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How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Steve Wagner

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

In legal terms, wrongful death is defined as the taking of a person’s life due to the negligence of a person or entity. A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by family members of the deceased in order to seek compensation for loss of income and livelihood, mental anguish, and funeral expenses. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil court case filed to secure damages from the accused due to the untimely death of a family member.

What constitutes a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim works on the premise that a person died due to the legal fault of another living person or entity. Motor vehicle and workplace accidents as well as medical negligence and harmful product cases can be considered wrongful death claims. Any person or entity that intentionally or unintentionally causes an injury resulting in death can be sued for a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against individuals, corporations and the Federal Government.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

In the event of a wrongful death, Indiana state law allows immediate, surviving family members, such as a spouse or children, to sue the accused for financial compensation. Certain states also allow distant family members and grandparents to file for wrongful death compensation. In certain exceptional cases, a lawsuit can also be filed for the death of a fetus.

Who can be sued for wrongful death?

Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against any person or corporation that is directly responsible for the wrongful death. In cases such as car accidents, the defendants can be the driver, the car manufacturer, and also the company responsible for faulty road construction.

In cases of workplace accidents, the suit can be filed against the employer, the construction company that built the office premises, and the manufacturer of the faulty equipment. Although in most states they are immune, certain courts also allow wrongful death claims against government agencies.

How to prove wrongful death?

In order to prove the wrongful death of a loved one, family members must first establish that the death was the direct result of the recklessness and negligence of the accused. It must also be proven that the death was not caused by any of the deceased’s actions.

What types of compensation can be claimed from a wrongful death lawsuit?

Once the wrongful death claim has been proven before a civil court, family members are entitled to compensation for the medical and funeral expenses incurred, as well as lost wages which would have been earned by the deceased family member. Compensation may also be awarded for the mental pain and trauma undergone by surviving family members. Certain states also pay punitive damages to punish the person responsible for the wrongful death.

If you have lost a loved one through negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation for an Indiana wrongful death claim. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation to discuss your case.


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