one to be an actionable occurrence, you typically need documentation supporting your claim that either the wrongful acts or omissions of another party resulted in their death. Any scenario similar to negligence might lead to claims of omissions.
Failing to properly maintain real estate for the safety of visitors and releasing defective products to the public would both be examples of omissions that might be actionable under Indiana’s wrongful death statute. Drunk driving and other forms of regulatory non-compliance can also lead to a lawsuit.
There isn’t a requirement for criminal prosecution if you allege misconduct, which means that wrongful death claims can be valuable for those who blame someone for the loss of a family member but who did not see the prosecution of the person responsible for their loss. The standard of evidence is actually lower in the civil courts, which means that you could bring a successful lawsuit even if a prosecutor does not feel that they could win a criminal case.
You need to have verifiable losses
Whether there are medical bills or lost wages, there generally need to be provable financial consequences for someone to bring a significant wrongful death claim. Non-economic losses can also contribute to the value of a claim.
The final two considerations related to wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana are that you bring the claim in a timely manner before the two-year statute of limitations expires and that the correct party files the claim, which is typically the personal representative of the deceased party’s estate.
Learning more about wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana can help those considering the civil courts as a possible source of justice.