Families face significant challenges when a member of their circle dies. Even if there was advanced notice due to an illness, the grieving process can be intense and unpredictable. When a death is sudden and unexpected, it can lead to even greater practical challenges, for obvious reasons. For example, families may suddenly lose the financial support of their primary wage earner or someone who served as a caregiver for the children in the household. They will need to plan and pay for a funeral. They may also need to consider going to civil court to seek justice for their deceased loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit filed in accordance with Indiana law is one of the few options for justice for those grieving a tragedy. There are certain rules that apply to wrongful death lawsuits that people need to understand when exploring their rights.
Only one person can file
In many wrongful death lawsuits, the person who died left behind a spouse and children or other close family members. Each of those parties might have an interest in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, so Indiana statutes specify who can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative of someone’s estate is typically the party that will file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana. If the person who died was a minor, their parents can potentially finally wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawsuit must be timely
Someone cannot wait for a decade after their loved one dies and then try to take legal action against another person or a business. With rare exceptions, wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana are only possible for two years after the date of someone’s death. At that point, the statute of limitations will prevent litigation in all but the most unusual of circumstances.
The losses claimed must be realistic
The amount sought in a wrongful death lawsuit may include burial expenses, medical expenses, lost future wages and possibly even the loss of someone’s love and guidance. Families must carefully review the situation if they hope to seek an appropriate amount of compensation given the impact of their losses.
Understanding the rules that govern wrongful death claims may help people decide what options might be worth pursuing after a sudden tragedy. Seeking legal guidance can help to provide clarity in this regard.
If a loved one was killed due to the fault of another driver, give our office a call at 219-733-8633.