Valparaiso Wrongful Death Lawyers for Pedestrian Accidents
The pain of losing a loved one from an unexpected accident can be especially devastating. The Valparaiso wrongful death attorneys of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers understand that no amount of money can make up for your unexpected loss. We also believe that the family affected by a wrongful death deserves justice.
In addition to the grief that comes from losing a treasured family member, you may also be experiencing financial strain and hardship. Compensation can help relieve that hardship as well as cover medical expenses, lost income, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you have lost a family member because of someone else’s negligence or risky behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. The compassionate and skilled Valparaiso pedestrian accident wrongful death attorneys from Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers want you to know that you do not have to deal with this situation on your own.
Wrongful death claims are often highly complex, so it’s crucial that your attorney has the experience and qualifications to see your case to a successful conclusion. Call our office today at (219) 286-7361, or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
As in other states, Indiana law allows an individual to file a personal injury lawsuit for wrongful death for a limited time. This time period is dictated by the statute of limitations. In Indiana, the statute of limitations allows two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
This means if you don’t file a lawsuit within two years after the accident, you will be barred from pursuing compensation from the at-fault party through the court system. In two years, you must gather evidence to support your case, negotiate with the insurance company, and file the necessary paperwork in court. Several steps in this process can take two to three months. This means that two years can pass quickly.
If you lose a loved one to a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, it is important to call a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can evaluate your case and let you know if there is enough evidence to support your claim. This also gives you and your attorney enough time to gather the needed evidence before the statute of limitations period runs out. Contact us today, if you have pressing questions about your case.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term that describes the death of one person caused by the misconduct or negligence of another. After someone dies, the personal representative of the decedent may sue for wrongful death. The lawsuit is an attempt to compensate for the survivors’ losses, including accident-related expenses and lost companionship.
In Indiana, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought when the death would not have occurred if it were not for the act of the accused person.
The personal representative of the deceased is most likely a family member. This person can be the deceased’s spouse, parent, legal guardian, adult child, or the personal representative appointed in an estate plan or will.
A pedestrian accident is a common cause of wrongful death. In 2019, there were 6,205 deaths of pedestrians reported in the U.S. By October 2021, the U.S. had the first-ever National Pedestrian Safety Month in response to an increase in deaths nationwide.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute recorded a nine percent rise in pedestrian deaths in Indiana in 2021. Data showed that there were 1,772 pedestrians hurt in crashes and 96 who were killed. Many of the accidents happen in urban areas from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
People who are on foot or in wheelchairs are vulnerable. Drivers who are distracted, careless, or negligent can seriously injure or kill a pedestrian. Pedestrians are safer when they walk on the sidewalk or path or on the shoulder facing traffic when there is no sidewalk available.
It’s vital that pedestrians stay alert and are not distracted by their electronic devices. It’s all so crucial to wear reflective clothing at night and never assume that a driver sees you. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or just not paying attention.
Drivers should also take safety precautions while driving. Avoid using cell phones or getting involved in other driving distractions. Whether the driver believes they have the right of way or not, they should always stop for pedestrians. When driving in urban areas, always look for pedestrians in the crosswalks, along the sidewalk, along the side of the road, or in any other place where there could be foot traffic.
Types of Compensation You Might Receive
After a wrongful death, you might be entitled to economic and non-economic compensation, or damages. Economic damages compensate you for measurable and verifiable monetary losses, such as funeral costs, loss of benefits, loss of income, and medical expenses.
You may also be entitled to non-economic damages. This compensation is meant to cover subjective and intangible losses for which you do not have an exact dollar amount. An example of a non-monetary loss is “loss of companionship.”
We understand that no amount of compensation will make up for your loss. However, we also believe that it’s important for families to have the economic support they need, which gives them greater flexibility to grieve for the loss of a loved one.
Will a Criminal Charge Affect the Lawsuit?
The person who causes a wrongful death may have criminal charges brought against them as well as a civil lawsuit. These are two different sections of the law. Criminal charges are made when an individual breaks the law, and a civil lawsuit can be brought to provide compensation when a person’s negligent actions cause an injury or death.
When there are criminal charges and a personal injury lawsuit, one can affect the other. In a criminal case, the state or federal government must meet the burden of proof to show that the individual had broken the law. If the defendant is found guilty, they are punished with prison time and/or fines.
On the other hand, a civil lawsuit has a lower burden of proof, and if the defendant is found to be at fault, the plaintiff may be awarded compensation. For this reason, if the defendant goes to trial for criminal charges before the civil lawsuit comes to court and they are found guilty, it can positively influence the civil case. In other words, it may be easier to prove civil liability if the defendant is already found guilty of a criminal charge related to the wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you have lost a loved one to a pedestrian accident that was the result of someone else’s negligent or risky behavior, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover medical costs, funeral costs, and other economic and non-economic losses.
The compassionate and skilled legal team of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers are experienced negotiators and tenacious litigators. Put our skills to work for you. Call our office at (219) 286-7361, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We don’t charge any fees until we obtain compensation for you.