Wrongful Death Attorney Helping Loved Ones Throughout Northwest Indiana
Losing a loved one is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances. The pain can be exacerbated, however, if you learn that there is someone directly responsible for the loss.
According to legislation, wrongful death in the state of Indiana is defined as any situation in which“the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” The legal action taken is, by necessity, enacted by those left behind; in a sense, a wrongful death claim bears many similarities to a personal injury claim, though the main focus of the case is the deceased and the loss sustained by the loved ones.
Types of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases are sadly far more common than you may initially anticipate. They make up the third leading cause of death in the USA and typically are compiled into four main areas:
- Medical Malpractice: We place our lives in the hands of healthcare practitioners every day, and they, in turn, follow a strict set of routines, procedures, and requirements, all dedicated to helping keep everyone involved safe. Sadly, however, these are not always effective, and things can go wrong. The most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Incorrect or delayed treatment
- Surgical errors
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Birth injuries
- Defective medical devices, equipment, or medication
- Lack of informed consent
- Hospital negligence
In some cases, these errors can prove fatal.
- Vehicular Accidents: With around 30,000 fatal crashes occurring in the USA each year, vehicular accidents that cause wrongful death are sadly all too common. There can be several reasons behind these figures, but wrongful death is most often caused by carelessness. Whether the driver is speeding, using their phone, driving under the influence, or otherwise simply not paying attention to the road, deaths can occur. In these situations, the negligent driver will possibly be held liable.
- Unsafe Workplace: Your place of work could potentially be more dangerous than you realize. 2018 saw5250 fatalities in the workplace, with the construction industry receiving the most troubling figures. Wrongful death in the workplace occurs when negligence or breach of duty can be proven to have contributed to the death of an employee while in that space. Heavy equipment misuse, falling from an unsafe staircase, or being provided with inadequate personal protective equipment are all examples of issues and conditions that could cause fatal workplace accidents.
- Defective Products: Before a product can hit the market, it typically must pass a series of quality control checks to ensure that it is safe for public use. If a defective product can reach the market, the consequences can be deadly, and the manufacturer or seller may be liable for the fatality if it can be proven that their product caused someone’s death.
Who May File A Wrongful Death Claim?
Any claim of wrongful death generally must be filed by the personal representative for the estate of the deceased. Spouses and loved ones are typically appointed to do so by the court.
If the claim focuses on the death of a child, the case must be filed by one or both of the child’s parents – in the event of a divorce, this must be the parent with legal custody or the recognized legal guardian of the child.
How Long Do I Have?
Indiana’s statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim must be filed within two yearsof the date of death. This is the case even for the death of a child, or even if an ongoing criminal lawsuit is progressing at the same time.
Which Damages Can Be Recovered?
In a wrongful death case, liability is expressed in terms of civil damages. The intention is to ensure that certain surviving family members are compensated for losses incurred as a result of the death.
In Indiana, if an adult is not married and does not have any children or dependent next of kin, then the parents or children may recover, but the loss of love and companionship is capped at a total of $300,000. In that case, additional damages for medical, funeral, and burial expenses as well as attorney fees are recoverable.
How We Can Help
Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, our team of personal injury attorneys in Highland has worked to help the families of numerous wrongful death victims across Highland, IN, and the wider Indiana area. We have experience and knowledge in this arena and want to use it to help you through this difficult time. The legal process is complicated, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. If you believe you have a case for wrongful death in or around Highland, IN, get in touch with us today at 1-877-877-LAW2. We can’t bring back your loved one, but we want to help bring them justice.