There is nothing more devastating to a family than the death of a loved one. When that death occurs as result of the negligent behavior of another, it adds the additional burden of knowing that the death could have been avoided. When the family breadwinner has been killed, the family will also face catastrophic financial consequences.
What is an Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed after a wrongful death in Terre Haute, IN, or as a continuation of a personal injury lawsuit, if the person later died as consequence of the accident. The legal definition of a wrongful death is a death as a result of the “wrongful act or omission” of someone else. In a normal personal injury case, the injured person is the plaintiff. Since that isn’t possible in a wrongful death case, the deceased person’s estate will become the plaintiff. Usually, a family member will serve as the personal representative of the estate. Parents will file the lawsuit when a child has died, for instance.
To succeed, the lawsuit has two goals:
1. The defendant must be proven responsible for the death.
2. Money damages must be calculated and claimed.
There Could be Both a Criminal Case and a Civil Lawsuit
If the death was caused because the other driver was drunk, the state might file criminal charges. This case is totally separate from any civil wrongful death case filed on behalf of the estate. Both the civil and criminal cases could proceed in court at the same time; or the wrongful death case could be filed after the criminal case. In either eventuality, Indiana’s statute of limitations requires the lawsuit to be filed within two years from the date of the death.
The laws in Indiana are very specific as to the damages that can be paid in a wrongful death case. Customary damages include:
• medical and hospital bills;
• burial and funeral costs;
• lost benefits and wages that the deceased would have earned in the future;
• the expenses incurred by the wrongful death lawsuit; and
• loss of companionship.
Families suffering as result of a wrongful death in Terre Haute, IN, don’t have to struggle alone during this very difficult time. Dan McGlone, at McGlone Law, understands the needs of survivors and is prepared to fight for the justice your loved one deserves. Call Dan McGlone for a free consultation.