The road can be a dangerous place, and fatal accidents are all too common. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be unsure about what to do next. Even though filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind, it may begin to help you recover financially from your unexpected loss. If your deceased loved one was a primary caregiver, recovering damages from a wrongful death lawsuit may help ease the financial burden you may be feeling.
Sadly, a recent news article reported that four people died after a fatal accident in Spencer County, Indiana. The accident occurred on the highway when a car traveling northbound collided with a Jeep traveling westbound. All four passengers in the Jeep were pronounced dead at the scene.
What Are the Legal Penalties for an Indiana Fatal Accident?
If someone causes a fatal car accident, they may face both criminal and civil penalties. Under criminal law, a driver may be charged with reckless homicide under Indiana’s criminal code. To convict someone of a crime, a jury must find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury has even the smallest amount of uncertainty about the defendant’s guilt, they cannot convict the defendant of the crime. However, if the jury finds the defendant guilty, they may face both jail time and criminal fines. By contrast, a driver facing civil penalties is liable if a jury finds it is more likely than not that their carelessness caused the victim’s injuries. After a person dies in a fatal car accident, that person’s loved ones may seek to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused that person’s death. Civil penalties often come in the form of monetary damages to the plaintiff.
What Are the Main Elements of an Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Indiana law, a deceased victim’s personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit. To prevail on a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must show the driver owed the deceased a duty of care, breached that duty through their careless action or failure to act, that their carelessness caused the victim’s injuries, and that the victim died as result. In other words, plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit have the same burden of proof as would the deceased victims had they been alive to bring the lawsuit. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can help you understand these complex laws around recovering in wrongful death civil lawsuits.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
If you have lost a loved one in an Indiana fatal car accident, contact attorney Burton A. Padove today to discuss your case. Mr. Padove possessed over three decades of experience working with Indiana injury victims and their loved ones. Through Mr. Padove’s skilled and compassionate representation, he has obtained favorable verdicts and significant compensation for many of his clients. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 877-446-5294.