In Indiana, the law provides that a person who fails to exhibit reasonable care for others’ safety should be held liable for the victim’s losses. Therefore, when someone suffers injuries in an Indiana car accident, the victim may recover damages from the negligent party. However, challenges recovering damages may occur if one of the parties dies before the claim is resolved. Although these situations may involve additional hurdles, plaintiffs may still pursue claims under Indiana’s survival action laws even if the defendant dies. Moreover, if a defendant dies, plaintiffs or their representatives may recoup damages from the defendant’s estate.
Although there may be some overlap, survival actions differ from wrongful death claims. Survival actions are relevant in situations when the plaintiff dies for a reason other than the other party’s negligence. For instance, if a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury after an Indiana trucking accident, they may claim damages against the truck driver and their employer. If the victim then passes away from an unrelated cause, like a heart attack, their claim survives after their passing.
On the other hand, a wrongful death claim is relevant when the negligent party’s actions or omissions caused the victim’s death. For example, a wrongful death claim may be applicable if a victim dies in a car accident that occurred because of the defendant’s negligence. In these situations, a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim. However, the deceased’s spouse, child, or other dependents would be the beneficiary of any damage awards. Moreover, recently the Indiana Supreme Court held that a wrongful death claim does not end if the heir-less sole beneficiary dies.
A recent tragic multi-vehicle Indiana car accident highlights the potential interplay between these Indiana statutes. Police released details of the Christmas Eve accident that killed three people. According to a news source, the driver of a small SUV was traveling south when it crossed over the center line, striking a sedan that was driving northbound. Two elderly individuals in the sedan died shortly after the accident. The SUV driver was unresponsive at the accident scene but died at a local hospital a few hours later. The fatal accident may give rise to various Indiana personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Have You Suffered Injuries in an Indiana Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died in an Indiana motor vehicle accident, you should contact Attorney Burton A. Padove. Attorney Padove has extensive experience handling car accident cases, premises liability claims, defective product lawsuits, and medical malpractice claims. Through Attorney Padove’s diligent representation, his clients have recovered substantial amounts of compensation for their losses. Compensation in these cases often include payments for medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of companionship claims, property damage, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses. Contact Padove Law at 877-446-5294, to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your rights and remedies after any Indiana accident. Calling is free, and you will not be billed unless we can help you recover for your injuries.