The death of a loved one is traumatic even when the death is expected. When a loved one dies suddenly as a consequence of the carelessness or misconduct of another, it can devastate a family — emotionally and financially. You may experience the conflicting emotions of grief, anger and frustration.
“Wrongful death” is a legal term that describes a preventable accidental death caused by misconduct, such as reckless driving, a co-worker’s inattention or a doctor’s medical error.
The family of the accident victim often suffers great financial harm as the result of a wrongful death. You have mounting medical bills, funeral expenses and reduced income. We recognize that no amount of money will make up for the loss of your loved one. But full compensation allowed under Indiana law can relieve financial stress, provide your family some financial security and allow closure after a devastating personal loss.
An Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer from the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson has the legal skill and compassion to help families move forward after a devastating loss.
Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.
Types of Fatal Accidents
There are many different types of fatal accidents that can cause a wrongful death.
The legal rights of victims to recover damages vary, depending on the type of accident and your relation to the deceased. There is an important distinction between wrongful deaths caused by personal injury accidents in Indiana such as car accidents and wrongful death caused by medical negligence. Different Indiana laws apply, depending on the type of accident.
Indiana recognizes several different causes of action for wrongful death:
- General Wrongful Death – When a person dies in an accident as a result of the carelessness or omission of another, the spouse and children of the accident victim may bring a claim against the person or company that caused the accident. For example, if a motorist disregards the traffic safety laws and causes a fatal car or motorcycle accident, it can result in a wrongful death claim. You may seek compensation to cover medical and hospital bills, funeral and burial expenses and lost earnings. Only the victim’s spouse, dependent children or dependent next of kin may recover damages for lost earnings. You have two years to file the claim, so it’s important to consult an attorney promptly because of the time required to investigate a claim and gather evidence.
- Medical Malpractice – Wrongful death claims involving medical errors such as birth injuries, doctor errors or hospital errors come under Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. A spouse, parent, guardian or personal representative of the estate may bring a wrongful death claim under the medical malpractice act. The proposed wrongful death claim must be submitted to a medical review panel for an opinion on whether the defendant doctor committed act of medical malpractice. The claim may then be filed in court within two years of the date of the alleged negligent act that caused the death. The Medical Malpractice Act caps the amount of damages that a victim’s family may recover for the death of a patient to $1.25 million.
- Adult Wrongful Death – Another Indiana law that provides a cause of action is the Adult Wrongful Death Act. Generally speaking, it applies to unmarried adult individuals who do not have dependent children. The personal representative of the estate of the accident victim may file a wrongful death claim for compensation for medical, hospital and funeral expenses and loss of love and companionship. Loss of future earnings are generally not compensable under the Adult Wrongful Death Act.
Causes of Fatal Injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Birth injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amusement park accidents
- Slips and falls
- Defective products
- Airplane/railway accidents
Call an Experienced Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved due to someone else’s actions or carelessness, you don’t have to carry that burden alone. An Indiana wrongful death lawyer at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson is here to help. Talk to a compassionate Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer in Indianapolis who understands the causes of action for wrongful death claims and can explain your legal options.
With over 15 years of litigation experience, Indianapolis wrongful death attorney Kelley J. Johnson has the skill and dedication to help families move forward after a devastating loss.