Wrongful death is a terrible thing for a family to experience. Losing someone because of another’s negligence is difficult to grieve through, and recovery will likely take years. Families often struggle after losing a loved one, but for a few, the only way to pick up the pieces is to pursue legal action with an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer.
Our attorneys at Stewart|Phelps|Wood can explain how pursuing legal action can help your family recover financially from medical debt and funeral expenses. It is fairly common after a wrongful death that the family is in financial ruin. You do have options to recover some of these expenses and to access compensation.
When you are handling a wrongful death case, you already know that the other person was negligent. However, you do need a personal injury attorney in Indianapolis. You can present the evidence of the case compellingly.
Are you and your family ready to start the wrongful death case necessary to access compensation? Legal action might seem like the last thing you want to worry about, especially if wrongful death is causing you financial stress. However, pursuing legal action can not only relieve your financial issues but also help provide the closure you deserve. Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood at (317)593-3014 today to learn more about the benefits of pursuing a wrongful death case.
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What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term used to define the manner of death associated with reckless, negligent, or careless acts. Often these acts are unintentional, though they are identifiable. Most wrongful death claims come from situations that might otherwise be personal injury claims if the victim was still surviving.
A common example of wrongful death is someone who lost their lives as part of a car accident. With safety laws in place, the death was no doubt avoidable, meaning that someone involved acted recklessly or negligently.
The plaintiff in most wrongful death cases is a close family member such as a spouse, parent, or child. Just as in personal injury cases, wrongful death claims require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was negligent.
There are other manners that wrongful death can come about as well. Intentional acts, including criminal or violent crimes such as murder and manslaughter, can lead to wrongful death as well. Even an assault that “went wrong” can lead to a wrongful death case in addition to the associated criminal charges.
When a defendant is going through both criminal and civil court, it is vital that the plaintiff closely monitor all proceedings. Criminal and civil cases are handled in separate courts but one can impact the other. If a person is found guilty in criminal court, they cannot argue innocence in an associated civil case.
These cases come with a lot of nuances, and each case is so unique that it’s vital that each claim receives personalized care from the attorney. Working with an attorney, you can learn more about what makes your loss a case of wrongful death.
What Kind of Compensation Can a Family Expect?
Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers should have skills in handling their cases as well as experience advocating within the courtroom. Insurance companies will often try to limit or minimize the amount of compensation payout to a family after a wrongful death.
Our experience and skill in the courtroom allow us to confront these arguments in the courtroom as they arise effectively. We carefully plan our responses to expected defense tactics and design an aggressive case around your unique situation.
Ideally, we want to help you obtain the maximum compensation, but that will depend on your circumstances. It is impossible to give you a flat number to expect that would apply to all families.
When deciding how much compensation to pursue your case, we will evaluate these types of damages:
- Loss of companionship, love, relationship, and affection
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Mental suffering
- Applicable lost benefits to survivors
Calculating these damages requires the experienced hand of an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer. You could risk losing an opportunity to access compensation.
Is There A Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?
Yes, there is a time limit to file a wrongful death claim. In Indiana, most claims have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. The technical term for this time limit is the statute of limitations.
There are rare cases when a case involved extenuating circumstances such as medical malpractice that could change the start date of the two-year time limit. For example, if your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, you may only have two years from the date of malpractice rather than the date of death.
It is critical for you and your lawyer to keep close track of these dates. When families delay taking on an attorney, they can lose track of time and miss out on their opportunity to seek resolution.
A family should take action as soon as they are ready. These cases often require extensive research, investigation, and the use of field experts to prove negligence.
What Are Some Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims?
Common types of wrongful death claims or reasons behind the wrongful death claims include car wrecks and other motor vehicle-related accidents. Those killed as a result of a collision either with a car, truck or motorcycle will often fall into the overarching issue of wrongful death. Many bicycle and scooter accidents also lead to wrongful death claims.
Many cases rely on the premise of reckless activities such as driving in ways that are clearly against traffic laws as well as drunk driving.
Another common cause behind wrongful death claims is a manufacturer’s malfunction or negligent act. For example, if a faulty tire-tread led to the accident, the manufacturer could likely be held responsible.
No matter the circumstances you need a wrongful death lawyer in Indianapolis who has access to advanced field experts and the expense to retain these experts whenever necessary. We put our experience and persistence to good use in every case.
What if a Wrongful Death Involves a Child?
The definition of a child is slightly different than most people expect. As it applies to wrongful death claims, a child is any person who is:
- Under the age of 20 (or 23 if attending a vocational school or college)
- Has no dependents
This definition allows many people to seek wrongful death claims as they applied to children even when the person involved was a teen or a young adult. Indiana has a Wrongful Death Act which permits parents to seek compensation for economic damages. These damages can include funeral expenses, medical expenses, and counseling for surviving family members.
Other damages or non-economic damages could include loss of love and companionship. Many parents can easily argue that they are missing major life events because their child was taken prematurely. Even more so, parents expected that love and companionship to extend throughout the rest of their lives. Now, as the survivor, they may seek recovery for this loss.
Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorney for A Free Consultation
When seeking an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer you want someone who is not only experienced but compassionate. Attorneys that work with victims often have to revert to the bigger picture. The fact that you and your family lost someone very important in your lives cannot be ignored.
It is frequent that any involved insurance companies or businesses will try to downplay the impact of death or instance. The only way to combat that is to take legal action. To find the right attorney for you, we recommend interviewing lawyers who specialize in wrongful death cases.
Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers helps give the victims in unfortunate circumstances a voice. As the family member taking action, you can explain the situation and events to a wrongful death lawyer with Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers during your free consultation.
As part of your free consultation, you can expect the attorney helping you to explain the process of a case. You should walk away with an understanding of the likelihood of trial and a compensation recovery goal. Schedule your consultation now through our Contact Us page or call the office directly at (317)593-3014.