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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Does Indiana Limit Damages for Wrongful Death? Everything Victims Must Know

When people think about car and truck accidents, medical malpractice, and negligence, their worst fear is losing a loved one.


The thought of a loved one dying as a result of someone else's negligent or careless actions can be almost unbearable to handle.


Plus, if it happens, the remaining family members might have to pay for funeral and burial expenses and take care of numerous bills they wouldn't have had if the accident hadn't taken place.


Overall, wrongful death cases are some of the nastiest when it comes to civil law. Clients are often in shock, going through insurmountable grief, and trying to learn to live their lives without their loved ones.

Victims don't have to go through those things alone, and they don't have to file a wrongful death claim without help. Instead, they can hire a specialized, experienced wrongful death attorney to help them.


Although there is no monetary limit to the damages people can get for wrongful death cases in Indiana, the law limits other aspects of the suits. Therefore, hiring legal assistance is the best alternative. In this article, victims will learn what they must know about the process.


What Is Wrongful Death?

What Is Wrongful Death?


Wrongful death claims happen when the deceased person's loved one tries to obtain compensation for having to live without them. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on who can file wrongful death in Indiana.


If someone's partner dies in an accident, for example, and they were the household's primary source of financial support, their death could mean the other family members have a challenging time accessing essential things, such as food or medical care.


Wrongful death cases are very challenging to go through because the person is already dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, they exist because they have the right to get compensation for the pain, suffering, and loss they're going through.


In the state of Indiana, wrongful death happens when someone passes away due to the negligent actions or omissions of someone else.


When it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit in this state, proving that the person was a victim of negligence before dying is not enough. Instead, people must show evidence that the reckless actions of the other party directly resulted in the loss of their life.


A skilled wrongful death attorney will be able to show the court how the negligent actions of someone else resulted in the person's death.


Should Clients File a Wrongful Death Suit?


Victims should always file wrongful death lawsuits if they can prove negligence. Lawyers will help them through the process and ensure they have the best results possible.


Even though it's a challenging process to go through, in the end, the surviving loved one might get financial compensation, and that could alleviate some stress.


Numerous reasons can be behind someone filing a wrongful death claim. However, some of the most common ones include the following:

  • Medical negligence

  • Workplace accidents

  • Fatal car accidents

  • Truck accidents

  • Defective and dangerous products

  • Other motor vehicle accidents

  • Nursing home negligence

  • Wrongful death on someone else's property


Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Hard to Manage?


Winning wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana is not a straightforward task. Firstly, only the personal representative of the deceased's estate can file a claim.


Even though others can be the recipients of the settlement (in case the victim wins), the state of Indiana's general wrongful death statute limits who can file the lawsuit.


If the victim wins the wrongful death claim, the court will decide how they should split the money with regard to the rest of the family members.


Deceased children of divorced parents, for example, are a unique case because only the parent with custody of the child can file the wrongful death claim.


However, in some cases, the court can decide to combine different separate claims that involve the same wrongful death.


Getting Compensation for a Wrongful Death Claim


As the article mentioned before, winning a wrongful death lawsuit is challenging because the person has to prove that negligence directly caused their loved one's death.


A loved one's death can be devastating, especially if it could've been avoidable and was unexpected. Indiana law determines specific aspects when it comes to the compensation victims can seek.


According to Indiana law, survivors can't get compensation for emotional suffering or grief in cases of untimely death. Instead, people can bring wrongful death action in the following cases:

  • Paying for funeral and burial expenses.

  • Lost wages and other benefits they would've most likely received if the loved one hadn't died.

  • Reasonable legal fees that were a consequence of the person filing a wrongful death suit.


Furthermore, Indiana state law has specific aspects that come into play when it comes to victims capping the damages they can recover.


A skilled lawyer can help the person with their wrongful death suit, and they can make sure victims get the compensation they deserve. Attorneys understand which laws fit their claim. Some of them can be:

  • $300,000 according to the Adult Wrongful Death Act, which covers unmarried adults who died in accidents that were not medical malpractice.

  • $1,250,000 for people pursuing a wrongful death action against a medical professional. In this case, the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act comes into play.

  • The Child Wrongful Act might not cap damages, especially if children were under 20 years or 23 if they were enrolled in an education program.


Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims


Like a wrongful death lawsuit, survival actions are suits that the deceased person's loved ones file when they were recently killed.


Nonetheless, people file survival actions to recover compensation that the deceased person would've been able to seek for accident damages that happened before their death. Since they lost their lives, their loved ones can sue on their behalf.


People can file survival actions alongside a wrongful death lawsuit, and there won't be any issues. However, they should always get help from an experienced lawyer since navigating the intricacies of Indiana law can be challenging, stressful, and tricky.


The wrongful death claim should compensate for the losses the person's death left behind. Survival actions are like personal injury lawsuits that the victim would have filed had it not been for their untimely death.


The deceased person's estate can recover different damages, and they can come from the following survival actions:

  • Pain and suffering the person sustained before dying.

  • Lost wages after the accident.

  • Medical bills that now the surviving family has to deal with.

  • Property losses and other financial troubles that came as a result of the accident.


Victims should remember that funeral and burial expenses are not part of survival actions. Instead, they could be in their wrongful death lawsuit.


Since going through all the details of a wrongful death claim can be so challenging, hiring a specialized attorney is often the best idea.


A wrongful death attorney will understand that the deceased person's family wants to feel closure after what happened. They also know they might be unable to do that due to the number of bills they have to pay.


Therefore, they'll passionately defend them in court and make sure they get the compensation they deserve for the pain and suffering they're going through.


Why Clients Should Get Legal Help in Indiana

Why Clients Should Get Legal Help in Indiana


When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, clients should always get legal help, especially if they're in Indiana. The state has specific limitations and legal boundaries when it comes to putting together these cases, and only lawyers understand all the details of the law. They can also explain the difference between wrongful death and manslaughter.


A wrongful death attorney is an ideal professional the person should hire, especially if they're thinking of taking their case to court. Here are some reasons why relying on these experts is key to getting the best outcomes:


Wrongful Death Suits Can Be Tricky


In the state of Indiana, the person must prove that the wrongful act or omission was what caused their loved one's death.


According to the general wrongful death statute, proving negligence isn't enough. If the person wants to win the case, they have to show enough evidence to support the fact that if it hadn't been for the other person's careless actions, their loved one wouldn't have died.


When someone loses a loved one, their whole life might change. They may be so grief-struck that they're unable to engage in their regular activities without frequently thinking about them and worrying about all the bills and expenses they left behind.


If the deceased person was a child, the situation could be much worse because parents might be so grief-struck they're unable to make the best decisions when it comes to the legal process.


Lawyers understand all the challenges of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Therefore, they'll guide their client through the process and make sure they have the best outcomes and are able to find some peace after going through so much pain.


Clients Are in Pain


The best lawyers understand that clients are in pain and probably can't think straight. When guiding them through filing a wrongful death claim, they'll be tactful and make sure they gather all the necessary information to get the best outcomes possible.


Even though lawyers will be kind and helpful to their clients, their job is to help them get positive results. Therefore, after filing the wrongful death claim, they'll aggressively defend them in court and use every argument they can to make sure the judge awards them what they deserve.


Victims Should Focus on Their Grief and Recovery


People need time to process the loss of a loved one, and when they file a wrongful death claim, they might get distracted. It could make them have even more trouble when it comes to engaging in their regular activities.


Lawyers understand that filing a wrongful death lawsuit represents a hassle for family members and loved ones of the deceased.


Plus, when the time comes, and the loved ones have to make decisions about the deceased person's estate and their funeral and burial expenses, things might get even harder.


Attorneys will often tell families to focus on their daily life activities as much as they can while they take care of the legal intricacies of filing a wrongful death suit.


Victims need to get better, and when they file a wrongful death suit by themselves, it might be impossible because they'll have to figure out all the legal intricacies without help.


Consequently, hiring a specialized lawyer to prove that the wrongful act resulted in the person's death is the best way to go. Victims will be able to rest and heal while receiving guidance from top-notch legal professionals.


Legal Experts Are Trained to Handle These Cases


The last reason why victims should hire a lawyer for their Indiana wrongful death claim is that attorneys are trained to handle these cases.


Whether they're trying to prove punitive damages, relying on the Child Wrongful Death Act, or proving malpractice, lawyers will know what to do.


Attorneys know Indiana law in detail, so they understand what they must do if a client comes to them saying they want to file a wrongful death claim.


In many cases, lawyers are able to get wrongful death compensation for their clients, and it allows them to pay for medical expenses and other fees that the deceased's loss left behind.


Even though nothing can make up for what happened in a wrongful death accident, lawyers know that family members could feel much better if they could lose some financial stress.


Indiana's wrongful death statutes protect victims who can prove negligence and death as its consequence, so specialized attorneys will use their knowledge of the law to handle every detail of the case.


Getting wrongful death compensation can be challenging, if not impossible, without a lawyer. Therefore, clients should never try to do things on their own. Instead, they must rely on legal experts to help them.


Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help


Any victim who needs to file a wrongful death claim can contact Schuerger Shunnarah. The firm offers an experienced team of lawyers who will go to war for their clients, and they're ready to aid them in getting the best results possible.

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