Nobody lives forever, but the death of someone you love will always sting, especially when that death is the outcome of somebody else’s negligence.
You can never get back the time you would have spent with a cherished family member whose life was unnecessarily cut short, but you may be able to alleviate the economic burden of that loss through a wrongful death claim. Indiana law imposes restrictions on these types of cases, so it may be useful to seek out the Muncie wrongful death attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been advocating for mourning Hoosiers for more than 25 years.
Call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation with a Muncie wrongful death lawyer.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Case in Indiana
The State of Indiana classifies a death as “wrongful” when it is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” When a wrongful death takes place, the deceased’s “personal representative” may be eligible to file a claim, provided that the deceased might have done so “for the same act or omission” as well.
There are specific requirements for how wrongful death damages may be allocated in Indiana. Remuneration for reasonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses must go to the decedent’s estate for repayment, while the remaining funds can be distributed to the deceased’s heirs.
Time constraints will also apply in an Indiana wrongful death action. An eligible plaintiff needs to file a lawsuit or otherwise resolve a claim before the expiration of the Statute of Limitations, which is two years from the date of death in Indiana. Failure to do so before this window closes could forever bar a claimant from full recovery.
The detail-orientated Muncie wrongful death attorneys at our firm will meet all deadlines and requirements for establishing a viable claim.
Common Wrongful Death Cases in Indiana
Common wrongful death cases in Indiana may involve the following elements:
Medical malpractice – When a patient is seriously harmed by negligent medical care, he or she could open a malpractice claim against the practitioners at fault. There are approximately 17,000 medical malpractice cases filed in the United States each year, about 940 of them in Indiana courts. Many of these claims are initiated by the surviving family members of patients who were killed by medical negligence, examples of which may include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Inappropriately prescribed or administered drugs
- Insufficient or excessive anesthesia
- Surgical and non-surgical procedure mistakes
- Medical device malfunctions
- Birth injuries
It can be difficult to prove that a practitioner cost a life by deviating from the accepted standard of medical care. Fortunately, our Muncie wrongful death lawyers are adept at uncovering actionable breaches of duty by doctors, nurses, and other caregivers.
Dangerous products – The manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of products sold in the State of Indiana have an obligation to make sure that they are safe. Sadly, unscrupulous companies may prize the dollar sign over the public’s well-being and release shoddy items that can harm unsuspecting consumers. If this happens, the injured may be able to go after those who hurt them through product liability claims, the majority of which are based on one of three types of negligence:
- Defective designs – A product is dangerous because it was improperly conceived at the design stage.
- Defective manufacturing – A product is dangerous because it was produced improperly.
- Failure to warn – The dangerous aspects of an otherwise sound product were not properly explained.
A product that inflicts a fatal injury could provide grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, though a plaintiff may require the assistance of accomplished litigators capable of transforming complex technical information into compelling legal arguments.
Auto accidents – As destructive as incompetent medical care and hazardous goods can be, their societal harm is overshadowed by vehicular misconduct, which is the leading source of wrongful death. In 2022 alone, there were 955 traffic fatalities in Indiana and nearly 43,000 nationwide. Most deadly auto accidents are caused by driver negligence, which may involve:
- Use of phones and other handheld devices
- Drunk or high driving
- Drowsiness at the wheel
- Reckless driving/drag racing
- Disregarding traffic control signals
- Failing to adjust to poor road conditions or inclement weather
Hensley’s Muncie wrongful death attorneys will unearth the root causes of your loved one’s collision and everyone who contributed to it.
Who Is Eligible to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
There can be many reasons why a wrongful death may occur but very few parties with the right to make a claim over it. Generally, a wrongful death plaintiff will be a close family member, with the deceased’s age largely determining who it can be.
Child decedents – For the purpose of wrongful death claims, Indiana’s Child Wrongful Death Statute defines a “child” as:
- An unmarried individual under age 20 who does not have dependents;
- An unmarried individual under age 23 who does not have dependents and is enrolled in a college, a trade or technical school, or a similar program; or
- A fetus that has reached viability.
When the decedent is a child, the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by one or both of the parents. If the parents are divorced, the parent with legal custody is the one who can file. In the event that both parents are deceased or their parental rights have been terminated, the decedent’s legal guardian will need to file suit.
Adult decedents – If the deceased is a legal adult who does meet the other criteria for child decedents, the decedent’s personal representative or the executor of his or her estate must file the lawsuit. Most frequently, this role would be filled by the surviving spouse, adult children, or parents.
The deceased’s age may further impact the type and degree of damages recoverable. If you are considering a case, our Muncie wrongful death lawyers can advise you of your available remedies.
How Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Make a Difference
A sudden death can leave a family in a desperate state, struggling to keep themselves intact as they try to navigate through the wreckage left by an unexpected passing. As bad as their grief can be, it can be overwhelmed by anger when the death is the result of a senseless act by a thoughtless actor.
You need attorneys who can direct your emotions toward more productive ends and secure the resources necessary to make it through this tragedy. In short, you need the Muncie wrongful death attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Since 1998, we have devoted our practice to getting justice for the everyday people of Indiana.
If you decide to retain our firm, we will launch a comprehensive investigation into everyone who caused the wrongful death within the time allotted by law. Our Muncie wrongful death lawyers will work tirelessly to assemble the evidence to support your claim, taking steps to prevent its destruction if the situation demands it.
After putting together the strongest case possible against every defendant, we will attempt to reach a settlement that considers the entirety of your losses, such as.
- Medical, hospitalization, funeral, and burial costs
- Cessation of financial support
- Psychological counseling
- Lost love and companionship
- Punitive damages (if applicable)
And if we do not receive an offer that reflects the true worth of your claim, we are more than willing to proceed to trial for a verdict that does.
Indiana law may put limitations on what you can recover for a wrongful death, but we will endeavor to maximize the value of your case.
You Won’t Pay Until We Win
We understand that your family might be under enormous fiscal strain at this moment, so you may be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. This means you won’t have to pay us anything until our Muncie wrongful death attorneys win your case.
The future may seem bleak, but Hensley is committed to helping you build the life your loved one would have wanted for you.
Speak to Our Muncie Wrongful Death Lawyers Now
Hensley Legal Group has been fighting for the innocent victims of negligence for over a quarter century. Speak to our Muncie wrongful death lawyers now to discover how those who took your loved one can be held accountable.
Arrange a free case review with a wrongful death attorney by calling (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or filling out our contact form.
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