How do I prove fault in a wrongful death claim in Indiana?

How to Prove Fault in Indiana Wrongful Death Cases

Someone else’s negligent or deliberate actions caused your loved one’s death. In Indiana, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your loss by filing a wrongful death claim. An Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer at Keller & Keller can gather the necessary evidence and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim in Indiana, you will need to establish four key elements: (1) the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached the duty of care; (3) the breach of the duty of care caused your loved one’s death; and (4) you are legally entitled to damages.woman-holding-flower-by-grave


The first element in a wrongful death claim involves demonstrating that the party you are holding responsible owed a duty of care to your deceased loved one. 

Breach of Duty of Care

Next, you must show that the responsible party breached that duty. This means proving that they acted negligently or intentionally in a way that violated the standard of care expected under the circumstances. 


Causation is a crucial element in a wrongful death claim. You will need to demonstrate that the breach of the duty of care directly led to the death of your loved one. You will need to prove that if it had not been for the defendant's actions or negligence, the death would not have occurred.


Finally, you will need to prove that you incurred damages due to the wrongful death of your loved one. Damages can include economic losses, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and lost income, as well as non-economic losses, such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Potential Causes of Fatal Accidents

There are various causes of wrongful death accidents in Indiana. The following types of fatal accidents can lead to wrongful death lawsuits:

The Importance of Hiring an Indiana Wrongful Death Lawyer

Proving fault in a wrongful death claim can be a complex and challenging process that requires legal expertise and resources. Here are several reasons why hiring an experienced Indiana wrongful death lawyer at Keller & Keller is crucial:

  • Legal knowledge. Wrongful death laws can be confusing. An attorney who understands Indiana's laws can navigate the specific legal requirements and deadlines that apply to your case and determine whether you have the right to file a claim.
  • Investigation. A skilled Indiana wrongful death lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death, collect evidence, interview witnesses, and identify liable parties.
  • Expert witnesses. Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, may be necessary to provide testimony to strengthen your claim. Your lawyer can locate and hire appropriate expert witnesses.
  • Negotiation and litigation. To secure a fair settlement, a wrongful death lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If the insurance company cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer can represent you in court to fight for a fair settlement.

Types of Evidence Needed to Prove Fault

To prove fault in a wrongful death claim, you will need various types of evidence to support your case. Some essential pieces of evidence that a skilled lawyer can help obtain include:

  • Medical reports. Medical records and reports documenting your loved one's injuries and treatment are critical in establishing the cause of death and the defendant's negligence or intent.
  • Autopsy report. If an autopsy was performed, the findings could provide valuable insights into the cause of death and the role of the defendant's actions in it.
  • Eyewitness testimonies. Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident or the events leading up to it can be invaluable in validating your version of events.
  • Expert testimony. Expert witnesses may provide professional opinions on the cause of death, the defendant's negligence, and the extent of damages.
  • Financial records. Documentation of the financial losses you suffered can help justify your claim. This can include medical bills, funeral expenses, and evidence of lost income.
James R. Keller
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