The sudden death of a loved one is one of the worst events imaginable, and the pain of that loss can be even sharper when it is caused by somebody else’s negligence. With a single act of carelessness, a cherished life can be cut short, leaving behind survivors who may be emotionally overwhelmed and financially insecure.
While nothing can ever fill the void created by an untimely passing, compensation may be recoverable from those responsible through a wrongful death claim. If your close family member has been killed as a result of another party’s negligent conduct in the Hammond area, reach out to the Hammond wrongful death attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
For more than 25 years, our firm has been helping grieving Hoosiers ease the economic burden of an unexpected passing. We are dedicated to supporting our clients in their time of need. For a free consultation with a Hammond wrongful death lawyer, call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Indiana state law defines a wrongful death as one that is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” When this happens, certain individuals may be allowed to bring a claim against the at-fault parties for the losses incurred because of that death, such as funeral and burial expenses and termination of monetary support.
Exactly who is eligible to bring a wrongful death suit in Indiana will depend primarily on the age of the decedent at the time of death.
Child decedents – When the victim is a child, the wrongful death case must be filed by one or both of the child’s parents. If the parents are divorced, the parent with legal custody of the child must file the claim. If both parents are deceased or their parental rights have been terminated by the time of the death in question, the case needs to be filed by the child’s legal guardian. For the purposes of wrongful death actions, Indiana law defines a “child” as:
- An unmarried person younger than 20 who does not have dependents;
- An unmarried person younger than 23 who does not have dependents and is enrolled in a college, a career or technical school, or some other comparable program; or
- A fetus that has reached viability.
Adult decedents – If the deceased is a legal adult who does not meet the above criteria, only the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate is permitted to file a wrongful death claim in Indiana. Typically, this would be the deceased’s surviving spouse, adult children, or parents.
Regardless of the age of the decedent, there is a limited window of time during which a wrongful death claim can be filed, known as the Statute of Limitations. In Indiana, the Statute is two years from the date of death. Failure to file suit or otherwise resolve a wrongful death claim before this period elapses could forever bar a plaintiff from recovering damages.
Our knowledgeable Hammond wrongful death lawyers will always work to make sure that you meet every filing deadline and statutory requirement necessary to establish a legitimate case for your deceased loved one.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Indiana
Many types of incidents can form the basis for a claim of wrongful death. Wrongful death cases in Indiana frequently involve:
Auto accidents – Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of wrongful death nationwide, a trend that regrettably holds true in this state. In 2022 alone, there were 955 traffic-related deaths in Indiana, most of them the result of another driver’s negligence.
A variety of factors can cause a fatal car or truck accident, including:
- Texting while driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving or drag racing
- Disregarding traffic control signals
- Poor road conditions or maintenance
While the majority of wrongful death cases are brought against private parties, such as the driver or owner of a vehicle, government entities may be involved in certain circumstances, which means that additional preconditions may need to be satisfied.
Medical malpractice – When a treating physician, nurse, or other provider inflicts harm on a patient by deviating from the accepted standard of care, it is known as medical malpractice. There are an average of 940 malpractice cases filed each year in Indiana, many of them on behalf of deceased victims. Examples of malpractice that may result in wrongful death include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper anesthesia
- Surgical mistakes
- Prescription and medication errors
- Medical device malfunctions
- Mistakes during childbirth
A successful wrongful death action for medical malpractice will require the assistance of attorneys capable of mounting clear and compelling cases of negligence against physicians, hospitals, and their insurance carriers.
Product liability – Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products have a legal duty in Indiana to ensure that their goods are safe. Unfortunately, companies do not always honor their duty and promote dangerously defective products to the public, sometimes resulting in serious harm to users. When this occurs, victims may seek compensation through a product liability case, which typically falls into one of three categories:
- Design defect cases – The product was flawed in its conception.
- Manufacturing defect cases – The product was produced improperly.
- Failure to warn cases – The risks associated with the product were not adequately explained.
If your loved one was killed because of a dangerous product, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death case against the parties responsible for taking it to market. Our Hammond wrongful death lawyers are highly proficient with the complex technical details needed to put together product-related claims on behalf of deceased consumers.
What Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Do for You
We know how challenging this time must be. Someone who was so central to your life, someone you counted on for love and support, someone you always hoped would be there to share in your joys and commiserate over your misfortunes has been taken from you without warning. You are probably emotionally devastated, but you are also probably angry – angry because your loved one’s death was the entirely avoidable outcome of somebody else’s reckless, thoughtless misconduct.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, you need personal injury lawyers who have the compassion to support you through your hardship and the skill to get you justice for your profound loss. In short, you need the accomplished Hammond wrongful death attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
Since 1998, Hensley has been fighting to make sure that the everyday people of Indiana enjoy the same rights as the most powerful and influential members of society. No adversary is too intimidating to prevent us from doing what it takes to serve the best interests of our clients.
Once you retain our firm, we will conduct a comprehensive investigation to uncover everyone who may be at fault for your loved one’s death within the time allotted by law. We will also work tirelessly to gather the materials necessary for a valid claim of wrongful death, taking immediate action to preserve evidence and coordinating our efforts with leading experts if necessary.
Once we have constructed the strongest case possible against all the liable parties, we will negotiate with their insurance companies and defense attorneys to obtain a settlement that takes into account the entirety of your damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Lost financial support
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages
If we do not receive an offer that reflects the true value of your case, we are more than willing to go to trial to secure a verdict or judgment that does.
Your family may be understandably concerned about taking on additional expenses at this moment, so you will be pleased to hear that our firm works on a contingency basis. You will never have to pay us anything unless our Hammond wrongful death lawyers win your case.
The future may seem dark right now, but Hensley Legal Group is committed to getting you the resources you need to live the life your loved one would have wanted for you.
Contact a Hammond Wrongful Death Lawyer
Hensley Legal Group has devoted its practice to protecting the hardworking residents of Indiana. If your family is struggling with the loss of a loved one because of somebody else’s negligence, a Hammond wrongful death lawyer is available to discuss how to begin to make things right.
Schedule a complimentary case review with our wrongful death attorneys by dialing (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or completing our contact form.