Attorneys Helping Families Pick Up The Pieces After A Loved One’s Wrongful Death
Losing someone you love is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances. The pain can be exacerbated, however, if you learn that another person, business or organization is directly responsible for the loss.
According to Indiana Law, wrongful death is defined as any situation in which “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” The legal process is complicated, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Hilbrich Law Firm, our team of personal injury attorneys works to help the families of wrongful death victims seek accountability and compensation. We have experience and knowledge in this arena and want to use it to help you through this difficult time.
Common Wrongful Death Scenarios
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. For obvious reasons, the victim cannot serve as the plaintiff in litigation, so a representative – often a surviving family member – must sue on their behalf. Some of the most common wrongful death scenarios stem from:
- Medical Malpractice: The mistakes that health care providers make can be fatal. Our firm helps hold physicians and hospitals accountable for misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, Medication and pharmaceutical errors, failure to monitor and more.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Around 30,000 fatal crashes occur in the U.S. each year. Most auto accidents can be attributed to driver negligence, including speeding, using a phone, driving under the influence, or otherwise simply not paying attention to the road.
- Workplace accidents: Some workplaces remain very dangerous, especially construction sites. Wrongful death in the workplace occurs when negligence or breach of duty contributes 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: We assume that products must be extensively safety tested before they can be sold to the public, but this isn’t always true. Once a defective product reaches 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.
Wrongful death cases are sadly far more common than many realize. If you aren’t sure whether you have a claim, please contact our office for a free case analysis with one of our attorneys.
Filing Deadlines And Who May Sue For Wrongful Death
In Indiana, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is typically two years of 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.
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.
Which Financial Damages Can Be Recovered?
In a wrongful death case, liability is expressed in terms of financial 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.
Contact Our Caring And Attentive Attorneys For A Free Case Evaluation
If you believe you have a case for wrongful death, get in touch with Hilbrich Law Firm today. We have offices in Highland, Portage, and Crown Point, Indiana, and we offer free case evaluations to all prospective clients. To schedule yours, you can reach out online or call 219-444-4330.