How an Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Help You Get Justice After a Loved One’s Tragic Death

wrongful death funeral casket with white flowersLosing a beloved family member because someone acted in a negligent, reckless, or careless manner is a tragedy. Nothing will ever compensate you for the loss you have suffered, but you might be able to take legal action to hold the responsible person accountable and potentially prevent a future tragedy. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit when a loved one has been killed is never an easy decision, but with compassionate advice from a skilled wrongful death attorney, you can make the decision that’s right for your family.

At Keller & Keller in Indianapolis, we bring decades of experience to Indiana wrongful death cases. We fight for families who have been torn apart by an accident that should never have happened. Learn about what kinds of fatal accidents could be eligible for a wrongful death case and who can file in Indiana.

Types of Accidents That Can Lead to a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death claim arises when a person's death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. Below are the types of accidents that can potentially lead to wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana.

Car Accidents

Fatalities resulting from car accidents, including collisions, rollovers, or multi-vehicle accidents, where negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, or impaired driving, contributed to the death could be grounds for legal action.

Truck Accidents

If you lost a loved one in a truck accident involving a large commercial semi-truck or tractor-trailer caused by driver fatigue, improper loading, or mechanical failures, you might have cause to file a wrongful death claim.

Motorcycle Accidents

Wrongful death claims can arise from motorcycle accidents where the negligence of another driver, road hazards, or defective equipment leads to a fatal outcome.

Pedestrian Accidents

Fatal accidents involving pedestrians, such as hit-and-run incidents or cases where drivers fail to yield the right of way, could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Bicycle Accidents

Fatalities resulting from collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles due to driver negligence or failure to share the road responsibly can lead to wrongful death claims.

Workplace Accidents

Families could potentially file wrongful death claims for fatal workplace accidents caused by unsafe working conditions, lack of proper safety measures, or employer negligence. These may include construction accidents, industrial incidents, or accidents involving heavy machinery.

Medical Malpractice

Wrongful death claims can stem from medical malpractice cases, where a health care professional's negligence or error leads to fatal consequences. This can include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, or medication mistakes.

Defective Products

Fatalities resulting from the use of defective products, whether it be a faulty automobile part, a dangerous pharmaceutical product, or a malfunctioning consumer good, could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Premises Liability

Wrongful death claims can arise from accidents on another person's property due to unsafe conditions, such as slip and falls, inadequate security leading to criminal activities, or poorly maintained premises.

Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence

When the negligence or abuse in a nursing home results in the death of a resident, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim.

Intentional Acts

In some cases, intentional acts such as assault, battery, or other criminal actions that lead to fatal injuries can result in a wrongful death lawsuit.

It's important to note that each case is unique, and the specific circumstances surrounding the death will determine the viability of a wrongful death claim. If you believe you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana, consulting with a qualified attorney is crucial to understanding your legal options and pursuing justice.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana?

In Indiana, the following individuals are typically eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Indiana:

  • Surviving spouse. The surviving spouse of the deceased person is usually the first in line to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Dependent children. Dependent children of the deceased, including biological and adopted children, are generally eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.
  • Dependent stepchildren. Stepchildren who were financially dependent on the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Parents or legal guardians. If the deceased had no surviving spouse or dependent children, the right to file a wrongful death claim may pass to the deceased person's parents or legal guardians.
  • Personal representative of the estate. If there are no surviving spouses, dependent children, parents, or legal guardians, the personal representative of the deceased person's estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate. Any damages recovered in such a case would be distributed according to the deceased person's will or, if there is no will, according to Indiana's intestate succession laws.

It's important to note that Indiana law prioritizes the surviving spouse and dependent children over other potential claimants. If there is a surviving spouse, the law requires that they receive at least 50% of any damages recovered. If there are dependent children, they are entitled to receive at least 50% of the damages collectively.

Potential claimants should consult with an experienced Indianapolis wrongful death attorney to understand their specific eligibility and the legal process for filing a wrongful death claim in Indiana. The laws can be complex, and an attorney can provide guidance based on the unique circumstances of each case.