Wrongful death lawsuits are filed against a person or companies, who through negligence or willful damage has caused the death of someone. If this occurs, the heirs of the deceased can file claims for the party that is legally responsible for the death. Laws can be challenging, especially negligence, experts say. Proving a wrongful death claims can be challenging, and families will require an experienced wrongful death lawyer Valparaiso IN experts point out.
Wrongful death lawsuits are brought up when a person dies as a result of an act of negligence or intentional harm. This act can occur under different situations. For example:
⦁ When the victim has been killed intentionally.
⦁ When a doctor, medical assistant, or health-care provider fails to render services or skills suitable of usual competence that results in death. Physicians can be guilty of negligence for carelessly deviating from acceptable standards of medical care and injury or death results. Even if it is a wrong diagnosis or if the doctor was negligent in not following standard care that is normally given in the medical community, and the result is the death of the patient.
⦁ Deadly victims in traffic accident due to negligence. If the person dies dues to consequences of the injuries caused in the traffic accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought.
The previous examples show some situations of unjust death. These types of lawsuits can come from almost any situation where personal injuries are presented. However, there is a notable exception: death from work accidents. In general, this type of accident must legally be litigated via the states worker’s compensation system.
In order to demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for wrongful death, the plaintiff’s attorney must present the same amount of evidence that the deceased person would have been responsible in presenting, that is, had he or she lived.
Taking the example of negligence, this means that the defendant was obligated to deliver the level of usual care, and the defendant did not meet this obligation, and that failure to comply with this obligation was the direct and immediate cause of death. Additionally, the death caused damages.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
An attorney will file the lawsuit in court, however, there are legal stipulations according to the victim’s survivors. And precedent is varied in different states. Spouses can file a wrongful death claim in the name of their deceased spouse. Parents of minor children can also file a lawsuit for wrongful death for children that are killed, and compensation may be awarded to minors if the parents are the victims. Where state laws begin to differ is if the parents of adult victims are able to file a lawsuit.
Also, states disagree if siblings or extended family, like aunts or uncles can file claims for wrongful death. In general, the more distant the family relationship is, the more challenging it is to be able to prove that compensation for wrongful death can be obtained. Unfortunately, Indiana state law doesn’t allow families to collect for pain or grief, and there are caps on the amounts that can be received.
Lastly, a claim for wrongful death must be filed before the expiration of the statutory term, which is two years in Indiana.