The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face. Indiana law gives the family members of the deceased the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which can help pay for expenses you may have incurred as a result of your loved one’s death. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand that compensation will never bring back your loved one or heal your grief, but it can help reduce financial strain and make you more comfortable during this difficult time.
We know that filing a lawsuit may sound overwhelming right now. With Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that we will handle all aspects of your case from start to finish and do everything possible to make this process as streamlined and low-stress for you as possible. To schedule your free consultation, you can give us a call today at (219) 286-7361.
Why Do I Need an Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney?
In addition to grief, the sudden death of a loved one can result in significant financial stress and uncertainty. You may be dealing with unforeseen medical, burial, and funeral costs, and you may be unsure of how you will financially move forward if you relied on your loved one for financial support. Filing a lawsuit may seem overwhelming, but an experienced wrongful death attorney will take this burden off of your shoulders and fight tirelessly for you to receive compensation that will help reduce these financial stressors.
Under Indiana law, you have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally, you only have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you wait too long, the court will be unwilling to hear your case. An attorney will help ensure that you file all appropriate documents on time so that you are able to move forward with your case.
It’s very important that you consult with an attorney before you sign any documents or accept any payment. The party that caused your loved one’s death may try to offer you a settlement in exchange for you dropping your lawsuit. While many wrongful death lawsuits do indeed end in settlements, an attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you are receiving a fair settlement. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement that’s higher or recommend that you fight your case in court. When you accept a settlement, you will need to sign an agreement releasing the other party from any further liability. This means that you will be unable to take any further legal action against them.
Why Should I Hire Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers?
Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers is a team of highly experienced Indiana wrongful death attorneys who are ready to support you during this difficult time. We have seen how negligent acts can have devastating consequences, and we are passionate about working to secure whatever justice we can for our clients. We prioritize compassion, trust, and honesty in our attorney-client relationships, and give every case the unique attention and strategy it deserves. We routinely win high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients, including amounts over $1,000,000, and our client testimonials speak to our dedication to every case.
We understand that many people worry about how much it will cost to hire an attorney. These concerns are compounded by the fact that many of our clients are seeking legal help precisely because they are worried about their finances. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we only get paid if you win. There are no upfront bills or fees; instead, we take a percentage of your overall settlement or verdict at the end of your case. If you don’t win, then you don’t owe us any money at all.
We also offer a 100% free initial consultation, in which you can tell us about your case and ask questions, and we’ll give you an idea of your legal options. There are no obligations and absolutely nothing to lose in scheduling your free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Immediate family members of the deceased are eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits if their loved one’s death was caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another party. Essentially, if your loved one’s death would not have happened if it weren’t for another person’s action or lack of action, you can file a lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits. Since the deceased is unable to file a lawsuit, their surviving family members effectively file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf, and this is called a wrongful death lawsuit.
Those who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include the deceased’s:
- Parent or legal guardian
If the deceased does not have any of these family members, the court can appoint a “personal representative” who can bring the wrongful death lawsuit and carry out other important tasks.
What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Any death that occurred as a result of another person’s negligent or wrongful act can be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. These are some of the most common causes of wrongful death that we handle at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective/dangerous products
- Accidents at the workplace
- Construction accidents
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Dog attacks
If your loved one’s death doesn’t fall into any of these categories, you will likely still be able to make a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by another party’s negligence. You should contact an attorney to get an idea of your options.
How Much Money Is My Case Worth?
Your ultimate amount of compensation will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. In general, the damages available in wrongful death claims include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those for which money is a direct replacement. These can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral/burial costs
- Your loved one’s lost income, including future income
- Loss of benefits
It’s important to keep good records of any bills, invoices, or other documents you received related to your loved one’s death. However, we understand that it can be difficult to keep track of such items in such a difficult time, and your attorney will help you obtain and organize all necessary documents.
Non-economic damages are those for which money is an approximate, rather than a direct substitution. These can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (loss of benefits of relationship with loved one)
- Mental trauma
It is more difficult to assign an exact dollar figure to non-economic damages. In order to make a case that you deserve non-economic damages, we recommend documenting in a journal the ways in which your loss affects your daily life. If you are experiencing mental distress, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, we may hire a mental health professional to interview you and then testify about your mental state.
Is Wrongful Death the Same as a Criminal Case?
Wrongful death is a civil case rather than a criminal one. Civil and criminal cases are different: they are handled by separate court systems and have different rules. In criminal cases, the case is brought by the state, whereas civil cases are brought by individuals. For example, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, the state may bring a charge of manslaughter against them. A jury will then decide if they are guilty and what the punishment should be.
While you are clearly highly concerned by the outcome of the case, and you may even testify as a witness, you are not the party who is actually bringing the case. Punishments for criminal offenses include jail, prison, fines, probation, and community service.
In civil cases, a judge or jury will find a defendant liable or not liable, and the court will decide how much money they must pay to the plaintiff. Civil cases do not result in jail or prison sentences.
Sometimes, a defendant can face both criminal and civil charges. This is common, for example, in drunk driving cases. The state may charge the defendant with manslaughter, and you can file a wrongful death lawsuit at the same time. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit even if the defendant wasn’t convicted in criminal court. Civil courts look at the evidence in a different way than criminal courts, and evidence that wasn’t compelling enough in a criminal trial might be enough to convince a civil jury.
Contact an Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have tragically lost a loved one as the result of another party’s negligence, Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers would like to wish you our sincere condolences. All loss is tragic, but death caused suddenly by another person is extraordinarily difficult for survivors. It can also bring sudden and stressful financial concerns, such as funeral costs and the loss of your loved one’s income.
You are not alone. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to support you during this difficult time. We will do everything to ensure that your case is handled as efficiently and effectively as possible. Contact us today at (219) 286-7361 for a free consultation.