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November 15, 2018

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?

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When a loved one or friend has passed away, it is always an emotional time. Legal proceedings may be the furthest thing from your mind. In situations where someone has died through the negligence of another, however, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate.

Generally speaking, if the death in question was the result of criminal activity or negligence by another party, certain family members can file for wrongful death. There are certain limitations on who can legally file a wrongful death claim. There are also limitations on how long after someone passes away you have to file a wrongful death claim.

You will most likely need the help of a lawyer if you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim. To discuss wrongful death in Indiana, talk to GDS Law Group, LLP. Proving a death was wrongful requires showing the accused party has fulfilled the elements of the offense. The attorneys at GDS Law Group, LLP have the experience to put together your best case possible. We offer free consultations; reach out via our online contact form or call (765) 313-7092 to schedule yours today.

Only Certain Members are Entitled to Bring a Wrongful Suit Claim

Indiana law allows only certain members to file a wrongful death suit. Legal entitlement to file for wrongful death is based on your relationship with the deceased party. The following people can bring a wrongful death suit in Indiana:

  • The spouse of the person who passed
  • The child or children of the deceased (this applies to both biological and adopted children)
  • The surviving parents (if the child was a minor at the time of death, both parents must file the claim.)

There are other allowances for people who may be dependents or legal guardians as well.

Damages You Can Recover for an Indiana Wrongful Death

Generally speaking, Indiana law does not allow recovery for grief or pain and suffering. This means that you will be unlikely to get damages for things such as emotional distress. You may be entitled to recover money for such factors as:

  • Medical and hospital expenses;
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Costs of pursuing a wrongful death claim, including reasonable attorney’s fees; and
  • Lost wages or benefits the deceased party would have earned in life.

Defining a “Wrongful” Death in Indiana

Wrongful death in Indiana is defined by section 34-23-1 of the Indiana Code. Under the code, a death is wrongful if it is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” Essentially, a wrongful death claim is judged on a negligence standard. To show wrongful death, it must be established that the responsible party either acted, or did not act, as a reasonable person would. Indiana law also imposes a statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim. The suit must be brought no more than two years after the death occurred.

Contact a Lawyer About Your Wrongful Death Claim

Whether or not a death is considered “wrongful” can be a legally complex question. Enlisting a knowledgeable attorney is one of the best ways to make sure that justice wins out. Discuss any questions you may have concerning Indiana wrongful death claims with the lawyers at GDS Law Group, LLP. The death of a friend or family member is a stressful enough time; you should not have your distress compounded because of someone else’s mistakes. Schedule your free consultation with an Indiana wrongful death attorney via our online contact form, or by calling (765) 313-7092 today.

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