If you have lost a loved one in a fatal Indiana car accident, you may feel unsure of your next steps. Even though bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is likely the last thing on your mind, it could help address the expenses resulting from the accident, such as medical and funeral costs. Speaking with an Indiana personal injury attorney can allow you to understand your options after a fatal car accident.
As a recent news article tragically reported, one woman died, and two other people were injured following an accident in Laporte County, Indiana. A driver was speeding on I-94 and approached a curve at the same time as another vehicle. The driver veered into the other car’s lane, sideswiping the vehicle and throwing it off the road. As a result, the vehicle he struck crashed through a guardrail down an embankment. Three people were transported to the hospital, where one woman sadly died from her injuries. Following an investigation, local police arrested the driver for driving under the influence and for possession of marijuana.
Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Claim After an Indiana Fatal Accident?
Indiana only permits a wrongful death action from the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate. In practice, the deceased’s spouse and children would receive any damages resulting from the lawsuit as beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate. Additionally, Indiana law allows a party to bring a wrongful death suit up to two years after the fatal accident. After two years have passed, the party often cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Indiana, a plaintiff usually brings a wrongful death action as a negligence lawsuit. A plaintiff can file a wrongful death lawsuit so long as the deceased would be able to sue for negligence had they survived the fatal accident. Accordingly, to receive damages in a wrongful death suit, the plaintiff must prove the same elements as a regular lawsuit for negligence. That is, the plaintiff has to show the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, breached that duty through their negligent act or lack of action, caused the fatal accident, and that the victim died as a consequence. Finally, the plaintiff can recover damages as long as the deceased was not more than 50% at fault for the fatal accident.
Do You Need an Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney?
If your loved one has died in a fatal Indiana car accident, contact the Indiana firm of Burton A. Padove to talk through your options. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, a wrongful death action may help you gain closure and cover the financial expenses resulting from the accident. Personal injury attorney Burton A. Padove possesses over 40 years of experience providing compassionate representation to clients throughout the state of Indiana. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call our office at 877-446-5294. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.